Sport provides an interesting lens through which to view different business challenges, and professional cycling provides fascinating parallels for the current IT landscape.
All cyclists belong to a paymaster team, but it is out on the road during cycling’s grand tours that the true teams of professional cycling are to be found. The cyclists on the road form fluid teams that are continually flexed as objectives and opportunities change. Breakaways, sprints, or mountain-top finishes see cyclists of different strengths and skills from different paymaster teams joining forces, making cyclists experts in agile project delivery. They work together naturally, forming teams that succeed or quickly disband.
The insurance market has recognised the need to be more flexible in the way that IT teams are built and operated to deliver digital transformation. Companies are building partner networks from which they can source the breadth of knowledge and capabilities needed to exploit emerging technologies. This approach to setting up IT means insurers have the speed and flexibility they need to experiment, and quickly fail or learn, and then to scale at speed.
In recent years young cyclists have challenged the perceived wisdom that winning a three week race requires long years of experience to build the endurance needed. They are no longer just on the team for the experience, they are there with the expectation of winning. Companies are similarly realising the benefits of integrating upstart technology companies into their network to work alongside established technologies. This provides companies with new opportunities to realise value from both new and legacy technologies.
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