SaaS technologies will take lead in driving digital transformation in Indonesia
By Rajesh Sabhlok Singapore
The Jakarta Post
We are living in a digitalfirst era where our lifestyles are defined by the rapid pace at which technology is evolving. Everything can be managed with a few taps on our smartphones, from ordering a taxi to grocery shopping. Customers in emerging economies like Indonesia are getting more comfortable with a variety of digital solutions to address their daily needs. As a result, the tech-savvy millennials, who form the largest generation group in the Indonesian labor force, demand better solutions and faster self-development opportunities. But the business world, including traditional industries like banking and insurance, has not been able to offer the one-tap solutions required to keep pace with changing expectations. Technology has transformed the global banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry over the last few years. From big data to cloud computing and artificial intelligence, enterprises are taking advantage of tech tools to extract valuable insights to support the decisionmaking process, prevent frauds, improve operational efficiency and enhance end-customer experience. But such priorities are only making headway now in Indonesia as a result of the pandemic. Take, for instance, an insurance company with an army of sales teams. Before the COVID-19 outbreak hit Southeast Asia in January 2020, sales representatives would interact with hundreds of potential clients in a month, advise them on what financial products suit them best, and answer their objections in a manner that makes potential customers feel secure about their money. The onset of COVID-19 entirely turned this process on its heels, and agents were grappling to come to terms with virtual engagement and remote work. And since the world is still struggling to control the spread of new coronavirus variants, a company might see declines in productivity as sales teams need to limit their mobility due to restrictions of public gatherings, including networking events and site visits. The company has no choice but to leverage digital management and collaboration tools to maintain engagement with clients and business partners while employees work remotely for an extended period. The pandemic has highlighted an urgency to accelerate digital transformation at the enterprise level. Adopting the right cloudled tech tools can help businesses and employees continue to thrive under pressure. Sales engagement platforms that help sales teams manage dayto-day activities remotely and provide them with performance management analytics have ramped up in demand. Companies like AIA, Generali and AXA were quick to adopt the platform for enabling their teams to follow through on needs assessments, claims, collections, or renewal processes and reassure customers of uninterrupted services. Aside from the team on the fields, managers in the office also face new changes brought by the pandemic. Managing a remote team could be challenging as some employees may be unable to work independently and feel less connected. This could lead to loss of productivity and control failures. Platforms now help them get better visibility of their teams and follow their progress with realtime data. Managers, as a result, can quickly intervene to support their reps when required. With timely nudges and insights provided by the platform, managers can identify the teams’ strengths and weaknesses, curate training programs based on the specific needs of each team member, and eventually fill the skill gap accurately. After gathering relevant data, we analyze how customer interactions are evolving in this pandemic, correlates them with business priorities, and reports the analytics across the entire organization through contextual nudges. Such insights allow organizations to understand their clients better and offer more personalized experiences, thus improving overall customer relationships. A report from Bain & Company suggested that a 5 percent increase in customer retention rates could potentially boost a company’s profits by 25 to 29 percent. One of the prime reasons enterprises, especially financial institutions, fail to achieve even commendable numbers is the lack of proper customer relationship management (CRM) implementations. But even if implemented properly, CRMs have limited capabilities to understand what exact behaviors of top performers are converting more customers. And how to get the entire team to repthe similar results. Gartner has identified a new category called a “system of engagement” that will become critical in the coming decade. Hence, financial institutions will need to evaluate their churn rates and invest in technologies that help them better engage with customers. Furthermore, Gartner projected that 65 percent of businessto-business sales organizations will use technology that unites workflow, data, and analytics to make data-driven decisions by 2026. Enterprises that unify commercial strategies and leverage multithreaded commercial engagements will outperform their competition by 30 percent. Software as a service (SaaS) technology is here to stay, and it’s growing exponentially, especially in Asia. It is one of the biggest market segments amongst cloud services, and Gartner estimates the SaaS market will grow to at least US$145.3 billion in 2022. This allows enterprises to start small and adopt essential services before moving to more complicated and comprehensive products. This technology is also easy to scale to accommodate changing needs of enterprises regardless of their size. With its vibrant tech and startup ecosystem, Indonesia is poised to become the next powerhouse in Southeast Asia. Private enterprises and the government have been working together to fulfill the nation’s digital ambitions. According to a survey by Forrester, 43 percent of companies in Indonesia were already embracing digitalization in late 2020. The number is expected to grow each year, showing that organizations, including financial institutions, are willing to invest and adapt to the latest technology to improve customer experience and business growth in the long run.