The need for brokers to be able to work anywhere, anytime has never been more acute than now. Brokers without this capability over the last few months have no doubt learned the hard way about the downsides of sticking with aged legacy systems.
The benefits of solutions that enable working on the move are not new to the market. Cloud-based broker platforms, not yet implemented widely in the UK and London broker community, have been more extensively adopted elsewhere globally for several years.
The Covid-19 pandemic, whilst tragic in so many ways, has brought the need for remote working into the spotlight. For many brokers, it has acted as the catalyst for change that has been needed for a long time in London, as clients expect the same level of service they are used to from other more digitally integrated businesses in day-to-day life.
Scaling to mobile
'Scaling to mobile' is about taking remote working to the next level to support growth; having the capacity, capability, core systems, processes, and governance in place to fully support client requirements when away from the office.
In our changing world, with the constant demands for growth, improved client service, and reduced operating costs, it is essential to not only be able to work anywhere, anytime, but also to do so in a scalable way.
With legacy systems such as Citrix, costs go up significantly as a business grows and more users come on board, whereas with a cloud-based platform the costs per person come down with growth as the majority of the costs are fixed.
Remote working aside, the world has not changed so much for the larger brokers. They may be under pressure to perform by clients, particularly in the current hardening market, but they have been acting more like consultants than traditional brokers for some time with both major clients and specialty risks.
Smaller and mid-tier brokers, however, face more of a challenge. For many of their clients the focus is now on cost, so how do they add value whilst still growing and making a profit?
The answer is in ‘scaling to mobile’. Having the right cloud-based platform in place with the capacity and capability to support market demand, with the processing of lower value items being automated to delegated authority facilities, with a quote and bind set-up. This means their focus can be on growing the business with bigger clients and more lucrative complex risks.
During the pandemic, the focus has been on working as seamlessly as possible from home. However, the next step will be more about working on the move.
To offer a full service away from their desk, brokers need to be able to access all of their clients’ data, including claims information and reserves, etc. Closing deals aside, not having the capability to do this simply comes across as outdated and unprofessional, which can erode trust in the business and brand.
The good news for the C-suite is that, as recent events have shown, they do not need 1,000 seats in an expensive central London office, when they can have 500 hot-desks and save hugely on their fixed office costs. I would not be investing in central London commercial property right now.
For today’s COOs, who are now younger on average and more open to new technologies, it is no longer about bums on seats; it’s about productivity, which can be easily measured with the right cloud-based platform in place.
For many brokers, migrating systems has often seemed like a time consuming and expensive process, however the benefits of scaling to mobile, and the downsides of inaction, have become so compelling that they can no longer be ignored.