Australia and New Zealand’s largest general insurance company IAG shared at SAP’s virtual forum how they support remote working with their tech buddy system initiative.
SAP has launched in May its inaugural online summit 2020 Adaptive Strategies in a Changed Forum to help organisations in the ANZ region through post-pandemic recovery. The episodes featured industry-specialists, SAP experts, and business leaders to discuss and share insights on how governments, businesses, and communities can work collectively during these extraordinary times.
In this month’s Adaptive Strategies Accelerated virtual event, IAG shared their outstanding initiative that would enable their business staff to seamlessly adapt to remote working. The initiative involved assigning a tech buddy to their business division staff to help them with IT concerns that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Earls, Executive General Manager of Enterprise Service in IAG’s Technology Division, shared how he believes the tech buddy system is one of his career highlights in terms of the insurer’s response to the pandemic. He stated:
“It goes to the heart of the culture at IAG where we really are about making the world a safer place and helping each other.”
IAG Technology Team Stepping Up
Having a reliable technology team to deliver the tech buddy system, the initiative was embraced by everybody in IAG.
“I found that we built great relationships across the business, across our teams, and we got a better understanding of the problems that our users were having when we did that move,” Earls said.
The tech buddies were members of the technology group who has the essential skills to understand the problems that arose in the time of COVID. They are tasked to help their colleagues find a solution for their IT concerns as well as support their seamless transition to working from home.
Earls shared that this Enterprise Service group ensures delivery of efficient, secure, and standardised IT services across IAG. He explained:
“It includes the management and transformation of our people and finance systems to support a data-driven business with increasingly real-time information to inform better decision making for our business and for our customers.”
He shared that IAG’s tech support for their colleague experience empowers them to be adaptable and ready for the transition to software-defined and cloud-based services.
Supporting Flexible Working
The multitude of challenges IAG faced over the past year such as the 2019/20 measles outbreak in New Zealand, Australia’s bushfires, and floods and hailstorms have compelled the company to strategise and leverage technology in building a ‘ready for anything’ capabilities for staff.
COVID-19 has been a catalyst pushing IAG to accelerate its plan of strengthening a digital workplace that would support its employees to work and engage with customers anywhere.
In May, IAG initiated efforts in accelerating its team’s transition to flexible working. In New Zealand, the insurer ran a tech drive-thru where employees got their laptops to equip them for a work from home set up. IAG also provided a one-off $400 payment to support employees who set up their home office– a strategy that was also employed by SAP ANZ.
After creating the patterns and designs leveraging technology, today, over 90% of IAG is effectively working from home– collaborating with teams and engaging with customers.