More efficiency & better compliance at insurances thanks to cloud automation

Insurance companies can use a cloud-based automation platform to significantly accelerate the release cycle and thus improve the quality of the delivered applications with much less effort.

Author: Cyrill Rüttimann

In the insurance business, the integration of the customer into digital business processes is in full swing. Insurance companies are launching new versions of their customer portals one after the other, or delivering tactical features on a weekly basis in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. Many insurers are planning to use cloud-native applications to deliver new features even faster. However, with heterogeneous tool landscapes for the provision of infrastructure (infrastructure as code), the packaging of applications (continuous integration) and processes for installation in the IT environments (continuous delivery), which have grown organically over the years, the required speed is very cost-intensive and error-prone. This is especially true in the area of security, where security vulnerabilities in open source components such as libraries or container images are published on a daily basis (DevSecOps). For this reason, it can make sense to invest in more flexible, efficient and consistently automated provisioning processes.

Challenges

The provision of new features in the form of digital customer services has become a new differentiator for insurers in the course of digitization. Customers want to use the functions 24x7 and 365 days a year. A failure or security vulnerability immediately results in reservations in the market about the quality of the offering.

These are the top four challenges facing insurers:

  1. Error-prone, partially automated processes that often lead to delays in the provision of infrastructure and applications.
  2. Manual governance leads to unplanned delays or expensive impositions in the final stages of a project.
  3. The semi-automated processes require a relatively large amount of work across multiple organizational silos, making planning and coordination difficult. More than ever, teams face the situation where dependencies delay the increasingly fast-paced releases of new features.
  4. The lack of traceability of configurations and visibility into installations has several implications. On the one hand, this makes it difficult to investigate security-related aspects (vulnerabilities) and fix them as quickly as possible. On the other hand, it also makes it more difficult to coordinate coordinated installations or adjustments to configurations during rollouts.

Impacts

With the introduction of a strategic automation platform, the top 4 challenges can be addressed:

  • With an automation platform, all future scenarios such as hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are covered. Synergy effects can be shared across product teams. This has a positive effect on costs, effectiveness and quality.
  • The desired interaction of the competencies security, architecture, operation, development and compliance can be manifested on the basis of the automation platform. Clear mutual guard rails are transparently communicated and demanded. This leads to clearly fewer risks with regard to data loss and fewer delays in delivery.
  • Vulnerabilities in applications are already detected during development (DevSecOps). Concrete instructions for action make fixing vulnerabilities child's play. This avoids costly subsequent fixes.
  • The deployment process is fully automated on one platform without media breaks. This facilitates traceability and transparency and directly contributes to uncovering and addressing impacts in dependencies. Additionally, the workload is significantly reduced through the consistent use of SaaS offerings.
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Figure 1: For cloud-native applications, it is recommended to roll out infrastructure and applications together. Likewise, the possibility that developers can create the infrastructure independently via self-services.

Solution

Invest in the future with a strategic automation platform for infrastructure and application delivery. A solution can be developed together with ipt with the following business benefits:

  • The flexible and integrated automation platform enables easy and continuous automation. Continuous Integration as well as Continuous Delivery. The effort for operation and implementation of automation projects could be reduced significantly.
  • Automated rules (Continuous Compliance) verify and enforce governance. This enables early detection of compliance violations. Delays and risks for data loss are thus detected early and efficiently and can be resolved more cost-effectively before release.
  • The automation platform is based exclusively on SaaS services. These significantly reduce the effort required for maintenance, operation and continuous improvement.
  • Vulnerabilities are 100% transparent during development as well as during operation. A fast response to new security vulnerabilities is thus ensured and obvious risks for the loss of customer data can be eliminated. This is a central building block of DevSecOps.
  • Functions can be delivered faster and without unpredictable delays due to the significant reduction of risks as well as full automation. The promise of quality to customers can thus also be kept in IT services.
Cloud_Versicherung_Effizienz Compliance_Blog CRU_Abb2b.png
Figure 2: With modern automation solutions, infrastructure and applications can be created and installed on different technical platforms in just a few steps. For cloud-native applications, it is particularly important to avoid attack surfaces (vulnerabilities) and to adhere to compliance requirements (e.g., data processing).

Business Value

The following business value contributions in different dimensions can be realized with the proposed solutions:

Click here for an explanation of the ipt Value Spider – Make technology valuable

In numbers - this can be achieved

Less effort for hybrid deployments and operation
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 %
Transparency in security: from 0 to 100%
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 min
Instant feedback on compliance of code & config. instead shortly before release
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 : 1
Business is involved in the release process

Tech-Box

The following is required from a technological point of view

  • Primarily take into account existing services of the cloud provider
  • Use of services (SaaS) from third-party companies if it provides added value
  • Future-proof for hybrid or multi-cloud use

The following technologies can be used

  • Azure DevOps
  • Snyk
  • Helm

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