The winners for the 4th Asia Insurance Technology Awards

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Nov 20th, 2014

Celent and Asia Insurance Review are proud to host 4th Asia Insurance Technology Awards which recognize excellence and innovation in the use of technology within the insurance industry. The award was given on the Asia Insurance CIO Technology Summit on 20 Nov 2014 in Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

Asia Insurance Technology Awards is organized by Celent together with Asia Insurance Review. Thirty eight nominations from insurers in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Asia Pacific Headquarters of global insurers were evaluated this year and nine winners were selected by Celent AITA evaluation team consisting of analysts from Asia, Europe and North America. There are many impressive cases. Unfortunately we can’t honor all of them. I would like to take this chance to congratulate all the companies that had submitted their nominations for their great achievements!

The winner for Best Mobile Application Award was ICICI Lombard General Insurance
ICICI Lombard implemented the Assure Tablet Application that allows agent and sales persons to complete the entire workflow in the field, including collect customer information, accept payment via Debit or Credit Card, and print policy issue. The project has improved productivity of sales persons by 33%, and reduced the policy issuance cost by 47%. The company won the award because of the use of mobile technologies to enhance efficiency and productivity, and the quantitative business result achieved.

There are two winners for Digital Transformation Award. One winner was AIA Malaysia
AIA Malaysia introduced the Integrated Digital Platform – an iPad-based suite of applications, which acts as a mobile office for all AIA Malaysia Life Planners. The platform is comprised of a Point-of-Sale solution, iResources, ePolicy, ePayment, iServe, eRecruitment, and eLearning. The company won the award because of the digital transformation of the agent channel and the quantitative business results achieved.

Another winner for Digital Transformation Award was Achmea Australia
Achmea Australia implemented Sapiens IDIT’s core insurance solution and Risk Scan mobile solution, enabling their risk specialists to do an initial risk analysis on-site with farmers. The company won the award because of the use of mobile technology, dematerialization, integration of the front-end with the core system to realize Straight-Through-Processing. Its relationship-based business model delivers a unique proposition to the Australian farming community. This also makes them a winner of this year’s Best Newcomer Award, which recognizes the best new player in the insurance technology field.

The winner for IT Leadership Award was Mr. Somesh Chandra, Director of Customer Service, Operations and Technology of Max Bupa Health Insurance
Max Bupa implemented a business process automation platform to automate its core business processes. It significantly reduced the turn-around time for policy issuance and claims, increased productivity, and reduced operating cost. The vision and leadership in the delivery of technology to business belonged to the company’s director of IT, Mr. Somesh Chandra.

There are two winners for Best Insurer: Technology Award. One winner was MetLife Global Technology & Operations Asia
MetLife deployed MongoDB Big Data technology, and implemented “The Wall” initiative in MetLife’s Japan call centre, which provides a 360 degree view of MetLife’s customers by simultaneously leveraging data scattered across more than 70 systems onto a single screen. The company won the award because of the successful usage of big data technology.

Another winner for Best Insurer: Technology Award was Reliance General Insurance
Reliance General Insurance implemented Enrollment Manager, a system that enables process driven automation for managing enrollment related activities and data handling value chain for a government-run health insurance scheme, to achieve maximum enrollment conversions. The company won the award because of the quantifiable business benefits and the important role technology plays in the organization.

There are two winners for Innovation Award. One winner was Fubon Insurance
Fubon Insurance introduced “Immediate Assistance” service, a service that allows for immediate response from a representative immediately after they see a car accident. Fubon’s professionalism and dedication is displayed by the fact that this service extends even to non-policyholders of Fubon. By using Fubon insurance’s internal mobile claims app, they have accelerated the claims process for policyholders. And for non-policyholders, the experience allows for sharing of information on what to do in case of a claim. By offering the service beyond client’s expectations, Fubon Insurance build up their professional image and successfully increase the motor sales volume.

Another winner for Innovation Award was MetLife Hong Kong
MetLife Hong Kong introduced an innovative mobile app – The MetLife Infinity app, which is a virtual time capsule, allowing people to securely capture, host, organize & share important messages, photos and videos with designated people of their choice either instantly, or at a predetermined time in the future. Users can also upload practical items that their loved ones may need to access, such as important documents and details for accessing accounts and policies, insurance documents, trust forms, wills, etc. The innovative app leads to brand awareness, created positive word of mouth, and drives action – 40% of those who registered on Infinity opted in to receive promotional information. The company wins the award for its innovation in using social network and mobile technology.

5th Asia Insurance Technology Awards will open for nomination during June 2015.
I’ll post another blog when the nomination is open, you also can find information on Celent website http://www.celent.com/aita.

セレント イノベーションフォーラム「デジタル金融サービスへの取り組み」を振り返って(その2)

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Nov 11th, 2014

セレントは、2月の「ラウンドテーブル:Making Innovation Happen」、6月の「イノベーション&インサイト・デー」に引き続き、10月17日、「イノベーションフォーラム」を開催した。

本稿は、本イベント報告の第2回である。

 

基調講演に続く「イノベーションパネルディスカッション」では、「デジタルバンキング/ペイメントサービスの課題と今後のあるべき姿」と題して、日本の金融・IT業界を代表する3人のパネリストと共に、イノベーションに関する取り組みと想い、その実践と今後の展望が議論された。バンキングとリテールペイメントを主たるサービスの舞台とするものの、モバイルバンク、M-POS、クラウドサービスと、立ち位置の異なる3人のパネリストのディスカッションは、先進的な取り組みとイノベーションに賭ける熱き情熱に溢れるものであった。

パネルの議論は、各社の事業概要の紹介に引き続き、デジタルバンキング・ペイメントサービスへの取り組みから、デジタルサービスを加速する要因と阻害する要因へと展開された。以下、発言者は特定せず、パネリストの印象的なコメントを、引用する。

 

「革新的なサービスであればあるほど、既存の価値との軋轢が生じる。そうしたコンフリクトや不安の解消が、とても重要な要素。そうしたコミュニケーションや努力の上に、破壊的威力を持ったサービスが提供される。」

「ヒントやアイディアは無限にあるが、その実現を妨げるのは、実は自社の中や自分自身の中にある。その実現に向けた組織のリーダーシップや個人のパッションをどう持続させるかが、成功の鍵。」

「多様化し進化するペイメントビジネスのなかで、銀行の立ち位置が難しい時代となった。エコシステム全体を見渡し、自社の役割と強み、グループ連携やシナジーの考慮が必要。顧客に対する付加価値が、尺度となるべき。」

「事業ドメインが大切。“Make commerce easy”とは、お客様のビジネスを全方位で効率化し、本来の商取引の根幹である、お客様との会話や商品についてのコミュニケーション時間を増やすこと。次々と開発される新サービスも、この事業ドメインから決してぶれない。」

「当社はテクノロジーカンパニーであり、テクノロジーを前提にペイメントサービスを設計している。高度なテクノロジーが隅々まで普及することで、全ての人々にサービスが提供可能となる。このことは、当社のビジョンである。」

「利便性と安全性とデザイン性の追求が鍵。そのためには、物事をシンプルに捉え、ゼロからサービスを設計すること。金融サービスでは、『これまでのやり方と違うから危険』と思われがち。これは間違い。何故、既存のやり方が安全と言えるのか。」

「そのテクノロジーに出会って、人生が変わったと思えるほど、クラウドサービスには大きなインパクトと可能性がある。そうした可能性を、もっと他産業から学ぶべき。」

「机上の空論よりも、まず実践を行った企業が勝ち残る。その中で、自社のコアバリューやビジネスの有効性を検証する。テクノロジーがビジネスをドライブする事なしに、今日の競争優位は保てない。」

「当初のコアバリューフォーカス、特に失敗コストの軽減などの観点に加え、予期しないトラフィックの増加対策、グローバル展開など、今日的なビジネス課題に直結した取り組みが、クラウドにはある。」

「Apple Payは、ペイメントサービスへの付加価値追求として、歓迎される。一方で、グローバルと日本の社会文脈や商慣習の違いもハイライトされるであろう。」

「エコシステムの構築と破壊が鍵。アップルは、常にこの挑戦を続けている。音楽産業におけるディスラプティブなイノベーションは、業界構造のみならず、消費者のライフスタイルそのものを変えた。リテールペイメントにおいてはどうか?」

 

セレントは、自社と自らの成功体験に慢心する間もなく、次の取り組みや改善に、新分野での成長を追求するパネリストの姿勢に「イノベーターのDNA」を見出した。何よりも「イノベーションが大好き」で、常に「イノベーションを実践」し、チームを「イノベーションに導く」ことが、今回の3人のイノベーターに共通であった。イノベーションは、「人が生み出す『進化』」である。デジタルテクノロジーを駆使するのも、デジタルサービスを展開するのも、皆、人の営みであり、「人の期待と意欲」が最も重要なポイントと認識を新たにした。

 

最後に、パネルディスカッションにご登壇下さったパネリストの皆様、また、様々な形で本イベントにご参加下さった日本の金融業界のプロフェッショナルの皆様に深く感謝申し上げたい。セレントは、今回もまた、本イベントがご参加の皆様にとって、次のイノベーションの触媒となることを強く祈念する。

イノベーションを巡る日本での議論は、この後、シンガポール、オーストラリアでのラウンドテーブルとカンファレンスに引き継がれた。日本で、アジアで、セレントはグローバルな金融イノベーションリーダーと共に、明日のソートリーダーシップを探り続けていく。

 

図 3 音楽産業における、ディスラプティブ・イノベーション

FIG3

出典:セレント

セレント イノベーションフォーラム「デジタル金融サービスへの取り組み」を振り返って(その1)

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Nov 11th, 2014

セレントは、2月の「ラウンドテーブル:Making Innovation Happen」、6月の「イノベーション&インサイト・デー」に引き続き、10月17日、「イノベーションフォーラム」を開催した。

本稿では、本イベントの要諦を2回に分けて報告する。

 

 

基調講演①「世界のバンキングのイノベーション最新動向」

消費者の経験や期待、経済状況の悪化や好転、規制と競争環境の激変といった外圧が、既存の圧力(収益拡大、コスト削減)を増幅し、取り巻くエコシステムの変化を促している現況を背景に、「銀行業界、金融業界は、チャネルやアーキテクチャの変化、そしてイノベーションを通じて、ビジネスモデルを修正する必要がある」とのキー・メッセージを発信した。

セレントの提唱するデジタル&オムニチャネルのフレームワーク、バンキングテクノロジーを巡る3つのテーマ

①デジタル&オムニチャネル

②イノベーション&エマージングテクノロジー

③レガシー&エコシステムマイグレーション

に従って、グローバルな事例を紹介した。Apple Payやビットコインなど最新テクノロジーの動向にも触れた上で、セレントの考えるクリエイティブ・ディスラプション(創造的で、破壊的な影響力を持つ変革)の枠組みを用いたイノベーションの重要性を説いた。

 

図 1 デジタル / オムニチャネルのフレームワーク

FIG1

出典:セレント

 

 

基調講演②「日本の金融業界におけるデジタル&オムニチャネルバンキングの取り組み」 

日本の金融サービス業界がイノベーションに向けて現在どのような取り組みを行っているか、以下の4つの枠組みで俯瞰した。

① 現金、クレジットカード、デビットカードと言った、トラディショナルな決済手段

② 電子マネーとプリペイドカードに代表される、第二世代の決済手段

③ 隆盛を極める、電子商取引に付随した決済サービス

④ 以上3区分を横断するオムニチャネルサポート

その中で共通する事項として浮かびあがったのは、「デジタル技術の普及と活用、エコシステムの形成とオープンイノベーションの進展が、イノベーションの成功の鍵を握る」という点であった。

 

中でも、速やかに、躊躇なく取り組むべきポイントとして以下の5つを挙げた。

①カード決済情報のマルチビューとコントロール

②カード決済サービスを活用した付加価値提供

③リアルタイム取引アラート

④取引実績データのアナリティクスに基づくアドバイザリーサービス

⑤ソシャルメディアとのインテグレーション

 

図 2 日本のリテールペイメント市場における主要決済手段の区分

FIG2

出典:セレント

Asian Vendors Looking to Pivot

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Nov 3rd, 2014

I’ve just returned from a two-week swing through Asia, with stops and roundtables in Tokyo, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney. Along with my colleague Neil Katkov I was fortunate to meet a large number of clients and market participants, both banks and their ecosystem partners, in a series of more than two dozen meetings.

In each country Celent hosted a half-day session on digital innovation. Attendance was good and discussion spirited; digital and omnichannel is a topic that every bank across the region wrestles with. Their service providers, too, are keenly interested in the topic.

What struck me as particularly noteworthy, however, was that a large number of providers are trying to reposition themselves in the marketplace. Their (legacy) brands are extraordinarily strong, which is a blessing and a curse. Brand strength is great, but when it’s associated with a technology that’s in decline, and not yet associated with new areas of investment, then vendors are put in a difficult position because they don’t get the calls associated with that new fintech. A common question for us was, “how do I get the message out about this new solution I’ve developed?”

There’s no one answer, but I’d suggest to banks that they cast a wide net when looking to address their new technology problems; many of their historical partners are learning (or at least trying to learn) new tricks. That their marketing (broadly defined) has yet to catch up shouldn’t dissuade banks from seeing what new solutions they have to offer.

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Nominations for the Fifth Annual Celent Model Insurer Asia Awards (2015 Awards) are now Open!

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Sep 19th, 2014

Every year, Celent recognizes the effective use of technology in the Asia Pacific region through its Model Insurer Asia Awards program. The nomination period for 2014 has already open. If you know of an insurance company which exhibits best practices in the use of technology, please click here and complete the nomination form. Submissions are being accepted until 31 October 2014.

Through our Model Insurer Asia Awards Program, Celent recognizes the year’s top technology initiatives. Past winners received their recognition through outstanding implementation of technology areas such as agent portals, document management, claims, billing, distribution management, and policy administration. Past winners include Max Bupa Health Insurance, Ageas Insurance Company (Asia), AXA Asia, Birla Sun Life Insurance, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Yingda Taihe Property Insurance, and Cathay Century Insurance, to name a few.

Celent’s Model Insurer research is designed to try to answer the deceptively simple question: What would it look like for an insurer to do everything right with today’s technology?

Obviously, the question is not as simple as it appears. The terms “everything” and “right” will mean very different things to different companies. The approach that Celent has taken is to tease out high level best practices in the use of technology across the product and policyholder life cycle and in IT infrastructure and management that a Model Insurer would use.

On the back of the global Model Insurer research by our colleagues in North America and Europe, we at Celent Asia are conducting an Asia Pacific specific program to identify the potentially unique Model Insurer solutions that have been recently deployed in our region.

Of course, there is no such thing as a Model Insurer Asia across the board. Therefore, we focus on specific real world examples of individual technology initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. These case studies are presented at Celent’s annual Model Insurer Asia event and represent key themes:

•Legacy and ecosystem transformation: Legacy technology can hinder innovation, since insurers must typically offer backward compatibility. Insurers must not only modernize, but also transform their internal systems and how they interact with customers, counterparties, and regulators. This theme recognizes projects related to core system replacement or transformation including policy administration, billing, claims, and rating/underwriting.

•Digital and omnichannel technologies: Digital transformation is moving from person-to-person interaction toward person-to-machine or machine-to-machine. Integrating and coordinating among disparate and siloed delivery channels will be critical to satisfying ever-increasing customer expectations. Using the definition that digital automates complex tasks, allowing them to be mastered, then reproduced and distributed at no cost, this theme recognizes projects such as online customer portals; industrialization of processes; engaging user interfaces; online sales with STP; integration with business partners; leveraging social networks; and the use of mobile technology.

•Innovation and emerging technologies: Celent defines innovation as fundamental changes to products, services, or business models that break existing tradeoffs and provide value to the customer. New hardware, software, and network technologies feed insurance innovation. This theme recognizes projects such as the expansion into previously untapped markets due to technology; the use of technologies not previously used in the insurance industry; or the development of an innovation culture within an IT organization.

•Data mastery and analytics: Data has become a key source of competitive advantage for identifying profitable niches, managing risk, and improving service. New external data sources, data derived from devices, and new techniques for interpreting data are pushing the competitive boundaries for insurers at an accelerated rate. This theme recognizes projects such as predictive analytics (claims fraud, underwriting, pricing, climate analysis); prescriptive analytics (triage, sales automation, “next best action”); and virtualization (dashboards and heat maps, catastrophe management, network analysis, geopolitical risk analysis).

•Non-core implementation best practices: What does it take to safeguard investments in technology and answer the inevitable question, “What’s next?” This theme recognizes projects such as successful reuse of technology for new initiatives; implementation of a non-core system such as illustrations, document automation, electronic applications, or agency management systems; or finding successes in new methods and processes for distribution and sales.

An important note is that a Model Insurer Asia Award is recognition of an insurer’s effective use of technology in a certain area or theme, not necessarily a statement that the insurer is Best in Class. Model Insurer Asia success highlights the insurer’s ability to improve performance and meet market demands when tackling issues facing the industry today.

To nominate an initiative at your company as a Model Insurer Asia, please use the brief form on here: Nomination form. Please note that vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive an award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done primarily with the insurer, not the vendor.

Guidelines for Celent Model Insurer Asia Award Submissions:

This information will assist you in completing the nomination form. Below are generalized criteria that are considered by Celent when evaluating submissions.

General submission and award criteria:

•The initiative has been implemented in the Asia Pacific region at an insurance company, a company that takes on risks under the policies it sells in return for the payment of premiums. MGA, TPAs or self-insured companies are not eligible for nomination.
•The nominated initiative is LIVE (in production) and functioning at the insurance company. Pilot programs are not considered live and in production.
•The nominated insurer has been involved in the submission and is willing to be actively involved in the post submission evaluation process which includes follow up emails and interviews, and possible inclusion in the Celent Model Insurer Asia report.
•Quantitative success metrics are measured and provided. Nominations without quantitative success metrics will not be accepted.
•Quantifiable results from a pilot program are acceptable however it must be noted that the results are from a pilot. Full production results are preferred.
•The initiative has not been submitted for another Celent 2015 Award, e.g., Model Insurer.

Quality of Nominations

The importance of the quality of the nomination itself, and of the supporting information, cannot be overemphasized. The nomination should be as specific, accurate, and complete as possible. It is imperative that the true merits of the initiative be conveyed through this information. Keep in mind that in most cases those involved in the selection process will have no personal knowledge of the nominated initiative and will lean heavily on the information provided below for the information they need to make reasonable judgments. In some cases, Celent will check publicly available information to augment or substantiate the information provided.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, October 31, 2014. Once submitted, all communication will occur between Celent and the insurer, however Celent will acknowledge the receipt of the submission with both the insurer and, if applicable, the vendor partner.

Apple Watch is a game changer

Neil Katkov

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Sep 10th, 2014

The Apple Watch unveiled a few hours ago is a game changer. Even if the “iWatch” flops, the voice input function will have a profound effect on lifestyles, finally liberating users from the tedious and clumsy digital (as in fingers) input that has dominated human-device interaction since the advent of the typewriter (actually since the invention of writing).

Like the smartphone and the tablet before it, the Apple Watch marks another giant leap in usability, and in turn has the potential to boost adoption of digital financial services. In a best case scenario, mobile payments, digital wealth management services, and biomonitor-based insurance could all reach their long-awaited tipping points and achieve widespread adoption.

It should come as no surprise due to Apple’s reputation for design, but the fact that the Apple Watch looks like a watch,  not a Dick Tracy-era device, will be a major factor in its adoption. The slim form factor and accuracy of the timepiece place the iWatch squarely in the jewelry accessories market as much as in the smart device market. This is a virtual first in the computing industry (it is hard to imagine many people wearing the clunky Samsung Gear as a fashion statement) and its significance in driving demand for the device should not be underestimated. No doubt we will see iWatch shops in the jewelry sections of department stores globally before long.

Nominations for the 2014 Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) are now open

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Aug 12th, 2014

The Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) recognize excellence and innovation in the use of technology within the insurance industry in the Asia Pacific Region.

Nominations for the 2014 AITA Awards are now open. Please find more information on Celent website http://www.celent.com/aita, and you can download the nomination form from there. The deadline for submitting the nomination form is 15 September 2014.

AITA AWARDS CATEGORIES

IT Leadership Award

This award honours an individual who has displayed clear vision and leadership in the delivery of technology to the business. The recipient will have been responsible for deriving genuine value from technology and has demonstrated this trait with a specific project or through ongoing leadership.

Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Best Insurer: Technology

This award honours the insurer who has made the most progress in embracing technology across the organisation. The recipient will have deployed game changing technology projects in the area of core insurance and broker processes.

Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Digital Transformation Award

This award honours an insurer or broker who has made the most progress in implementing digitization initiatives, such as sale and service of products online, eco-system integration (such as with business partners, repair shops, medical providers, distribution, etc.), leveraging social networks, work-place enablement (such as BYOD, collaboration tools, etc.), business process automation (STP), engaging user interface design, or analytics (analyse customer behavior, propensity, risks, etc.).

Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Best Mobile Application

This award recognises the insurer who has exhibited true innovation in the use of mobile technology. The recipient will have developed a unique and compelling application not seen elsewhere in the industry.

Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Newcomer of the Year

This award recognizes the best new player in the insurance technology field. The recipient will have introduced a game-changing solution to the industry.

Nominations accepted from insurers or vendors.

Innovation Award

This award recognizes the innovation business model or in the usage of technology.

Nominations accepted from insurers or vendors.

Innovation in the Japanese Financial Services Industry, Part 2: Panel Discussion

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Jul 22nd, 2014

Celent hosted Innovation & Insight Day Tokyo on June 5. Following the event presentation titled “Digital Financial Services and New Innovation Initiatives,” which focused on Celent’s innovation survey results, a panel discussion was held.

This is the second in a two-part report providing an overview of event proceedings.

 

Five leading experts in Japan’s financial industry joined the event as panelists. Celent would like to offer a heartfelt thank-you to these individuals for taking part despite the pressure and the presence of competition and many disclaimers. The panelists’ wealth of experience and sheer passion for innovation was palpable and the content thought provoking. Above all, the impassioned and experience-informed comments of panelists displayed the confidence of Japan’s financial industry. Below are some of the more salient comments that demonstrate the spirit and mindset of innovators in Japan.

What motivates your firm to innovate?

  • “Responding to customer expectations.”
  • “A backdrop of growing user needs and the proliferation of technology and the environment to meet these needs.”
  • “Our objective is to remove all inconvenience from the customer experience.”
  • “We aspire to offer financial services that achieve exactly what people feel they need and consumers think they want.”
  • “Innovation is the lifeblood and fate of a corporation.”

 

What drives innovation at your firm?

  • “Aligning innovation objectives and technology employed.”
  • “Integrating technology and compliance is important.”
  • “Amplifying the motivation and drive of each employee to take action.”
  • “Reflecting the intentions of management.”
  • “Resisting the temptation to seek short-term growth.”
  • “Supporting management philosophies that bet on uniqueness.”

 

The threat and opportunity of disruptive innovation

During the proceedings there were questions and opinions from participants exchanged with the moderator:

  • “There is no special opportunity for innovation. It is important to reflect innovation in daily management. That is something that we have done since we started our business and something that we will continue to do. Innovation is simply naturally part of what we do.”
  • “We do not see disruptive innovation as a threat. Rather, for the development of the industry as a whole, the kind of shakeout such innovation entails is necessary. We will undergo challenges and survive—and look to take on more such challenges.”

 

Celent concluded the event with the below message.

Managers: Have faith and confidence in innovation

The importance of leadership and management responsibility in innovation is self-evident. At the same time, innovation is a mid-to-long-term journey—more a marathon, than a sprint. Failure is sometimes to be allowed. In addition, it is not uncommon to destroy a corporate culture that has been fostered over many years. An intense commitment to innovation on the part of management itself is required. Technological drivers continue to advance and case studies of successes only increase. Mangers: Be confident.

 

Distinguish between disruptive innovation and kaizen (improvement), and the need to tackle the former

The greatest factors hampering the progress of disruptive innovation are not to be found outside a company but within it. Especially within large corporations, where tendencies such as the below are seen; conversely, these tends to derail innovation. These tendencies include the following.

  • Compared with start-ups and small or medium enterprises, large firms boast a wealth of capital and business resources.
  • In particular, these resources include human resources and technology, which can be channeled to R&D.
  • These companies often have business operations that require 360-degree management and much competition
  • Such firms are often home to isolated “black sheep” employees that seek to innovate.

If you neglect innovation, cannibalization can be expected to take place not only in your core business areas but in new businesses as well. To keep innovators from being ostracized as black sheep, it is important to clearly distinguish between the accumulation of kaizen (improvement) on a daily basis in core operations and disruptive innovation, and, in particular, it is important to direct management and initiative toward the latter.

 

Initiatives and leadership that are not negative contribute to positive value standards

Of course, trusting in your management resources, in particular in your personnel and technology, and putting effort into your business battles over “invisible continents,” “immeasurable risk” and “non-consuming consumers” is important. However, in such challenges when results do not appear with time, then you should not underestimate the power of disruptive innovation. Furthermore, it is key “to always be positive.” Leadership and initiatives that acknowledge and embrace diversity and difference and that do not deny any possibility are needed.

 

Today no industry or industrial structure is immune to change and, like plate tectonics, the ground around us is always shifting. Digital technology is doing more than changing products, services, consumer experiences, and expectations; it is also radically changing value chains and business models.

Until now, Japan’s financial industry has developed by virtue of outstanding leadership and the agile introduction of technology. Celent would like to emphasize anew the importance of innovation to Japan’s financial industry, buttressed as it is by people and technology. The results of Celent’s recent innovation survey hinted at further reform to come in Japan’s financial industry. When it comes to innovation, now is an opportune time for commitments from top management and fresh initiatives from technology vendors.

Undertaking this innovation conference was a major challenge for Celent Tokyo. However, any undue anxiety completely vanished amidst the enthusiasm of survey and event participants. The Japanese financial industry is extremely positive and enthusiastic when it comes to innovation. Celent would like to express its deep gratitude to the professionals in the financial industry who took time to participate in this event in various capacities, and we hope that it will prove in some way useful to your continued success.

 

Fig. 2 Structures to Support Innovation: Financial Services Institution / Vendor Comparison

FIG2_20140703

Source: Celent Innovation Survey 2013/2014

Innovation in the Japanese Financial Services Industry, Part 1: Two Gaps

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Jul 22nd, 2014

On June 5, nearly 120 individuals from Japan’s financial sector and the financial technology sector gathered to participate in our Innovation & Insight Day Tokyo 2014. This is the first of a two-part recap providing an event overview and recounting event highlights.

The first keynote address compared the May 2014 Japan Financial Industry Innovation Survey with a similar global Celent survey conducted last October. This comparison pointed to two existing gaps.

 

Gap Number One: A Leadership Gap

1. Perception of the importance of innovation

“The next few years innovation will be extremely important. Customer expectations are changing very rapidly and it is crucial to act so as not to fall behind.” The ratio of respondents who agreed with this statement was similar in Japan and globally as shown below.

  • Global: 79%, Japan: 81%

—Conclusion: There can be no doubting the importance of innovation.

 

2. Leadership and innovation initiatives

“Our firm has an individual in charge of innovation (a chief innovation officer).”

  • Global: 11%, Japan: 7%

“We have an organization in charge of innovation (center of excellence).”

  • Global: 27%, Japan: 7%

“Innovation-related leadership relies on proponents at the CEO level.”

  • Global: 62%, Japan: 85%

—Conclusion: There was a clear lack of leadership among top management when it comes to innovation initiatives.

 

3. Three significant impediments

Global: 1) Daily work operation routines, 2) Internal habits and practices, 3) Inadequate support system.

Japan: 1) Internal habits and practices, 2) Lack of senior management support, 3) Daily work operation routines.

—Conclusion: Both globally and in Japan, in contrast to the high levels of awareness of the importance of innovation, at financial institutions there was a distinct lack of leadership.

 

Gap Number Two: Gap Between Financial Institutions and Vendors

The Japan survey asked both financial institutions and financial solution vendors about innovation-related initiatives. Responses indicated another gap here between financial institutions and these vendors.

1. Years promoting innovation

There was no significant difference between financial institutions and vendors, with both recording similar figures:

  • Three years or less: 54%, Five years or more: 30%

—Conclusion: Financial institutions seem to interpret the fact that technology-supplying vendors possess approximately the same level of experience as themselves as meaning that innovative initiatives cannot benefit from sufficient experience.

 

2. Organizational and structural

“A chief innovation officer has been appointed”

  • Vendors: 24%, Financial institutions: 7%

“Have established a center of excellence”

  • Vendors: 14%, Financial institutions: 7%

“CEO-level proponents of innovation are relied upon for leadership”

  • Vendors: 67%, Financial institutions: 85%

—Conclusion: With a slightly lower degree of reliance on upper level management for innovation leadership, vendors are slightly superior.

 

3. Departments that lead innovation

Financial institutions:

  • Business departments lead: 30%, IT departments lead: 11%

Vendor innovation proposals:

  • Directed to business departments: 14%, Directed to IT departments: 17%

Undertaking initiatives in both business and IT areas:

  • Financial institutions: 59%, Vendors: 69%

—Conclusion: There is a visible gap between financial institution innovation IT initiatives and vendor business sector initiatives.

 

4. Digital financial services initiatives

There was also a visible gap when it came to the priority level of digital financial services (innovative financial services that harness digital technology) as advocated by Celent.

  • Financial institution priority areas: Process improvements, transaction feature enhancements, product and service customization
  • Vendor initiative areas: Three sectors were overwhelmingly dominant: big data, mobile two-way communication, omnichannel

—Conclusion: Survey results indicated a general tendency for financial institutions to be more conservative and vendor proposals to be more aggressive.

 

What exactly is this gap and what does it signify? This gap is between the proposals of vendors that feature the newest or hottest technology and the initiatives of financial institutions, which have yet to recognize the advantages of or are still evaluating such technology or technological initiatives. At the very least, currently it is easy to see that, unfortunately, vendors and financial institutions are not yet on the same page when in comes to what they are looking for in initiatives. Moreover, it could be that even if new technology is applied incrementally (to drive improvement) it could also prove to be a driver of disruptive innovation.

In addition to responses that can be numerically tabulated and analyzed, the survey also allowed participants to articulate freely their own invaluable opinions. A more detailed analysis of this survey and examination of innovation in the financial industry in Japan will be available in the upcoming Celent report “Innovation in the Japanese Financial Services Industry: The Gap between Management and Initiatives.” Please be on the lookout for it.

 

Fig. 1 Comparison with Other Industries: Global / Japan Comparison

Compared with other industries, financial services firms (e.g., banks, insurers, asset managers) innovate…

FIG1_20140703

Source: Celent Innovation Survey 2013/2014

 

日本の金融機関におけるイノベーション②:パネルディスカッションから

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Jul 22nd, 2014

セレントは、去る6月5日、「イノベーション&インサイト・デー 東京 2014」を開催した。「デジタル金融サービスと新たなイノベーションの取り組み」と題した本イベントでは、セレントによるイノベーションサーベイの報告に引き続き、パネルディスカッションを実施した。
本稿は、本イベント報告の第2回である。

 

当日は、日本の金融業界を代表する5人のパネリストにご登壇頂いた。競合とディスクレーマーの強い圧力の中でのご登壇に、セレントは深く感謝申し上げたい。そして何より、パネリストのイノベーションへの情熱と経験、示唆に富む発言内容には、日本の金融業界の自信が感じられた。以下、発言者は特定せず、日本のイノベーターの「心意気」をまとめる。

 

イノベーションの動機

  • 「顧客の期待に応えるために」
  • 「ユーザニーズの高まりと、それを実現する環境や技術の普及を背景として」
  • 「顧客経験の不都合をなくすことを目的に」
  • 「人の気持ち、生活者の想いを実現する金融サービスの提供を目指して」
  • 「イノベーションとは、企業の宿命である」

 

イノベーションのドライバー

  • 「イノベーションの目的と採用する技術とのアライン(整合)」
  • 「テクノロジーとコンプライアンスの摺合せが重要」
  • 「従業員ひとりひとりの取り組み姿勢(やる気)が加速」
  • 「あくまでマネージメントの意思を反映」
  • 「爆発的な成長への誘惑を絶ち」
  • 「ユニークさに賭ける経営哲学が支える」

 

破壊的イノベーションの脅威と機会
会場からの質問、モデレータ―からの問いかけに答えて、

  • 「イノベーションの機会に、特別なものは無い。日々のマネージメントにイノベーションを反映することが重要、創業以来そうしてきたし、これからも続ける。イノベーションは自然体」
  • 「破壊的なイノベーションに、脅威は感じない。むしろ、業界全体の発展のためには、そうした荒波が必要。そうしたチャレンジは受けて立つし、そのようなチャレンジを続けてゆきたい」

 

最後に、セレントからは以下のメッセージで締めくくった。
経営者は、イノベーションに自信を
イノベーションにおける経営者の責任とリーダーシップの重要性は自明である。一方で、イノベーションは中長期にわたる旅で、時には失敗も許容する必要がある。また、長年かけて培った自らの企業文化すら打ち壊すことも稀ではない。経営者自身のイノベーションへの強烈なコミットメントを要求される。ドライバーとなるテクノロジーは日進月歩だが、確実に成功事例は増えている。経営者には、自信を持って欲しい。

 

破壊的なイノベーションと「改善(カイゼン)」を区分して、前者に取り組む必要性
破壊的なイノベーションが進展しない最大の理由は企業の外ではなく、内に存在する。特に、大企業には以下の性向が見られるが、これらはむしろ破壊的なイノベーションを回避させる。すなわち;

  • 中小企業やスタートアップと比較して、圧倒的に潤沢な資金
  • R&Dに投入できる十分な経営資源(特に、人と技術)
  • (360度のマネージメントが必要な)多様な事業部門と多くの競合
  • 孤立する「ブラックシープ(黒い羊)」

イノベーションを放置すれば、カニバリゼーション(共食い)は、自社のコア業務領域ばかりでなく、あらゆるニュービジネスにおいて発生してしまうであろう。イノベーターを嫌われ者の黒い羊として追放させないために、コア業務における日々のカイゼン(改善)の積み上げと、破壊的なイノベーションを峻別し、後者にこそ、マネージメントとイニシアチブを向けることが重要である。

 

「否定しない」リーダーシップとイニシアチブ
自社の経営資源、特に人材と技術力を信じ、「見えない大陸」や「測れないリスク」、「無消費な消費者」との戦いに傾注することが大切だ。遅々として成果が表れないこうした挑戦における、破壊的なイノベーションの威力を軽視してはならない。そして、常に「肯定的であること」。多様性や異質であること是認し、あらゆる可能性を否定しないリーダーシップとイニシアチブが待望される。

 

今日、産業構造が変わらない業界などどこにもなく、その地殻変動は随所で進展している。デジタルテクノロジーは、商品やサービス、顧客のエクスペリエンスや期待を変化させるだけでなく、価値連鎖やビジネスモデルそのものも、激変させている。

日本の金融業界は、これまでも、卓越したリーダーシップと俊敏な技術導入で発展して来た。人とテクノロジーが支える日本の金融業界、そこでのイノベーションの重要性をセレントは再度強調したい。2つのイノベーションサーベイの結果は、日本の金融業界に一層の変革を促す示唆を与えた。今こそ、イノベーションに関して、トップマネージメントのコミットメントと、テクノロジーベンダーのイニチアチブが期待される。

本イノベーションイベントは、セレント東京にとって、大きな挑戦だったが、サーベイとカンファレンスへの参加者の熱気は、そうした杞憂を一掃した。日本の金融業界は、イノベーションに対して極めて積極的かつ熱心である。セレントは、様々な形で本イベントにご参加下さった、金融業界のプロフェッショナルの皆様に深く感謝し、日本の金融機関におけるイノベーションの成功を熱望する。

 

図 2. イノベーションを支援する組織(金融機関・ベンダー比較)

Innovation survey2

出典: セレント「イノベーションサーベイ」2013/2014