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Category Archives: Insurance

Agile is now!

Agile is now!
The Insurance Industry needs to play catch up.
Considering the size of the sector – the fact that Insurance regularly falls behind other big players such as banking and retail shows a degree of stagnation.
The digital revolution has truly placed the customer experience and satisfaction to the fore. Yet the insurance industry still reports relatively low levels of customer satisfaction, despite the technology existing to rectify this situation. And the desire to utilise these digital communication channels is high – particularly amongst the Y generation. Big Tech such as Google and Amazon are waiting in the wings ready to vie for a place in the insurance market – and many consumers are so used to the offerings of these global giants – that they would now consider an insurance purchase through them.
The time for change is now – and the benefits are multifold.
Business longevity for the insurers will require a degree of agility and responsiveness like never before. Consumers are increasingly knowledgeable, demanding, tech savvy, and time strapped. They are inclined to receive proactive, personalised insurance offerings and these proactive service were found to strongly correlate to positive customer experience. Self service through the internet is widespread and almost imperative in our society.
But it isn’t all about the customer experience; there is also the bottom line to consider. Improvements in digital agility and maturity will mean that insurers morph almost into becoming “risk preventers”; able to provide a highly personalised offering that enhances experiences as well as improving operational efficiencies.
The ability to use real-time data analytics to predict and respond to customers needs and market opportunites will provide greater access to customers – more “touchpoints”. And these touchpoints give an opportunity for value-added services – which leads to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. A so called digital Eco-system enabling a digitally agile company to have a seamless flow of information, partnerships and services.
In the days of internet shopping – customer loyalty is hard to retain.
The time is now to change how insurance is perceived – and change from the days of the Insurance guy knocking on the door to a slick, agile operation that offers insurance and services to Me! And only me..
Agile – is now.

Fresh, Bright and Female… Careers Open to Talent – welcome here!!

Fresh, Bright and Female… Careers Open to Talent – welcome here!!

I recently highlighted an excellent blog post  http://www.insuranceage.co.uk/insurance-age/blog-post/2427441/moving-away-from-stale-pale-and-male which I hope you will have taken the time to read..

And I wanted to follow this up with a few ramblings of my own.

The “traditional” working picture – doesn’t exist anymore. Or at least – it shouldn’t! in a 21st century digital age – I sincerely hope that we no longer expect women to chain themselves to railings in order to have a voice. And it’s actually much more than that. Technology should be breeding diversity – in the workplace, workforce, work structure – work everything.

The diversity debate should no longer focus purely whether women can enter a “man’s” world. But more it should actively be looking to be totally inclusive – and how to present that a career is open to talent!

This is a subject that is especially close to my heart – as one of my children is deaf… so we have inclusivity issues in abundance right on our doorstep.  Human beings are pre-programmed to want to fit in and feel accepted. In the workplace (and especially the city) – that picture has been one of a MAN in a suit. It becomes pretty hard to walk into an environment where you feel that already you are the exception rather than the rule. Think men in Nursing if you want an alternate career example.

Recently Saxus tweeted about Exceptional Minds http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/exceptional-minds-gets-the-job-done – an example of how harnessing “non traditional” employees has huge benefits for everyone concerned. Our world is a smaller place as a result of technology – supposedly with opportunities presenting themselves. Yet we still choose from the same small pool we always chose from. Stereotypes abound – and we are missing so much talent through their fear (and ours) of challenging the status quo

Well – I would like to confront this “Stale Pale and Male” paradigm. I would like to suggest that we investigate our inner bias – and ask if we are choosing our next hire because its’ like looking in a mirror? Or because they are the best person for the job?

Genetically speaking – our species becomes stronger through a more diverse gene pool.  The same holds true for work.

 

If you always do what you always did.

You will always get what you always got

Interested in Diversity in Insurance – take a look here http://diveinfestival.com/

 

Images courtesy of FreeImages.com/Krzyzstof Baranski

Not your average Recruitment Company

Not your average Recruitment Company

Michael O’Leary is our resident Insurance and Wealth Management Consultant here at Saxus; he has been with the organisation since 2011 after studying in Computing and Management at Loughborough University, which has enabled him to have a deeper understanding of IT Recruitment and the latest technologies. Michael plays an integral role in the team here at Saxus having worked on all areas of the business over the last 4+ years covering the full project lifecycles and numerous technologies (.NET being the most prominent).

Michael prides himself on getting to know both his candidates and clients personally to ensure that the optimum level of service is delivered consistently. He doesn’t just know technical people – he actually knows what those people do.

Let’s see what Michael had to say…

WHAT ARE THE MOST/LEAST ENJOYABLE ASPECTS OF RECRUITING?

Most = Helping people into work / that ideal job

Least = Candidates that don’t turn up to arranged interviews/then dodge all efforts which is made to contact them.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF THE JOB?

Changing the somewhat tainted opinion of the stereotypical ‘recruiter’. in doing so, opening up clients eyes to better ways of working

 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN THE JOB?

Placing your first candidate is always up there

 

WHERE DO YOU SEE Your Career IN 10 YEARS?

Who knows!?

 

ANY TOP TIPS FOR CANDIDATES?

In-depth interview preparation – looking at the company website is very veneer and everybody does that. More is needed in order to stand out from the rest.

 

ANY TOP TIPS FOR CLIENTS?

Feedback – whether good or bad is always key!

 

LIFE’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Not enough hours in the day

 

TWO HOBBIES – AND WHY?

Fitness – Personally a healthy lifestyle and exercise plays a pivotal role in my life

Football – has been since a very young age

 

TWO PET HATES AND WHY?

Plug socket switches ‘on’ & not off

People using ‘like’ as a fill word

 

WHAT’S ONE QUOTE THAT YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?

 “Speak how you wish to be spoken to, Treat people how you want to be treated”

 

WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Farley’s rusks! :)

Spaghetti for Breakfast

Spaghetti for Breakfast

An unusual treat some might say – but we at Saxus like to do IT differently – and so we kicked off our quarterly breakfast meeting series with a healthy dose of some technological pasta

Saxus was delighted to welcome Ian Hadland as our first guest speaker.Ian is the Managing Director of Caedent Ltd who specialises in the delivery of agile, flexible and high value business solutions for the insurance industry, against flexible business models”. Ian brings 24 years worth of global experience to the table – which more than qualifies him to discuss spaghetti for breakfast!

Michael Smith, Managing Director of Saxus Solutions, kick started the discussions with an outline of current industry issues as viewed from the recruitment side of the table. The current IT recruitment landscape shows a shortage of candidates and increased demands from Clients. Couple this with frequently ineffective and outdated internal processes and it is easy to see why there can often seem to be a “loggerhead” situation between recruitment companies and the industry at large.

Saxus believes that Insurance, in terms of investment in Technology, is at a cross roads. Years of under investment and an unwillingness to adopt / invest in new technologies and practices have created a situation whereby current systems are just about fit for purpose. How does this manifest itself –

  • They lack the flexibility / functionality to meet future business demands – lose competitiveness
  • Myriad of acquisitions / mergers created an integration nightmare – Ian spoke more on this but suffice to say it a massive issue
  • Lack of experienced / skilled resource to cope with current and future technology demands
  • Inability to get buy in from the board – it is going to be expensive with no guarantee of success

Best Practice – how we can work together to achieve the best outcome was discussed.. but that’s a whole new blog post.. Check back for more on this in next week’s blog post!

Ian spoke then eloquently to a group of 20 executives from many industry giants such as Audatex, Grant Thornton, Total Systems and Novae on the topic of Insurance& the legacy Spaghetti: The Interaction between mainline, peripheral and core technologies”

The insurance industry is drowning in “spaghetti” –  a jumble of networks, infrastructure, applications, databases and operating systems. There is an awful lot of technology going on.. and this is causing significant issues within the industry.

Since 2008 there has understandably been reluctance by the Insurance industry to make significant investments into technologies. Our world, especially at board level has become more risk averse. There have been some major programme failures from leading software companies during this time – which raises further concerns about investment. The solutions proposed seem to be adequate and there is an overriding belief that it is cheaper to maintain the known (albeit in adequate!) solutions! Couple this with a lack of understanding of what is actually needed to move processes forward and it is easy to see how the huge plate of “legacy spaghetti” has arrived.

Ian postulated several options for how to improve the current situation – ranging from the ostrich approach to a more radical suggestion of developing something new that actually fits!

He ably demonstrated some of the key lessons he had learned from his work over the last 24 years – not least of which was that early engagement between the Change team and the Systems team is critical to success.

Ian went on to outline some insightful conclusions – highlighting that education from the top down and bottom up is crucial in successfully finding a way out of the technology jungle. He explained that dedicated teams are integral to success – and that we must move away from the idea of a one size fits all approach and merely maintaining the existing “spaghetti” – to a more unique perspective “we can transition groups of products / countries onto platforms suitable for their aspirations”

Lively debate followed – and some breakfast – of the pastry rather than pasta variety! The meeting was scheduled to be completed by 9am which we were just about able to stick to however, the post discussions were so intriguing and lively that we had to be kicked out by our gracious host as the chit chat extended for almost an additional hour such was the intense nature of the discussion!

Saxus is delighted at the feedback from this meeting. We look forward to welcoming more of you to join us for some discussions and donuts next quarter!

JOB DESCRIPTION: A UK based software and services company that provides systems to the financial services market with an international client-base is looking to add a C# Developer to their current team.They are seeking a developer to work with the Development and Support group on their leading edge financial applications. Candidates will be considered with

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