When we published our research paper two months ago on the “future” of the industry, we pointed to the need for Advisers to be thinking about the cloud from an operational readiness perspective. Little did we know that the future was coming a lot sooner than anyone predicted, although for other reasons.
Now that business everywhere are grappling with how to run ‘business as usual’ when it’s anything but usual, we’ve got some lessons from having ‘been there done that’ that may prioritise your efforts.
Working from anywhere, on any device.
From the beginning, our guiding principle was to ensure that all of our people, from claims assessors to underwriters, to customer care, to our finance and back-office teams were able to access anything (and everything) from the cloud. This means all of our files, templates, business applications are accessible from any secure location. We use a tool called Okta which means that employees don’t have to sign into multiple accounts with multiple usernames and passwords which can be a drawback with a cloud-based approach. So whether our people are in the office or working from home – our service and delivery is unchanged.
The customer interface.
It’s not just our back-end technology that supports remote working. Our award-winning Adviser portal is available 24/7 and works on just about any device. Originally, this was built to provide Advisers with the convenience to be able to do pre-assessments and applications with a client in their own home, or out and about on the road, but now it’s obviously incredible useful for Advisers who find themselves working from home.
Beyond this though, every employee has a Zoom account and access to Microsoft teams. This means that all employees are able to use video conferencing to connect to clients, customer, partners, suppliers, Advisers and each other. It’s made our operations during COVID-19 all the more seamless.
People, get ready.
All the technology in the world doesn’t come to much if people aren’t comfortable, capable, and confident to use it. Ahead of the pandemic, we supported a wide range of flexible work arrangements so when we were asked to socially isolate, employees could literally pick up their laptops within minutes and be out the door, knowing everything was going to work.
As life continues like this, we’re continuing to educate our people with tips to make life a little easier. For example how to scan documents on your iPhone or iPad using the Notes app, or how to use your TV as a computer monitor screen. The importance of on-going training and education to embed new ways of working is critical.
The other benefit of getting your team to flourish in a cloud-based environment is that it just gives you more options to connect.
We’ve set up a virtual lunchroom where daily from 12-1 you can logon and enjoy a break with your colleagues to keep connections going and instill a sense of routine.
Whether it’s COVID-19, or the (no doubt) increase in remote working we will see in the coming year, or just customer expectations that they should be able to connect to your business and your services from anywhere on any device – it’s high time to examine your operations and maybe get your head in the clouds.
As always, if you have any questions on any of this, we’re here to help.
General Manager, Information & Technology