With the rapid proliferation of smart devices and increased broadband access, enterprises have accelerated their adoption of mobility solutions. During 2015, the enterprise segment made significant investments in cloud technologies, big data analytics and virtualisation, with the aim of increasing customer engagement, tapping emerging opportunities and enhancing productivity. However, the lack of a robust support infrastructure in terms of network bandwidth remains a key challenge for enterprises in the information and communication technology (ICT) space. Select enterprise customers comment on the key technology trends in the enterprise space during 2015 and the mobility applications adopted by them, the challenges associated with the introduction of new applications, and the technology roadmap for 2016…
What were the key technology trends in the enterprise space during 2015?
In 2015, the key technology trends that ruled the enterprise space were big data analytics, internet of things, digital technologies, non-negotiable security, easier payments, embedded communication and real-time connected wearable devices.
What is the current level of adoption of mobility solutions by Indian enterprises? What are the key challenges faced by them in adopting new technologies?
Industry is in the midst of a transition that occurs once every 100 years. To stay ahead of the unfolding trends and disruptions, leaders across industries will need to challenge their assumptions and pressure-test their strategies. Mobility solutions often lower entry barriers, causing long-established boundaries between sectors to crumble. At the same time, the plug-and-play nature of digital assets causes value chains to disaggregate, creating openings for focused, fast moving competitors.
Some of the challenges faced while adopting new technologies are: scarcity of talent with the right technical skills, relentlessly evolving business requirements at higher velocity due to market competition, and integrating state-of-the-art digital technology with legacy back-end applications.
What were some of the technology-related initiatives that your company adopted during the past year? What new initiatives are you planning to take in the near future?
The year 2015 was one of mobility for PNB Metlife. We piloted the eBranch mobile solution that greatly helped our agents engage customers in a convenient, interactive and friendly manner. eBranch is integrated with all back-end applications, allowing straight-through processing of applications. Gone are the days where our agents needed to carry reams of documentation and forms; now all they need is a tablet. It also allows the agents to be rapidly supported by the back office team as we extend access securely via the mobile device. This will be launched shortly.
In addition, we launched our revamped mobile responsive website with a state-of-the-art content management system. Through our website, we are attracting our Gen Y customers by launching products that they can buy directly from the website. This allows them to do their needs analysis, compare our products with other insurance products in the market and make an informed decision. We launched two online products for customers – MetLife Mera Term Plan and MetLife Major Illness Premium Back Cover (Critical Illness Return of Premium).
“In 2015, the key technology trends that ruled the enterprise space were big data analytics, internet of things, digital technologies, non-negotiable security, easier payments, embedded communication and real-time connected wearable devices.” Ashu Gupta
Which technologies are likely to gain traction among enterprises in 2016?
In 2016, cloud computing will gain the most traction. Cloud solutions are very suitable for low-risk investments like a company’s website, which, in today’s technology, can be rapidly deployed and, if needed, failed over to another cloud provider. The rapid scalability also allows us to periodically scale up capacity during campaign periods where we receive higher web hits as compared to off periods. So that’s definitely a key advantage with cloud solutions and a business like insurance which thrives on marketing activities that undergo peaks and troughs in engagement. In technology-speak, we see cloud as the fast side of “two-speed IT”, where agility and speed are required. Systems that are more consistent (requirements evolve slowly) and require a high level of security and regulatory as well as governance controls will likely continue to be deployed in traditional on-premises solutions.