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Claire Rawlins: The digital driver

Claire Rawlins: The digital driver

"The technology is the easy part; the complication is always the people"


Social coding

IAG’s digital future also depends on finding the right partners and over the next few weeks, the organisation will announce an agreement with a third-party for a digital initiative, which will be something new for the insurance industry, Rawlins says.

The organisation is looking closely at opportunities that are presented by the blockchain, a distributed database that maintains a list of all transactions made through it using Bitcoin, and allows for peer-to-peer payments over the Internet.

Taking advantage of social coding, where developers across Australia, New Zealand and Asia will work collaboratively, is also a priority.

“The Internet of Things and the connected home is going to have a huge impact on our industry so we are doing some experiments around that the moment,” she says.

Customer-led innovation

All product and service innovations at IAG are led by the customer, says Rawlins. IAG no longer puts together business cases; it uses a ‘lean canvas’ where digital innovations can be tested and stopped quickly if they are not going to work.

“What we don’t find is that don't have that lengthy period of time when we put something out to market but it misses the mark. It [innovation] is all customer-led and data driven … and our digital team teams work with the lines of business to bring the customer in as early as possible so we create a product that fits well,” Rawlins says.

Good data analysis is crucial to the success of any digital program and Rawlins praises IAG for its ethical use of customer information. She says that in many cases, technology moves faster than legislation which “leaves things open for interpretation.”

IAG makes sure it doesn't cross the 'creepy line' of data analytics where high-level information analysis can get out of control.

“We are passionate about this and we pick the right partners who have the same fundamental view,” she says.

A creative need

Creative minds are needed to build digital solutions and having a diverse workforce is vital in this new digital world, says Rawlins, who is a fan of street art and black and white photography.

“We’re looking for creators, digital designers – people who can produce those compelling customer experiences,” she says. “To do that, you need to be creative, you need to question and have a lot of empathy. In many cases, this plays to female skills sets, I am seeing more and more women come into the industry.

“There’s certainly a correlation between creativity and the ability to deliver quality code.”

Rawlins says that working in a male-dominated industry hasn’t held her career back rather it given her opportunities that others have not had, even during the early days at Lloyds.

“I was thrown into a very complex people-based environment where I had to motivate and inspire people and I think that’s helped me develop my skill set.”

“I’ve worked for some companies with very different cultures. At BNP Paribas, I looked after all the money markets – there were very different cultural attributes between Paris, London, New York, Tokyo and Singapore.

“I want to create a culture [at IAG] that embraces that diversity. I’ve always been true to my core beliefs and ways of working and that’s why I think I have been successful,” she says.

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Tags BTQwestClaire RawlinsBNP ParibasIAGFidelity InvestmentsDrKWcustomer-led innovation

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