In January 2017, we were formally introduced to our new Regional CEO Dr. Julius Kipng’etich and it was encouraging to feel the passion and new vision that I hope will be infused into all of us at Jubilee Insurance. What caught my attention was his focus on technology and its ability to drive business growth and efficiency.
During his speech, he fondly mentioned a book “Business at the speed of thought”, by Bill Gates and I got a hold of it and read the section on the “Digital” Nervous System, since it sounded so interesting. It soon became abundantly clear why insurers struggle with visibility and product uptake in Kenya. It all comes down to our use of technology and the agility of our I.T. infrastructure. 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.