Adapt or Perish: How Businesses Must Respond to Ever-Changing World - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1753 Words
Date:  2023-05-23


The world is a dynamic and ever-changing platform that affects everything within it. The world within which different businesses operate is also continuously subjected to changes in the various sectors and spheres that affect them. These changes range from consumer preferences to technological advancements, as well as the various policy changes. These changes cause companies and organizations to continually make adjustments, enhancements, and alterations to their already operational systems to better their stand in the market. Rapid changes in the competitive world of insurance have, over the years, been sparking continuous rapid changes by the organizations in this industry to ensure a stake in the affluent market. Key players in the sectors have had to maintain timely assessments and develop effective management strategies to keep up with the stiff competition. Unlike in most industries, the insurance world has been increasing across the globe as more and more people realize the need to ensure the particulars of their lives. More and more companies are entering the market every day, broadening and intensifying the competition. With life developments in the world, insurance companies have continued to include more and more premiums by offering insurance on more items that were not catered for traditionally.

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The changes and continued development of the insurance industry, like most, have adopted technology and incorporated it into its servicing. Technological advancements and the adoption of technology in insurance quickly transformed the market platform diversifying and stiffening competition. Newcomers quickly reached their grasp deep in the market, threatening to topple initial insurance giants such as AXA, Prudential, Zurich, and Aviva (Ebeling, 2017). Squeezing the market share margins further have been the many insurance brokers, and the many companies offering tailored insurance services online.

These changes and continued diversification and alteration of the competition playfield are what have fueled the continued reassessment of company platforms, each company identifying various strategic functions to better its stand. Aviva Plc, where I worked as a customer service clerk for four months, is one of the companies that has been implementing reforms to its traditional systems and operations to maintain its dominant position in the industry. The following is a critical analysis of the company's differentiation strategies and management changes to allow it to compete better. The strategy of focus is the adoption of information technology to better service delivery, overall employee interactions, and company operations.

Company Description

Aviva Plc is a British multinational company with its headquarters in London, UK. The company boasts in a heritage three-hundred-year heritage of offering financial and insurance services to a vast population across the globe. Among its services are asset management, general insurance, health products, savings, investments, and pensions (Aviva World, 2016). Though based in the United Kingdom, Aviva's network extends to an estimated twenty-eight different countries around the world. These include China, Italy, India, France, and Canada. This network employs around 50,000 employees that attend to the well over forty million customer base. This customer base continually presses personal and commercial insurance requirements that the company handles in its various products. All the undertakings of this company are directed by the mission statement that reads, "We are committed to serving our customers well to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work." (Aviva plc, 2020). In its operations since 1696, the company has severally been ranked among the top 30 insurance companies in the world. In recent years, this has improved, and current Forbes ratings place Aviva Plc as the fifth top insurance company in the world.

Case Synopsis

With the ever-changing market conditions and consumer preferences, Aviva had to rethink its strategies and operations to avoid being faced off by diversifying competitors. Among the changes the company had to make were in the field of management strategies and well as competitive fronts. The company therefore structured and adopted strategic management and differentiation strategies. The focus of these adjustments was on both short-term and long-term parameters that could affect the company's competitive edge. Through foresight methods, Aviva adopted policies that could help it achieve quality differentiation by carving a reputable brand name and improving its service value in the face of its target market.

To the changing market and increasing customer needs and preferences, the company increased the range of products in its portfolio, tailoring each product to unique customer needs. It fragmented its insurance packages to incorporate new items that were traditionally overlooked. Its savings, investment, and pension schemes were also repackaged to cater to the rising customer needs and market fragmentations.

The foresight methods adopted by the company further highlighted human resources as an integral and critical part of the attainment and maintenance of competitive advantage. The skillsets and competencies of employees were identified as essential to future growth, as well as the development, improvement, and sustainability of competitive advantages. As Aryee et al. (2016) prescribe, there is a substantial relation between quality utilization and management of human capital and high organizational performance. Aviva Plc, therefore, was soliciting for and making use of ways and strategies to make the most of the available and future human resources at the company. It was during these strategic changes and enhancements that the company identified the new trend where company success in the market was getting more incumbent on the effective utilization of different information technologies.

The company was lagging behind its competitors in delivery cycle time, management communication, and the overall staff communication. Customer service was also frustrating because more and more people were growing fond of the flexibility of online servicing where they could check their savings, make investments, and check on their insurance status. The likes of Prudential and Zurich had already implemented IT in their various operations and were beating Aviva at all competitive fronts. Its survival had remained incumbent on its strategic product fragmentation that touched more needs of the target customers than its competitors. It is at this juncture that the company sought after information technology solutions to its problems to level the playground with its competitors. In 2008, the company hired Toby Redshaw to serve as the global Chief Information Officer and fix the deficiencies.

The IT Challenge

Aviva required the integration of information technologies for more than equaling the competition. The company was facing deficiencies that had developed following the lack of a well-outlined platform to better communication and service offering. The company needed a platform that would help integrate its various global parts and allow a smooth flow of communication between the management and staff, as well as among the employees. The system adopted had to enable the employees to share best practices by facilitating them to be innovative and communicate with each other to improve efficiency and consistency.

The company, therefore, recommended a global intranet that could be easy to manage and one that would help reshape company culture. The adopted intranet had to have excellent search capabilities, knowledge, and collaboration environments that would help people retain the institutional memory of the company, work better in teams and capture the experience that often leaves when people change departments, groups, and organizations (Microsoft Services, 2008). Another requirement that the adopted intranet had to accomplish is the reduction of the service delivery cycle by a significant margin. The company had been experiencing somewhat lagged delivery time compared to its rivals. This is the time it took for the management to reach everyone in the organization, and the overall time it took to process customer needs and requests, as well as receive and respond to their feedback. A new system had to reduce this time to better communication and service delivery significantly. Also, the chosen method needed to be locally independent but utilize the same technology on a global scale.


Toby Redshaw selected a task force that would take a careful die into technology and pick one system that most efficiently met the needs and requirements of the company. Redshaw chose Matt Fahy, Aviva's Global IT Services Director, to head the task force and to deliver a solution fast and in an innovative way. Fahy and the task force proposed a Microsoft Office SharePoint Online based system because it presented promising features. This system is secure and robust, and its provisions could handle the needs of the cooperation to a decent extent. Its capabilities facilitate enterprise content management systems that include a much-needed powerful capacity, search web records, and document management. The users can, therefore, create, share, and access an array of content features useable in designing, processing, storing, and sharing knowledge.

Approved, Aviva partnered with Microsoft Corp in 2008 to actualize the implementation of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Online based system to its global and local operations (Aviva World, 2016). The company further fetched advanced information technology governance to make its new system safe and secure from internal and external attacks. These IT governance mechanisms would provide "the structure, oversight and management processes which would ensure the delivery of the expected benefits of IT in a controlled way to help enhance the long term sustainable success of the enterprise" (Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)). They ensure security through rights management that restricts access.

Microsoft Office SharePoint operates on a hybrid governance model that has Service-Oriented Architecture. It, therefore, allows access, interactive development, and flexibility within the organization.


To fully assess the information technology platforms at Aviva Plc, it is crucial to consider the impacts of the adopted systems to the company and its population. In a press release, Lynne Gray, Internal Communications Director at Aviva said;

"Since June 2009, Aviva's intranet has continued to become an important communications channel for the global corporation. Four people at group level work exclusively on the intranet overseeing the management of forums, editorial, group news, and co-ordination of content flow, which is managed regionally. The introduction of employee forums has helped to create an open culture while building communities. Colleagues are given the freedom to write posts on anything they like. This popular area of the intranet is viewed by over 60% of users, partly helped by the fact that articles contain questions or threads, automatically created for employees to comment on. The forums are also saving time when it comes to answering customer questions - colleagues can conduct a simple forum search to get people the answers they need quickly."

This was a press release two years after the adoption of Microsoft Office SharePoint in the company. The statement paints the picture of the rapid manner this system was revolutionizing the culture and operations of the company. It had f...

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Adapt or Perish: How Businesses Must Respond to Ever-Changing World - Essay Sample. (2023, May 23). Retrieved from

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