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Bits on Bytes

Eventually, 3,000 people will live in the vast area at the back of Munich’s Ostbahnhof and another 12,600 are expected to commute here daily for work. But today the area is one vast, cheerful construction site. Shipping containers, sprayed with wild graffiti, are stacked together to house a cafeteria and a Kölsch beer bar.
  

New companies have leased offices in a spruced-up factory hall next door, including Titaneon Media AG, where legendary soccer goalie Oliver Kahn works as an Internet entrepreneur. And all the way upstairs, there's Allianz.
  

The insurance company, founded in 1890, chose to set up its Global Digital Factory here.
  

Along with sister-company Allianz X, the combined entity is a proving ground for digitalization. The GDF's campus-like environment is intended to instill the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley into the Munich-based company.
  

allianz global digital factory

Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, bots, Big Data – digitalization has given the world a number of buzzwords. But what does digitalization really mean for a global company like Allianz and its customers?
  

In an interview with Digitale Welt in June, Allianz Chief Operating Officer Christof Mascher dives deeper into the topic. Edited excerpts from a translated version of the interview:

  

How is digitalization influencing the insurance business?
  

First, let’s take a look at the demands of our customers: digitalization has changed their expectations and behavior dramatically. Customers apply their experience with other sectors to insurance. If people have access via their mobile devices when dealing with other industries, they expect the same when dealing with Allianz.
  

Digitalization has changed a few things on the supply side within our own company too. Automatization has enabled us to improve our services and lower costs. This is true for both of our major business processes - the customer journey to the customer and the claims process.
  

Christof Mascher

Digitalization provides a lot of new opportunities. Unfortunately, the danger of the IT systems being attacked by hackers also increases with it.
  

Ralf Schneider, Group CIO of Allianz, sees protecting these systems with robust defense mechanisms as one of his most important challenges. In a recent interview to German magazine Digitale Welt, he discusses the cyber threat landscape that global corporations face and the foundation for a solid cybersecurity strategy...
  

The regularity of known successful hacks calls for caution. Would you say the threat in general is bigger than it was 20 years ago?
  

The potential for danger has risen, as has the know-how. And the financial incentive. There are commercial hacker gangs, there are state-funded cybercriminals, and there is increasingly destructive malware. Autonomous malware could also come from the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Cybersecurity has thus become the core challenge of the digital transformation.

  

Ralf Schneider

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Chief Digital Officer Solmaz Altin "We've defined five ecosystems – mobility, health, the smart home, asset management and artificial intelligence.”
Chief Operating Officer Christof Mascher “We have many different hybrid interfaces - a combination of personal contact and purely digital communication.”
Chief Information Officer Ralf Schneider “Cybersecurity has become the core challenge of the digital transformation.”

As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our Forward Looking Statement disclaimer:

 

Gregor Wills
Allianz SE
Phone: +49 89 3800 61313

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