A Major Challenge of the Decade
In this issue we concentrate on one of the major challenges of the decade for the Malaysian economy – knowledge management. First we have to admit that as an industry, we are behind the competition in this field because whilst we are at the threshold establishing knowledge management platforms and protocols, others are embarking upon the next step of actually making good commercial use of the accumulated knowledge at their fingertips. That said, we are nonetheless at an exciting time for knowledge management because it is now squarely on the national agenda as a result of the focus it received in the Financial Sector Blueprint by Bank Negara Malaysia.
In our lead stories we concentrate upon the Knowledge Management Task Force (KMTF) for the financial services sector. MII was tasked to lead this project to realise the synergies in the knowledge pools of MII, AIF, IBBM, IBFIM and INCEIF. We have articles from the various partners in this initiative and it is heartening to see the single focus and objective emerging. It is clear that each organisation sees synergy for the whole of the insurance industry, especially in talent development, and also many advantages for the individual organisations through the KMTF.
KMTF, however, is an initiative at the industry level. For knowledge management strategies to really deliver, there needs to be effective knowledge management within organisations. This is the topic of our focus section in this issue.
The article, Focus on Technology Platforms drills down to exactly the areas in which insurance companies can benefit from knowledge sharing and there are many – reducing fraud risk, improving claims turnaround times and reducing time to market are just a few of the areas. With these kinds of benefits on the horizon, insurers are investing into knowledge management systems; however, there are significant obstacles to realising the benefits.
Firstly, the insurance industry has recently gone through a major consolidation phase and so knowledge management is not a top priority for system development; instead the focus is on consolidating front end and core business systems in those companies that have newly merged or have completed major acquisitions. Secondly, as we see repeated in our focus articles, at an individual level there is a feeling that knowledge equates to power. This is a cultural issue, which is proving difficult to overcome. The answer it seems from the article, Corporate Story Telling, is not to concentrate on cold hard facts, but instead to invoke the emotions of staff so they become embroiled in the adventure of corporate challenges.
We also take a look in this issue at another area, which is both a significant challenge and a significant opportunity for the insurance industry in Malaysia – Pensions. Jeffrey Lai from Accenture, shares the results of a survey of some 8000 people and gives some very practical step by step advice on segmentation as a way to approach the growing retirement market place.
This issue also looks upon matters that the Malaysian insurance industry is currently facing. With globalisation taking over the world today, Malaysia, as a small yet significant market must be able to quickly adapt and respond to the arising challenges and developments of the industry. Therefore, we bring you highlights of our 2nd Malaysia Insurance Summit 2012, in which we have people from various levels and backgrounds in the insurance and takaful industry to share their thoughts and anticipations on the outlook of the Malaysian insurance market.
We take this opportunity to wish you the very best in 2013. With the mountain of opportunity and challenge for our industry becoming apparent, it certainly promises to be a very fulfilling year for those willing to take on the challenges.
A Happy New Year to all our readers.