Is your Centre of Excellence really excellent?
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
Let's picture an elite chef.
They open up a "Centre of Excellence". Think Hell's Kitchen, with Gordon Ramsey overseeing junior chefs, providing meals to a packed restaurant. As the first service begins, the new chefs are shown how to use a slow cooker to create a delicious chilli con carne, and it's the first item on the menu. They're then taught to use a slow cooker to make wonderful fish curry. Finally, they focus on using a slow cooker to create beef bourguignon.
By the eighteenth service (in which they're still only delivering meals to customers out of a slow cooker), one of the juniors turns to the chef and asks; "are we ever going to learn to cook with anything other than a slow cooker?"
The head chef looks perplexed.
"But I only know how to cook with a slow cooker...and that's all we have in the kitchen," they say.
"You're an elite chef, running a restaurant! How can you only have one tool to cook with?!" the junior asks.
Now apply this logic to the various centres of excellence that insurers have created for automation and what this means for them. In most cases, a single tool is in place...the slow cooker. It always takes significant time to cook things in a slow cooker, certain ingredients will never be part of your dishes, you'll never be able to cook for more than a few people at a time and there's a limited number of dishes you can serve. So, what about when;
...you need to fire a quick entree out?
...customers want pizza?
...a customer has an allergy you need to switch out?
...you have a party of 12 arrive?
If you're only using one tool in your automation "kitchen", you're limiting how excellent your Centre of Excellence will ever become. So consider the variety of recipes you're going to want to cook and fill your "kitchen" with the appropriate tools. Buy a blender, a microwave, an oven. By that, I mean RPA, cognitive capabilities, AI, machine learning, discovery tools.
And then, maybe your automation "chefs" will truly be able to dazzle you with what they're able to cook up and keep all of your patrons happy, not just the few who want chilli.
WRITTEN BY ED HALSEY
Any opinions expressed here are my own and not the views of any of my employers. They are personal views based upon a 15-year career in insurance across underwriting and sales roles at mainstream insurers, consultancy firms and technology providers.