Create transformative innovation

Integrate to innovate

The pace of retail change and innovation in Australia is increasingly driven by customer demand, says TAL CIO David Gillespie.

Women meeting at table

Integration is at the heart of cutting-edge customer experience, says David Gillespie, CIO at leading Australian life insurance specialist, TAL.

With more than a decade’s experience in the financial services sector, first in the UK and now in Australia, Gillsepie says the uptake of new technology Down Under is being increasingly driven by customers’ needs and desires.

“As [customers] adopt new technologies, new mobile capabilities, they expect to have access to everything at any time they want,” Gillespie says. “We've got to support that.”

One of the biggest problems Gillespie sees in the industry is what he terms the “set and forget” mentality, where businesses land a customer and then promptly forget about them.  

“As a life insurer, it’s important that we have ongoing relationships with all our customers to help them understand and value the protection we provide them, and give them confidence that we will be there for them when they need us the most,” he says.

 “Whole of business alignment, from the C-suite right down, ensures an integrated approach and that customers aren’t overlooked. From a Technology perspective, we have to be at the table to understand what those challenges are.”

Integrate to Innovate

The pace of retail change and innovation in Australia is increasingly driven by customer demand, says TAL CIO David Gillespie.


David Gillespie, CIO, TAL


Customers drive everything and we must support them with the capabilities they need.

I always look at technology as an enabler for a lot of these things, so we need to understand who our customers are, and how they want to engage with us.

As they adopt new technologies, new mobile capabilities, they want to have access to everything at any time they want.  We've got to support that.  

I want my team to go and listen into the contact centre. One, to see the systems that the contact centre are using, but, two, to listen to the genuine issues customers are having. 

I want them going in and understanding how we engage with our advisors, the retail channel, and see how that operates.  I talk to our group partners to understand the challenges they have, so that we can support them much better. One area we are particularly keen to improve on is Industry standards for integration using ACORD for example. We have already had some success in that area.

You can't just be an order taker, you really need to be embedded with the customers. We have to be at the table to understand what those challenges are, and future proof our platform to deliver new capabilities in the way the customer wants

So, as the business changes and transforms, we've already got that base in place that makes it much easier for us to do that change. It's all driven by the customers and what they want.  

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