Digitization as an opportunity in the corona crisis
The year 2020 will be marked by the global corona crisis. The German economy and also the labor market are massively affected by restrictions. Further developments can only be roughly predicted and major steps towards improvement will probably only be possible once a vaccine is available. However, despite all the drama, it should not be forgotten that every crisis can also bring new developments and ultimately improvements. One of these developments is undisputedly the push for further digitization and new forms of work organization.
Strengthening digital markets through modern technologies
Modern companies in the FinTech and InsurTech market have historically not been the first online players. Books, trips or socks could be bought online long before that. And there are still many established insurance and banking companies that have a lot of catching up to do in the area of online offers, services and sales opportunities.
Last but not least, Covid-19 has clearly shown all players in the market how important modern online offers are and how important it is to put them on the agenda as a means of securing the companies' existence. Now it is essential to use them to create value, to expand and strengthen them. What does this mean for a company?
Modern web applications form the basis of successful online services. These applications use technologies "from the web and for the web". Characteristics are process-driven and efficient backends, the integration of an ecosystem of external services and interfaces and last but not least the connection of state-of-the-art front-ends that offer an optimal user experience and follow the idea of "mobile first".
The days of batch processing and host systems are numbered. Modern web applications are available 24 hours a day and are hosted by highly available cloud service providers. Whether with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Computing plays a rather subordinate role and can be selected under data protection and compliance aspects. This is because today's web applications are no longer rolled out "on servers", but are automatically provided on containerized infrastructures. Stability and ease of maintenance are the top priorities.
In recent years, it has quickly become established that agile methods are used for the collaboration and development of web applications within projects. If the project participants are also regarded as partners, there is nothing standing in the way of success, at least from a technical and project perspective.
Modern web applications and agile collaboration methods as central components of success for the industry have proven themselves in the long term, especially in the current pandemic. Video conferencing, chat, collaborative online working and much more were the basic requirements for the implementation of successful projects even before Covid-19. The companies that took this to heart were able to continue working without major problems even during the Corona lockdown.
After the experience of the crisis, every company must ask itself how high the risk is if the employees cannot be productive to the same extent in such a situation. Technologically and organizationally modern companies have generally survived the involuntary stress test very well and draw surprising conclusions.
After a kind of culture of presence prevailed in Germany until the beginning of 2020, the home office situation has changed drastically in the wake of the pandemic. The number of remote workstations has increased rapidly. In Hamburg, too, this trend has become strongly established. According to a [study](https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/hamburg/Corona-Google-Studie-zu-Bewegungsdaten,corona1786.html; https://www.gstatic.com/covid19/mobility/2020-03-29DEMobilityReporten.pdf) by Google from March 2020 on motion data, almost half of Hamburg residents* work from their home office. And the chances are not bad that the upheaval of the classic work model will remain a lasting result of the pandemic. The advantages are too obvious in terms of productivity gains, improvement of the work-life balance and relief for the transport infrastructure.
In the medium and long term, it remains to be clarified how the issue of social isolation can be addressed. Here, specially established task forces and ideas from the HR departments are needed, such as sending out regular updates, remote children's events, remote sports offers, but also setting up a remote house bar for the "beer after four" on Friday afternoons. Creativity should be given free rein. Always with the goal in mind to support the team and colleagues significantly. After all, satisfied employees who enjoy their work will generally implement the projects and products in a first-class manner.
sum.cumo, a Sapiens company and tech company with headquarters at Hamburg's Schlump, which digitizes the insurance and lottery industry with 180 employees, was one of the first companies to implement a consistent remote first policy and abolish the obligation to be present. The feedback from customers and employees is consistently positive.
You too can take advantage of your opportunities
As mentioned at the beginning, every challenge also offers opportunities. Those who take advantage of this fact will take positive and value-adding measures from what they have learned to drive digitization forward and use it to their advantage. sum.cumo and other Remote First pioneers are important drivers for modernizing the world of work on the basis of new and available technologies. It certainly makes sense for all companies to follow this case study closely and draw the right conclusions from it in accordance with the well-known motto: There's a lot to do - let's get on with it! (Esso advertising slogan from the 1970s)