Andy Fairchild, CEO, Applied Systems Europe
Virtually overnight, the pandemic changed the way companies in every industry do business, challenging businesses large, small and everything in between to re-evaluate their processes and their paths forward.
But the strategies that worked before may not work as well today, or in the future. In the current climate, companies from all industries are looking to technology to innovate, to optimise operational workflows and ensure premier customer experiences.
As we look to the future, it is important to remember lessons from the near past that can help guide us. In 2008, we saw the start of the Great Recession triggered by a global financial crisis. Global GDP fell from 4.3 per cent in 2007 to -1.6 per cent in 2009. While the economic upheaval certainly was a global crisis, there were positive aspects that resulted. Companies had to find new, less costly ways to run day-to-day operations – one of the results of this was the birth of cloud computing.
The old way of doing IT was expensive, rigid and slow. The economic crisis spurred demand for a new way to access computing power. This paved the way for companies such as Rackspace, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others to pioneer novel and less expensive ways for companies to digitise and quickly scale their businesses in the cloud.
Cloud computing unleashed unprecedented innovation, creating new business models and reinventing old ones. Millions of jobs were created and unemployment quickly declined to less than 4 per cent. Productivity gains increased significantly as people learned to use technology to do more in less time. Shares in leading cloud companies became more valuable, driving a record bull market.
Ultimately, cloud computing – and the cloud platforms we rely on today – brought the power of at-scale R&D investment to high-street businesses that wouldn’t have been able to do it on their own at an affordable price. Out of the initial fear and economic devastation of 2008 came world-changing innovation and digitisation that made businesses more:
- Productive: lowering the cost to produce, market, distribute and sell
- Intelligent: capturing the power of data to compete more skillfully
- Simple: knowing customers better, simplifying the customer experience
- Valuable: growing more profitably by meeting more of their customers’ needs
In 2020, the pandemic spurred a similar digital inflection. Within a matter of months, companies accelerated their digitisation strategies in what would have taken years pre-pandemic. The insurance industry is no different. Brokers have had to speed up digital adoption timelines in order to create new digital experiences for both staff and customers.
In order to become more resilient and emerge as a stronger, more valuable business, brokers must invest in their digital future. The time is now to take the necessary steps towards becoming a digital broker. By adapting to the new norm, brokers will build stronger bonds with customers, equip employees with the tools they need to work more intelligently and productively, and build more resilience and value into their business.
Click here to learn how to adapt your business to the new digital norm.