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article imageAegon embarks on digital platform journey

By Tim Sandle     Feb 27, 2018 in Business
Edinburgh - The company Aegon, which specializes in pension, insurance and investments, has overhauled its senior leadership to reflect shift to digital platform business.
According to Professional Pensions, the Scottish company has made five executive changes. These are designed to help the company transition from a traditional life insurance company to an intermediated, digital platform business. The move is designed to reflect the preferences of many consumers to purchase financial products via online channels.
The change in tract also reflects some key acquisitions made by Aegon in recent months. The company has purchased Cofunds, which is an investment platform business and BlackRock, a defined contribution pensions business. In integrating these ventures and with expanding its digital services, Aegon aims to realign its management structures to reflect the new focus of its business, as well as to grow the business in new directions.
For other businesses there are important lessons here. Digital transformation is not simply about finding new markets and new technologies, it is also about reforming management and changing company cultures. Many digital transformation processes stall because of inappropriate business models, the inability to reform internally and a lack of focus on corporate culture.
These points are picked up by Aashish Gupta, who is a research analyst at analysts Gartner. The recommendations are drawn from the report "Digital Business Requires a New Mindset, Not Just New Technology." In discussing the report, Gupta is quoted as saying: "For any transformation to be successful, people need to buy into your vision."
Adding further: "The culture aspect and the technology demand equal attention from the application leader, because culture will form the backbone of all change initiatives for their digital business transformation. Staff trapped in a ‘fixed’ mindset may slow down or, worse, derail the digital business transformation initiatives of the company."
Gupta's points are developed further in the Digital Journal article "Businesses going digital need to develop employee mindsets."
The emphasis upon culture, to accompany the implementation of digital technology, include the necessity of people within the organization to adopt new processes, to embark on different ways of working, and considering alternate approaches to break down silos and relate differently to customers.
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