Live free at the speed of thought
In January 2017, our paths converged with the dynamic Dr. Julius Kipng’etich, the newly appointed Regional CEO. His infectious enthusiasm and fresh perspective are set to invigorate us all at Jubilee Insurance, aligning perfectly with our busy lifestyle. What truly resonated was his emphasis on leveraging technology to propel business expansion and streamline operations, a notion tailor-made for our fast-paced endeavors.
During his speech, he fondly mentioned a book titled “Business at the Speed of Thought” by Bill Gates, which prompted me to obtain a copy and explore its section on the “Digital” Nervous System due to its intriguing content. This exploration quickly illuminated the reasons behind insurers’ struggles with visibility and product uptake in Kenya, ultimately attributed to the demands of a busy lifestyle. Our proficiency in managing technology and navigating the swift currents of our I.T. infrastructure emerged as pivotal factors. The following three questions and the quote immediately below formed my point of reflection.
1. Our IT systems – do they enable us spend most of our time analyzing information OR collecting it?
2. Do we use our servers as integration points for applications from the various systems …especially the much older ones?
3. Do we have a single platform to support applications for our and client use?
“A digital nervous system serves two primary purposes in the development of business understanding. It extends the individual’s analytical abilities the way machines extend physical capabilities, and it combines the abilities of individuals to create an institutional intelligence and a unified ability to act. To put it all together in the right context: A digital nervous system seeks to create corporate excellence out of individual excellence on behalf of the customer.
The more I think about it, it is clear that we have all the data that we need to double or even triple our Gross Written Premium based on our existing clients, but absolutely no information (intelligent, actionable and useful data points)! This silo mentality reminds me of the Vodafone SA TV advert (“We’ve been having it”J) which features an African president character who explains away all the new technology around him by stating that they’ve been having it all along.
Let us change the way we do stuff and embrace tech so that the data can get out of its “one and zero” cocoons and silos and transform into that beautiful information butterfly that will get Jubilee to soar high in the financial services sky. As Dr. K put it, it is time to leave our poor cousins and become the rich cousin in the financial services community, else become irrelevant and dieL.