The Digitization Imperative

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8 tips for driving digital strategy during COVID-19

By Clint Boulton

From deliverable schedules to procurement windows, virtually every IT timeline has been compressed by the coronavirus crisis. Those three- to five-year horizons for digital transformations? They’ve shrunk to months thanks to the pandemic, say some CIOs and consultants.

As is often the case, the truth is more nuanced. Big Bang transformations have been streamlined — not sidelined — in favor of short-term priorities. Having stabilized email, boosted bandwidth and battle-tested VPNs to fulfill mandatory work-from-home policies, CIOs have set their sights on innovation. Companies such as Nationwide have digitized software development to accommodate employees working remotely and to serve customers without a hitch.

The new normal

Such is the new normal for most large companies, and IT “will be in the middle of that,” according to Rick Pastore, senior research director of The Hackett Group. Mobile devices and software, cloud and other digital tools grant CIOs greater flexibility than they’ve had previously in supporting how and where employees work, Pastore says.

Moreover, objections to smart automation, machine learning, advanced analytics and other emerging technologies that require robust investments will “melt away” — if they haven’t already, Pastore predicts. Many CIOs have created new analytics dashboards to chart productivity and have built bots to digitize manual tasks. Others have changed the way they meet with business peers during the pandemic, with a mind toward preserving that method in the future. Continue reading

Strategising Customisation and Privacy in the Digital Age

by David Dubois, INSEAD Associate Professor of Marketing, and Joanna Teoh, INSEAD

Five golden rules to effectively balance personalisation and customer protection.

From AI-enabled chatbots to ads based on individuals’ search or social media activities, digital data offer novel ways to connect with customers. These connections can develop into intimate customer relationships that boost satisfaction, engagement and ultimately loyalty. Consider Netflix’s recent personalisation strategy, which enabled viewers of its series Bandersnatch to choose the main character’s actions throughout the episode, leading to five unique endings.

But there is a point where customer intimacy and invasion of privacy blurs. For instance, as early as 2012, Target predicted a teenage customer’s pregnancy through her historical purchase pattern data and sent her baby-related coupons, to the surprise of her own parents.

Where to draw the line between customer-benefitting personalisation and intrusion? This question is increasingly at the heart of every C-level executive’s agenda. In the digital age where data has become overabundant – 90 percent of the world’s data was produced in the last two years – corporations face the urgent need for a “data chart” defining their philosophy around the collection and use of customer data as it relates to value creation. Continue reading

VP BPO Sales-Property & Casualty Insurance

Vice President of Sales will be responsible for cultivating our clients presence in the market and creating business opportunities with new clients. It is expected that the successful candidate will bring significant experience and has established relationships in the SP&C) North American markets.  The successful candidate should be motivated by winning financial incentives as well as career growth.

The AVP/Vice President, Sales will:

  • Be responsible for the sales cycle; from deal origination to closure (signed contract) to successfully transitioning it to the Account Manager team
  • Bring an understanding of the marketplace and competitor offerings to drive growth strategy and investments
  • Be responsible for New logo sales and account acquisition
  • Be responsible for significantly growing the presence and revenues in the P&C North America BPO market
  • Work closely with Industry Business Heads to target named accounts, new business strategies, and high value / high clients
  • Build a predictable pipeline of new business to generate repeatable and profitable revenues across the various Business Units
  • Develop and execute a Go-to-Market Strategy to hit revenue targets.
  • Execute go-to market plans via targeted campaigns and other sales channels including advisors, influencers, conference attendance, industry events, etc.
  • Collaborate and develop 3rd party and advisor relations to build credibility in the geography
  • Propose, submit, and handle proposals with full ownership and accountability. Work closely with the sales support teams to ensure high quality of all proposals.
  • Bring substantial experience in working with C-Suite executives within the P&C North America domain markets. Typical sales processes include discussions with, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Financial Officers.
  • Big-deal experience – proven experience in closing deals with ACV > $5M and TCV > $20M.
  • Play a leadership role in “hunting”, signing and developing luminary/marquee client relationships. These contracts are typically large, complex multi-year deals that require a savvy sales executive accustom to longer sales cycles.
  • Balance multiple, concurrent deals to achieve challenging growth targets.
  • Effectively identify and translate client needs into services. Develop an understanding of customers’ business needs, matching them with capabilities, and developing winning proposals
  • Be a key intermediary between the service delivery team and the customer.

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Digital Business: Three Core Concepts Exploded

 by Annet Aris, INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Strategy

The digital world has pushed old curves off the whiteboard as new trajectories arise.

Even tedious jobs like cleaning out archives can sometimes lead to great insights. Sifting through my old files recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find a treasure trove of old memories and forgotten facts. Amongst these papers were notebooks from my engineering studies; I realised that I no longer remembered the math formulas I had so diligently noted. The everyday pressures of business have blurred these lines.

There are, however, some basic concepts that have stood the test of time. Most are simple intuitive relationships such as extrapolated trend lines, the normal distribution curve and scale effects that taper as volume increases.

For most of us, these stick in our heads and have been useful in an analogue world where goods were scarce and the cost of transactions significant. As business becomes digital, however, other rules and relationships apply. If the old curves and concepts are rooted too deeply, we run the risk of taking the wrong decisions based on our default ideas.

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