Between the Devil and the deep blue sea - VERMEG

Between the Devil and the deep blue sea By Dale Eastham, Senior Digital Transformation Consultant

When it comes to Digital Transformation, the perceived risk for banks and insurers is on one side, eternal damnation for trying, or on the other drowning because they did nothing.

100% Digital challenger FinTech brands do not have this issue, but they are struggling to gain market share and move into profitability, because customers are for the moment loyal to the brands they know and grew up with.

For the established players, however, doing nothing is not a sustainable position, ultimately over time, as brands like Kodak, and many others found to their cost.

What am I talking about?

In the last 10+ years, banks and insurers found themselves in a dilemma. They had been losing sleep managing ‘Run the Service’ operations – whose performance is at risk due to creaking legacy core systems. They also have an IT estate consisting of an array of distributed systems they had bought for specific product lines all on different technologies and servers.

Many of the systems have been modified and adapted from their “out of the box” configuration at great cost by developers with niche skills and bespoke knowledge which could not be replaced in the market. That is an issue when those coders are retiring.

As a result, a lot of innovation and change had to take a back seat, as budgets were spent on technical debt.

The emergence of APIs and new digital technology meant that many quick fix, bolt-on solutions were developed over time sitting on top of the legacy services – ‘freeze and wrap’.

This is a good approach for some, however over time, that core system becomes even older and will need to be replaced in time. Then as part of that migration, can the bolt on solutions be reused or will they need to be rebuilt again?

Some services might have been cutover to cloud SaaS solutions however this might not meet the complex needs of your business.

So where do you start, the estate now contains a wide estate of technologies, complex systems some of which are fragile or carry the risk of reputational damage if the migration does not launch well?

Plus, sales teams and customers expect easy to use tools for onboarding, account management and self-servicing, to match the digital experience the FAANG’s offer. This means a capability for delivering continuous integration and development is a key requirement;– any new platform needs to offer the agility to build new ways of working – rapidly prototyping, testing, learning and evolving.

At VERMEG, our experience and Clients agree that we step back,  to take a look at one journey at a time, with the salesperson and customer at the centre of the point of view, we get a clear view of the gaps, break points, opportunity for improvements.

Removing the dependency on changing the back office first, we can build a new journey insulated from the underlying service by a messaging layer. Later, this can be integrated to new back office systems, so you do not have to throw away your investment.

For those wanting to build their own applications, VERMEG accelerates the time to market, with a unique combination of a low code design studio and a vast store of reusable assets we have developed (over 100 of them). So your citizen developers can visually design their own solution or start with our pre-built journey and grow from there with low risk. This brings neatly together the expertise of business and technical talent – which we call BizDevOps.

Would that kind of agility and collaboration, and rethinking from the stakeholders’ point of view increase sales productivity and customer satisfaction? Evidence would suggest that is this case.

Loyalty to brand is hard to maintain these days, the user experience, speed, peace of mind in terms of security are all going to help with retention and growth.

With more than 550 clients in over 40 countries, and more than 1100 employees, VERMEG is the European leader in insurance management solutions and a global leading finance software provider. VERMEG covers the whole value chain:

Packaged software for:

  • Pension & Life Insurance
  • Wealth & Asset Management
  • Financial Markets & Securities Services
  • Property & Casualty Insurance
  • Regulatory Reporting

Digital transformation enablement

As well as building packaged software, as our Clients’ needs  evolved, we have also created our leading edge Software Application development platform. Clients select VERMEG because we are enabling them to leverage our library of over 200 componentised assets and low code / no code interface. Non-developers can design and build bespoke software applications – tools for their sales force, easy to use omnichannel self-servicing channels for their end customers, breaking down siloed systems and broken journeys to increase productivity, customer satisfaction levels and sales.

Further to this, in fact, we have built a series of out of the box digital journeys which can be the basis for rapid prototyping of concepts and an accelerated time to market for the minimum viable product, so you can pilot, test, learn, adapt – an industrialised model we call “BizdevOps”.

It’s empowering our Clients to make low risk, low cost bold decisions with confidence and it’s working. We act as your technology partner.

So, in summary you are not choosing the deep blue sea, you are paddling in warm waters and your customers and sales teams will not condemn you to eternal damnation!