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Why Innovation is crucial for all Businesses

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by Startacus Admin

Laura McGarrity, Internal Communications Specialist at Allstate NI highlights why innovation should be in mind with everything you do, despite the size or age of your business. 

innovation in business

"For a lot of companies Innovation can be a buzz word to drop into their strategy or they task a small ‘innovation’ team to do R&D related to their industry.  What they don’t realize is that innovation is key to sustaining success and keeping ahead of their competition. Companies big, small, old and new can stifle innovation through culture and entrenched ways of working. 

Here are a few reasons why we think innovation should be in mind with everything you do, despite the size or age of the company. 

1. Disruption is coming

The landscape for all service providers is a shifting. For us at Allstate NI the insurance industry is changing at a rapid pace and it is ripe for an ‘Uberlike’ change. News that Google is making plans to sell car insurance in the US is proof that the disruption might not only be from a start up with a good idea. 

2. Customers want more, faster and better

All companies need to be delivering to their customers with the speed and quality that they expect. Technology is changing faster than ever before, speed will only continue to increase. There is a new sense of urgency in today’s market place.  Innovative solutions and ways of working will help improve speed, agility and overall efficiency, helping move quickly from idea to implementation for customers.

innovation in business

3. Innovation & ownership 

Fostering a culture of innovation will empower your people to take ownership of their work. Go and do it, ask for forgiveness later. It is worth encouraging your people to speak up with their ideas and encourage them to pursue these ideas, if it doesn’t Innovationwork they fail fast with minimal risk, but they keep going.

4. To have fun

Whatever the industry, day to day working can become repetitive; innovation is key to keeping staff and customers engaged. Be it an innovative working environment, new tools, products or the even a ping pong table and beer fridge, making innovation part of your culture will keep your people engaged. 
A dynamic and fun working environment will improve your end products and innovative tools and processes can help improve efficiencies, ensuring you keep customers engaged and attract new ones.

How are Allstate Northern Ireland embracing innovation?

The way we work

Allstate NI is going through a global transformation towards a culture of innovation, by having a product mindset and a customer focus. By using innovative tools and processes, we will be able to deliver new technology capabilities significantly faster Allstate NI CompoZed Laband with higher quality. We are creating innovative technology environments that increase availability, quality and flexibility, helping reduce costs through increased efficiency.

Where we are working 
Through our in house development labs, CompoZed, we are empowering our developers to innovate and build quality products our users want, at speed.

Our new purpose built CompoZed Lab will see Software Engineers, Product Managers and User Experience Designers work exclusively in Extreme Agile, which includes working in pairs and using cloud-native application architecture.

The lab is open and bright. There are break out areas, whiteboards and a ping pong table for the teams to enjoy their down time.

This change for Allstate Northern Ireland goes beyond a new office layout, the new way of working is creating a culture of collaboration, innovation, production and communication. This will encourage teams to take calculated risks and push innovation at Allstate NI.

We have created an online innovation portal called the Innovation Engine, where our employees can submit their innovation ideas from all aspects of working in Allstate, collect feedback and compete for rewards and prizes."

About Laura
Laura McGarrity is an Internal Communications Specialist at Allstate NI. Originally trained in journalism, Laura moved into corporate communications and has worked with a number of global companies both here in the UK and New Zealand.

Company bio - Established in 1998, Allstate Northern Ireland provides high quality software development services and business solutions in support of The Allstate Corporation’s global operations. Allstate is the largest IT Company in Northern Ireland employing more than 2,300 staff across three locations. Allstate is the largest publicly held property and casualty insurer in USA, it is #89 on Fortune 500, and we have 20 million customers, with $35.7 billion revenue in 2015.

Allstate NI are one of the leading brand supporters of this years Digital DNA as well as upSTART - The Startup Pitch event at Digital DNA that is being hosted by team Startacus. 

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Published on: 24th May 2016

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