Connect with us

Technology

AN APPLE A DAY LETS THE MILLENIALS PLAY

Published

on

neomove-iwatch

Social changes in managing corporate travel and expenses are being drive by Generation Y workforce with wearable technology and duplicitous devices

Kate Roe

Kate Roe

Kate Roe, VP Marketing at KDS, a global provider of corporate travel solutions, looks at what the trend for smart watches and wearable technology could mean for managing corporate travel and expenses.

Generation Y.  They are the Y in the BYOD phenomena of recent years and are also becoming the driving force behind the huge wearables trend in the workplace. WYOD.  Trips off the tongue about as well as it B-led predecessor, right?  If you’ve not heard it before, you’ll surely be familiar with the scenario: a colleague who’s perhaps returned after their Christmas break or latest birthday milestone sporting a rather fetching smart watch or fitness tracker. They seem to be growing in quantity everywhere I look.

So, as the BYOD expands to incorporate WYOD, it also presents an opportunity for companies to make the most of staff owned devices for corporate travel. Managers need to understand the challenges, mitigate the risks and maximise the opportunity. These challenges are at both a departmental and strategic level, and are especially apparent in the case of business travel.

Employees are increasingly coming to work with their own smart watches, phones, tablets and laptops.  Why are employees seeking such autonomy and what challenges does this pose to managers at the departmental and strategic level? In particular, how does it affect an employers’ ability to ensure their duty of care over staff, or control costs?

Our tools shape our thinking. In previous centuries, our tools and lives were much the same as our grandparents’. Accelerating technological development has ended such generational continuity, and we are now in a world where major shifts in personal technology and social relations are separated by years not decades. We are not only 10 years into the era of smartphones and social networks and already it is hard to imagine life without them.

For business, the challenge is not only to leverage the latest technologies to better compete, but also to understand, accommodate and support the new generations of employees.

neomove-iwatchSometimes referred to as Generation Y or millennials, this generation now represents the largest proportion of the current workforce and brings expectations shaped by the tools and capabilities of modern life. Any question can be Googled, friends and colleagues can be networked instantly, for any task there is an app. For millennials, immediacy is normal. A recent Inc.com article pronounced them the “most radically different generation since the industrial revolution. This Generation Y has arguably become the smartest, most opinionated, and globally astute group of consumers”. What’s more, the changes driven by this workforce are also being adopted by their predecessors.

Trying to find the right balance of freedom and control for hyper-connected and highly autonomous employees is a tough task for any manager. Most corporates have invested in a managed travel program, crafting a policy to reflect the company’s values and goals. They have negotiated deals with preferred suppliers and provided a corporate application for bookings and making associated expense claims. However, today’s workforce is used to to booking personal travel on easy-to-use consumer apps. Therefore, because corporate applications tend to be clunky and restrictive, travellers naturally revert to booking their travel outside the corporate environment.

The risks of booking directly outside of the managed program  include:

  • Duty of care – If you don’t know where they are, you can’t help them
  • Irresponsible spend – No way to know if travellers are over-spending, or measure the loss
  • Loss of preferred supplier deals – Negotiated rates are renewed based on volume

Fortunately, technology offers solutions. The latest business travel and expense (T&E) applications bridge the gap between corporate/management concerns and employee expectations. By emulating consumer applications, they can woo employees back into the company fold.

For example, rather than piecing together the different segments of a trip, modern solutions will offer a logical, intuitive way of booking an itinerary:  travellers input their starting point, where they need to be and when, and within seconds, the application proposes a bookable, cohesive, policy-compliant set of services (taxi, flight, hotel, etc.) presented as a “door-to-door” timeline including costs of bookable segments and estimated travel expenses.  Advanced features include pre-populating the traveller’s expense report to submit on return. The traveller saves hours compared to the usual process of researching and booking individual elements of their trip. And because these solutions estimate costs for transfers, meals and other extras, managers can understand and make approval decisions based on the predicted total cost of an entire trip. True demand management of this kind can lead to significant savings.

Beyond booking travel and submitting expenses, modern solutions also offer an on-trip assistant and expense capture app. Designed initially for tablets and smartphones, these on-trip applications are now also available for wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch. Gone are the days of mental gymnastics to determine how long before the gate closes, which tube station to stop at or where to pick up the rental car. The smarter apps even capture your receipts on the go, saving travellers hours in collating bits of papers and trying to remember where they spent what. These solutions are a great example of businesses adapting to Generation Y employees. The employee gets their consumer-grade experience, while companies can track employee movement promote preferred suppliers and see productivity and staff satisfaction increase. Meanwhile, this new insight into the total “door to door” cost of travel empowers senior management to better craft policy and to control costs.

The smartest new talent inevitably uses the smartest new technology. Attracting and retaining this talent will increasingly hinge on businesses meeting the expectations and technological demands of a younger workforce. Although this digitally savvy generation expects better tools and processes, many managers agree they are often more willing to adapt to corporate policy than previous generations. But the pace of technological change is increasing and corporations need to keep up. After all, in a few years, we will be hiring Generation Z so now is the time to act to keep pace and better yet, stay ahead.

Technology

InsurTech is helping to drive the digital evolution of the UK motor retail industry

Published

on

InsurTech is helping to drive the digital evolution of the UK motor retail industry 1

By Alan Inskip, Tempcover CEO & Founder

If the last nine months have made anything clear, it is that the pandemic has fundamentally changed both buying and driving habits for UK motorists. The latest Tempcover research has revealed that online-only used car sales had increased fifteen-fold during the pandemic among 2,000 survey respondents.

Before lockdown, just 4% of used car sales were fully-digital. The vast majority of those surveyed opted for either a physical purchase (50%) or a digitally-assisted purchase (45%), relying on a combination of digital tools and an in person viewing or road test before buying.

While car sales overall are down on last year’s figures*, one in six (17%) of those surveyed had bought a used car during lockdown, with two thirds (64%) relying on a fully-digital purchase journey. Digitally-assisted purchases counted for one in five (20%) used car sales, while in person sales fell to just 15% – no surprise considering the ongoing social distancing measures.

And when it comes to arranging insurance for their recently-purchased vehicle, our survey participants displayed an equal balance between telephone and online as the preferred method (48% each). Nearly a third of those (28%) said they wait up to ten minutes for their policy to be confirmed, and a further 22% wait as long as 20 minutes to get cover.

The switch to digital insurance, driven by InsurTech

In the midst of rapid and significant market changes, many traditional insurers have lacked the agility and flexibility to adapt accordingly. InsurTech can provide immense value in bridging that gap, as the digital solutions are entirely scalable, with the flexibility to substantially increase in size and across multiple geographies, with minimal disruption.

Alan Inskip

Alan Inskip

The ongoing decline of physical transactions in the motor retail industry is a perfect example of how InsurTech is adding value. Several national blue-chip dealerships, with both physical and digital showroom floors, are already streamlining their online purchase process by offering temporary driveaway insurance policies to cover the vehicle for a fixed-term, usually between five to seven days, as part of the purchase journey.

The entirely online one-step user experience is the first of its kind in the traditionally outdated and inflexible driveaway insurance industry and it is dramatically simplifying the process of how insurance is purchased and consumed. Due to the flexibility and agility of the digital solution, each retailer has its own unique URL, where the customer can obtain a simple single-cost policy in just 90 seconds through an entirely digital process, which fits in line with the evolving consumer purchase trends.

For the dealers, this technology means more efficient stock clearance times and greater profitability. For the buyers, it takes the stress out of searching for annual insurance on the spot, and provides the driver with near instant cover so that they can immediately drive their new car, while giving them the opportunity to thoroughly research the best annual policy to suit their needs. An added benefit is there’s no risk to any existing No Claims Discount, as it’s a separate and standalone policy.

While there is a chance these trends will reverse to some extent post pandemic, it is clear that the consumer appetite for digital purchase and consumption is here to stay, and InsurTech will continue to lead the way in making motor insurance more easily-accessible across digital platforms, while offering consumers the best value for money.

* https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-8615851/Used-car-sales-halved-lockdown-brakes-1m-motor-transactions.html

Continue Reading

Technology

Five ways enterprises are using the public cloud

Published

on

Five ways enterprises are using the public cloud 2

By Michael Chalmers, MD EMEA at Contino

The public cloud is the most significant enabler in a generation. It’s causing a massive shift in how businesses are operating and tearing apart previous business models.

Amid challenging economic times, it’s inevitable that spending within IT is dropping. However, the cloud is the only segment that is still growing. The public cloud is increasingly becoming a central element of enterprise IT.

Contino asked 250 IT decision-makers at enterprise companies across Europe, USA and APAC within companies of over 5,000 employees about their views on the state of the public cloud within their organisation at the beginning of 2020.  Nearly all of them (99%) saw a significant technical benefit compared with on-premises.

Here are some other ways public cloud is being used by enterprises:

  1. Widely, albeit not yet business wide.

A whopping 77% of enterprises are using the public cloud in some capacity. Overall, 50% of businesses are utilising a hybrid cloud, 22% single private cloud, 20% multi-cloud, 7% single public cloud and only 1% are using only on-premises.

But only 13% of businesses have a fully-fledged public cloud program. The largest set of respondents (42%) have multiple apps/projects deployed in the cloud. 24% were still working on initial proofs-of-concept, and 18% were in the planning stages.

83% of respondents said they want to grow their cloud program. Almost half (48%) do wish to grow, but with caution, while 36% want to move as quickly as possible.

Only 4% plan to revert to on-premises but are in no rush to do so.

  1. To enhance security and compliance versus on-premises, although these are still also seen as barriers to adoption.

A massive 64% of respondents stated they find this more secure than on-premises, and only 7% see it to be less secure. 72% found it easier to stay compliant with business data in the cloud versus only 4% who found it harder.  However, 48% cited that their biggest barrier for not using the cloud was security, and 37% stated the need to remain compliant was the most prevalent blocker.

Other challenges also posed a barrier: a lack of skills, the cost to purchase and cloud-native operating models not working with existing investments made up 29-32% of responses.

19% stated that lack of leadership buy-in is the biggest barrier, reflecting that a significant number of IT departments have a need for this solution but have not been provided with the support to do so. However, relatively speaking, this was one of the least-cited barriers.

  1. For improved efficiency, scalability and agility, but vendor lock-in is still a major concern.

The top three cited technical benefits of public cloud were better efficiency, agility and scalability versus on-premises. However, 63% of IT professionals were ‘somewhat’ or ‘very much’ afraid of the commitment that can come with investing in the cloud. This is another major barrier that is preventing businesses from ​migrating to the cloud.

Only 23% are not afraid of being locked in and a meagre 5% have no fear at all. However, the fact that 77% of businesses are using the cloud shows any risk of being locked in is outweighed by the benefits of the cloud.

  1. To align IT with the business.

This is by far the most cited business benefit of the public cloud. 100% of those surveyed witnessed varied business benefits versus on-premises. Other major benefits include the ability to focus on new revenues (43%), accelerated time-to-market (43%), and increased ROI (40%).

  1. To accelerate innovation and increases cost-effectiveness.

Innovating in the cloud was quicker for 81% of respondents. What’s more, not one person surveyed said the cloud slowed down their innovation. 79% have saved money with the cloud and only 5% have found it more of an expense than on-premises.

Continue Reading

Technology

Another ‘new normal’? Five challenges CTOs will face in 2021

Published

on

Another ‘new normal’? Five challenges CTOs will face in 2021 3

By Amit Dattani, Director of Technology at Conosco

We’re one year into the new decade, and arguably technology has guided the 2020’s so far. Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), responsible for taking ownership across IT networks, have faced new challenges as they spearhead the rapid adoption of a number of digital services.

CTOs have a lot on their plate. Many are responsible for managing production workflow, defining technology roadmaps and budgeting the cost of technology. However for smaller businesses, CTOs will also be responsible for leading the cybersecurity strategy, and defining the data protection guidelines.

We’re at an exciting time for innovation in the UK, and CTO’s need to provide sound technical leadership to the board and to employees. What challenges will CTOs need to overcome in their IT strategy for 2021?

1- Data compliance

After a number of GDPR lawsuits, there is growing concern over the state of business’ data handling. And post-Brexit, the ‘new normal’ will change again for data management and CTOs. GDPR will no longer be binding in the UK after 1 January 2021, leading to new data laws being introduced. Fear not – the UK government has said it intends to incorporate GDPR into UK data protection laws, but it’s still incredibly likely there will be tweaks and amendments to it.

The number of data privacy cases will likely continue to increase, but with every case brings further clarity to other businesses learning lessons about data protection. CTOs need to consider who will be responsible for the flow of personal data, reviewing information and ensuring that the correct processes are in place for business continuity and disaster recovery.

2 – Changing mindsets on data

Data is not the devil – but CTO’s already know that. Their customers and others in the leadership team, however, may not be comfortable with that thinking. The demand for data as a product is through the roof, providing value-added digital transformations and acting as a virtual decision-maker.

The growing complexity of the nation’s habits and desires means that data has had to fast track the growth of knowledge. Data removes the ‘intuition’ that senior decision makers have to go on, and instead validates the course of action you choose for your business.

CTOs need to ensure they have transparent processes in place about the status of their data integrity. Be open about the processes, and what you use your customer and employee data for. And for the leadership team, it will become harder and harder to avoid the benefits of using Big Data – such as improved operational efficiency, greater transparency into costs, and smarter decision making.

3 –  CFOs will try to claw back early 2020 investments

Technology has proved it’s the beating heart of business continuity during these unusual times. But Gartner’s IT spending report found that budgets were down 6.5% overall in Europe.

One of the things on top of all Chief Financial Officers (CFO) priority lists is to reduce any overspend and improve budgeting. Cuts to IT aren’t because leaders need convincing of the importance of technology – it’s a priority.

But due to the increased spending on short-term fixes to enable businesses to work from home in the first ‘new normal’ of 2020, many businesses are scrutinising any extra investments to claw back some of the overspend. It will be a case of proving why it is crucial for businesses to gain an innovation edge and speed up digital transformation.

Especially for public companies – their share prices can increase or decrease value just by public perception – which is definitely something which board members care about. Consider looking into better tools, services and solutions which can allow for better budget use and a deeper understanding into the benefits your investments are making to your company.

4 – Tackling the talent shortage

Another main challenge of CTOs is a lack of knowledge by employees on new technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning. A 2020 PwC survey finds that 74 percent of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills. A company is only as good as its people, but when the purse strings have tightened, there may be less scope for hiring externally, and instead you turn to upskilling.

Outsourcing talent can help you to keep innovating, get you on your feet and provide a better service. But continuing to innovate must mean that you have the skills to align with new projects that are in the pipeline. You should be prioritising time on training, but you can also bring in skill sets by working with targeted recruiters and external partners.

5 – Delayed technical debt

After the shift to an almost-fully virtual world in March, many companies faced new challenges that they needed quick fixes for in the race to appeal to the market.

But while quick solutions can generate business sales, if you only focus on the ‘essentials’ at the time and not the full picture, you risk facing vulnerabilities. For example, if you prioritise your employees need to work from home, but don’t invest in data management and security planning such as a VPN, issues will eventually begin to surface.

Opting for cloud and SaaS solutions will remove the issue of foresight, and avoid your team being faced with the decision between the urgent and the important. CTOs will need to have their fingers on not just the technology, but also the timing of their investments.

To avoid technical debt, ensure good policies and governance are in place for all technology under the CTO remit. This could include a regular analysis of your strategy to ensure overall architecture is needed. This limits technology creep, which leads to technical debt. You should also add technical debt into your agile development cycles – e.g. every sprint must have 10% tech debt work, or every 5th sprint is a ‘bug bash.’

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

EU Commission sets out new intellectual property action plan affecting SEPs, patent pooling and EU design protection 4 EU Commission sets out new intellectual property action plan affecting SEPs, patent pooling and EU design protection 5
Business6 mins ago

EU Commission sets out new intellectual property action plan affecting SEPs, patent pooling and EU design protection

By Andrew White, Partner and UK & European patent attorney at intellectual property firm, Mathys & Squire The EU Commission...

InsurTech is helping to drive the digital evolution of the UK motor retail industry 6 InsurTech is helping to drive the digital evolution of the UK motor retail industry 7
Technology14 mins ago

InsurTech is helping to drive the digital evolution of the UK motor retail industry

By Alan Inskip, Tempcover CEO & Founder If the last nine months have made anything clear, it is that the...

Five ways enterprises are using the public cloud 8 Five ways enterprises are using the public cloud 9
Technology25 mins ago

Five ways enterprises are using the public cloud

By Michael Chalmers, MD EMEA at Contino The public cloud is the most significant enabler in a generation. It’s causing a...

Another ‘new normal’? Five challenges CTOs will face in 2021 10 Another ‘new normal’? Five challenges CTOs will face in 2021 11
Technology38 mins ago

Another ‘new normal’? Five challenges CTOs will face in 2021

By Amit Dattani, Director of Technology at Conosco We’re one year into the new decade, and arguably technology has guided...

An inside look at how both the global pandemic and the March and November 5th National Lockdowns are affecting mental health within the workforce 12 An inside look at how both the global pandemic and the March and November 5th National Lockdowns are affecting mental health within the workforce 13
Interviews2 hours ago

An inside look at how both the global pandemic and the March and November 5th National Lockdowns are affecting mental health within the workforce

By Lianne Harrington, Director SMP Healthcare Ltd     Part One: Real life insights into the deteriorating mental health of three employees...

Data Unions, fisherfolk and DeFi 14 Data Unions, fisherfolk and DeFi 15
Finance13 hours ago

Data Unions, fisherfolk and DeFi

By Ruby Short, Streamr In the fintech world it seems every month there’s a new trend or terminology to get...

Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19 16 Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19 17
Top Stories13 hours ago

Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19

Organizations in the Middle East have had to take immediate actions in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as shifting...

One in five insurance customers saw an improvement in customer service over lockdown, research shows 18 One in five insurance customers saw an improvement in customer service over lockdown, research shows 19
Top Stories13 hours ago

One in five insurance customers saw an improvement in customer service over lockdown, research shows

SAS research reveals that insurers improved their customer experience during lockdown One in five insurance customers noted an improvement in...

ECOMMPAY expands Open Banking payments solution to Europe 20 ECOMMPAY expands Open Banking payments solution to Europe 21
Finance13 hours ago

ECOMMPAY expands Open Banking payments solution to Europe

Open Banking by ECOMMPAY facilitates fast, secure and simple payments  International payment service provider and direct bank card acquirer, ECOMMPAY, has...

Bots Are People Too: Robotic Process Automation in Finance 22 Bots Are People Too: Robotic Process Automation in Finance 23
Technology13 hours ago

Bots Are People Too: Robotic Process Automation in Finance

By Tom Venables, Practice Director – Application & Cyber Security at Turnkey Consulting As technology has advanced, Robotic Process Automation...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now