Recently I had the chance to visit the wonderful exhibition “Baroque Time” hosted at Palazzo Barberini in Rome. The exhibition was not just a wonderful way to experience some of the work of art of that time, but also a chance for me to think about the changes in the concept of time in this epoch and about the way we conceive time in our business today.
The main theme of the exhibition is the notion of Time in all its forms, as it was represented in some of the masterpieces of the Baroque masters of the seventeenth century, most of them living in Rome by that time.
The retrospective shows the role of concepts such as “the fleeting of time” and “wasted time” during that century, as well as the need to be aware that time is constantly taking its toll and leaving us with only a few moments to enjoy before the inevitability of death.
Somehow, the role of Time in our life, as highlighted by the masters of the Baroque, still resonates in our contemporary society. Through the years, Time has also gained several hues that it didn’t have in the past.
Those hues are due to several reasons; for example, thanks to the scientific and social advancements, we have learned to postpone death and, accordingly, we have developed a knack to stay young and healthy for as long as possible. We have also learned how to accelerate and contract time, for instance performing multiple actions in an increasingly shorter time thanks to the always increasing speed of technological developments.
The question now is: what is the impact on our business of this new way of conceiving time?
In our Insurance sector – to mention just one – agility has become crucial. Our insurance and banking clients have an increasing need for speed when it comes to responding to their clients; as a consequence, they request software companies like RGI to develop plug and play solutions to shorten the “implementation time” so that they can take advantage of newly developed solutions as quickly as possible.
Let me give an example. A while ago, one of our clients – a major Austrian company working hard to quickly expand its business across Central and Eastern Europe – asked us to further improve our effort on the roll-out timing and shrink a project that would have taken 9 months to implement in only 5 months. We succeeded and, as a result, we were able to deliver a strong competitive advantage for our client.
This means that the way we conceive time today is no longer – so to say – set in stone (or clocks for that matter) as it used to be at the Time of the Baroque masters; there is a new need to be agile and find ways of contracting time if we want to meet the needs of our business partners.
There’s more. Our business sector in particular has seen the coming of an approach that must take into consideration several different ‘blockers’, which might end up slowing down decision-making.
From the perspective of our business, those blockers may cause two different kinds of delays:
1 – Delays between insurers and their clients – These delays are connected to the increasing need to include regulatory and compliance steps in the client journey. To provide a solution to this potential delay, RGI recently acquired Flexperto, a German-based software provider for digital B2C communication and collaboration, which provides seamless, compliant and pleasant client interactions with insurers and third parties in order to regain speed.
2 – Delays between insurers and their partners – Long negotiations with purchasing departments can impact overall implementation delays. As a company we need to always take into account the business time lost as negotiations stretch in time.
To wrap things up, given the fundamental role the relationship between Time and the value of money has taken at the business level, it is increasingly important to put the Time factor – in all its shapes and meanings – back at the center of our decision-making process. And enjoy every minute of it.