In the ever-changing financial industry, embracing technology transformation is crucial for companies not to be left behind.
The technology landscape evolves faster and faster, and as technology changes, so too does the role of the chief information officer or head of information technology (IT).
“IT has become an enabler of business strategy and tactics, particularly within our organisation,” says Indranil Bandyopadhyay, Head of IT at Nedbank Insurance.
“Historically IT has been seen as a support service, which we still provide, but our influence has expanded to impact the organisational innovation roadmap as innovation and technology are inextricably linked.”
Nedbank Insurance, part of Nedbank Group, is undergoing its own technology transformation, embracing digital to meet and exceed the demands of it clients by providing the best possible service solutions.
“We continuously look at how technology can support and complement the strategic direction of Nedbank Insurance,” says Bandyopadhyay. “We produce system- and process-related solutions for any business problem, making our business truly client-centred.”
Nedbank Group is one of the four leading bank groups in South Africa, and Bandyopadhyay is tasked with helping Nedbank Insurance be the insurer of choice.
The company’s client-centred approach is the biggest driver of change across Nedbank Insurance and Bandyopadhyay firmly believes that it will continue to define the future of the company.
“Technology is influencing every corner of the world and every corner of a client’s life,” he says. “And we have to be in that space. Our clients demand instant gratification – quicker service and results at the push of a button.
“Whether it’s making a claim or issuing a policy or even cancelling one, everything has to be done at lightning speed. We need to ensure that our service delivery meets
Other markets continue to redefine user experience, which influences clients’ expectations. Nedbank Insurance continually has to review what it considers art of possibility
to continue meeting the demands
“Through technology people are much more knowledgeable, which feeds their expectations of our service and products and the value they can get,” he says. “They know what’s out there and we need to be able to respond to that.”
The current technology conversations are centred around topics such as artificial intelligence, big data, automation and blockchain. But what can Nedbank Insurance do to avoid simply adopting and implementing technology solutions for the sake of joining that global conversation?
The company is already using technologies such as telematics, robotics and data-driven analytics to improve the way it services its clients.
But where Nedbank Insurance is really using technology to transform and improve the way it engages with clients effectively is in capturing rich data through its ‘one policy administration system’. This state-of-the-art policy administration system hosts both its life and non-life businesses, enabling a 360-degree view of clients. The early benefits achieved include faster response times, improved client interaction and better service delivery. “And we are exploring further efficiencies. We are constantly looking at our processes to take advantage of having a single platform for life and non-life policies,” says Bandyopadhyay.
Various other initiatives such as automating client experience, building superior digital properties, integration with insurtech partners, driving advanced analytics and solutions that fulfil the needs of clients across life and non-life businesses are underway.
“All of the above are based on optimal exploitation of available data,” says Bandyopadhyay.
“We ask ourselves if we are doing enough with the bank’s wealth of structured data. And I’d have to say no. So, our plan is to develop a roadmap of how we can better use that data, better understand our clients and ultimately better serve them.”
Bandyopadhyay is sensitive to the challenge of technological transformation, whether associated with implementation, understanding new technologies, or changing culture and new ways of work, and says that change management will be critical.
“You need to be very sure about what you’re trying to achieve. Being mindful of your ultimate objective will help you overcome challenges and keep good people on board throughout this journey.”
The first step in change management is working with people following a bottomup and topdown approach so that they understand their place in this journey. Bandyopadhyay works with his team, and the wider organisation, to ensure that they support the journey and feel valued in the organisation.
Technology implementation is a journey that no company can achieve by itself and Nedbank Insurance relies on key IT vendors and partners to support its vision and ambition.
Bandyopadhyay believes that aligning with strategic partners will help Nedbank Insurance exceed expectations.
“Gone are the days when you can take requirements, move to develop-ment, and go to market. You must have partners who will help you get there,” he concludes.