Dan Simpson understands business transformation - and the critical role the customer plays in it. Before joining Trustmark, Dan led the Enterprise Technology Group at Physicians Mutual in Omaha, Neb., where he was the driving force behind the company’s business transformation strategy and the Greenfield program, which implemented new customer-centric business processes, service-oriented architecture (SOA), a new enterprise data warehouse, and several key business applications. For these efforts, Dan was recognized as Technology Chief of the Year in 2010 by the Applied Information Management Institute.
Q: What are the business challenges and issues that typically motivate the need for business and IT transformation?
Dan Simpson: Common challenges facing business today include changes in market conditions, consumer behavior, and the regulatory environment as well as increasing competition and complexity. The inability to adapt to these changes drives the need to put new business process and technology foundations in place.
Q: How have you approached business process redesign?
Dan Simpson: The most effective approach is to focus on business process first before diving into systems. Depending on specific situations, I’ve seen great value in taking an approach where processes redesign starts and ends with the customer. This customer-driven approach helps drive customer-friendly decisions and efficiencies.
Q: What is a customer-driven application, and why is that concept important to transformation outcomes?
At a recent roundtable discussion with Forrester’s leading application development & delivery (ADD) and customer experience analysts, my colleagues and I explored the topic of how application delivery must change to address the age of the customer. Today’s customers have tremendous influence and reach through social media, more options and choices for whom to buy from, and high expectations about how they want to be served. In response to this new reality, we see many businesses making moves to dramatically increase their focus on the customer experience. These shifting priorities bring huge changes to application delivery organizations, as ADD professionals must now embrace the customer-centric skills, culture, and processes essential to success in the age of the customer.
Mike Gualtieri: As application development professionals, we’re often asked by the business to design a very focused app. As such, we’re often not in a position where we can think about that bigger picture. Sometimes, we’re just told that we need to develop an app for this. And that’s our job; that’s what we have to do, and we have to do the best we can. Would you recommend that we try to think bigger and then push back on the business when they ask us to do that?