Innovation enables us to better serve our customers

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Renate Klein is a business consultant on Stater’s innovation and digitalisation team. Every day, she immerses herself in the latest technologies and thinks about how Stater can use these tools to better serve its customers in the Dutch mortgage market.

I learned early in my career that business and IT are traditionally different worlds with very different perspectives. Over the years, however, I’ve come to understand the potential that can be unlocked when an organisation can successfully translate business needs into technology solutions.

As a business consultant on Stater’s innovation and digitalisation team, my role is to explore emerging research and technologies and propose ideas for how Stater can incorporate them into our products and services. This culture of innovation enables us to better serve our customers.

My team and I have a great deal of freedom when it comes to sourcing ideas. I often attend events and visit partners and suppliers to observe market solutions in action. I also participate in the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme, where I have the chance to discuss trends and innovations with enthusiastic professors and a network of strong women leaders.

Currently, I am consulting with the IT department to develop a customer portal. This portal will allow our customers to securely sign contracts, view their mortgage status and complete interest renewals online and on their mobile phones.

Our digital solutions are successful. In fact, companies have approached us about using our technologies, and now we are exploring the possibility of an API management tool that will open up our services and help other mortgage companies create a digital world for their customers.

Although Stater is primarily a mortgage company, it embraces innovation and recognises the growing importance of technology in serving its customers’ needs. The IT component within every industry is growing, and as it does, so does the variety of opportunities within digital technology.

When people think of technology careers, they tend to think of engineers and developers, but the truth is that all kinds of skills can add value to digital transformation. I’ve always wanted to be a business consultant and work at the edge of business and technology. At Stater, I have found the perfect balance.

When I look at professional roles within digital technology, I see far more men than women. Within my professional network, I’ve spoken to many women about the challenges they’ve faced and the choices they’ve made in their careers. From their stories, I’ve learned how important it is to have diversity in perspectives and leadership, especially as we look at the roadmap of where to go next.

I also see that the young women entering the workforce today bring with them a certain fluency with the digital world, a fluency that we who are only a few years older lack. These young women have a natural opportunity to add value and bring new perspectives into this field. I encourage students to keep an open mind as they take their first steps into the professional world and to take advantage of the many possibilities available to them as they chart their path in the world.