The first known insurance contract dates from Genoa in 1347. With a rich history of more than 650 years, insurance is one of the biggest service industries worldwide. Also, Insurance by the virtue of it assumes the humane touch and relationship. As a result, Insurance Industry has built the reputation as “The Legacy field: Traditional, cautious and thorough!”
Now in the era of Digital Transformation, Insurance industries are focusing on mobile apps and online services to reach out to their customers. These initiatives are complex and the prospect of implementing large-scale changes is daunting. There are a few unique barriers for Insurance leaders to embrace the digital transformation in taking their organization to next levels, such as leading organizational change in traditional culture, agility to embrace new technology as well as ensuring the quality and reliability.
DevOps in insurance and related sectors surely helps in overcoming some of these challenges, that can be categories into the following:
Comparison shopping and insurance aggregators driving competitive business environment.
Utilizing data analytics to provide better customer experiences and having more efficient operations.
Building personalized and data-driven digital channel applications.
Delivering better digital channel experiences across all the channels.
Ever-increasing regulation hampers insurance company’s ability to deliver and innovate.
DevOps is an emerging model that provides an effective solution for accelerating digital transformation in core areas of operation. DevOps helps in optimizing the value delivered to their customers and shareholders and promotes an agile and flexible delivery approach that facilitates a cross-functional environment, along with creating a culture of continuous improvement. On the foundation of Collaboration, communication, Integration and Automation DevOps ensures reliability, agility, flexibility, and quality!!
In the insurance industry, time to market is directly related to success. A DevOps model helps insurance companies in developing and deploying technology rapidly by enabling successful IT transformation across complex architectures. Thus, establishing a standardized infrastructure environment helps in supporting timely changes. Capabilities such as analytics and software automation are introduced, thereby producing better customer experiences and more efficient operations.
According to the 2017 State of DevOps Report, implementation of DevOps can help the IT department in:
deploying 46x more frequently
with 440x shorter lead times
helps in achieving 96x fewer failures and
facilitates recovery 168x faster
In any DevOps implementation, organizations should follow two sets of guiding principles.
Implement strong source control.
Enable zero-touch build and deploy.
Test early and often.
Automate everything (in pipelines).
Take advantage of the elastic supply of cloud resources.
Use a fine-grained service architecture (API-first).
Organization and culture principles:
Build cohesive teams with shared objectives.
Use lean principles and encourage continuous delivery of value.
Embrace failure, recover automatically and degrade gracefully.
Experiment without regret.
Enable continuous improvement.
Shorter Development Cycle – DevOps promotes a culture of increased collaboration and communication between the development and operations teams. This translates into shorter timeframes to move from engineering code into executable production code.
Increased Release Velocity – The shorter development cycle, in turn, creates increased frequency for release of code into production (also known as application onboarding). What conventionally used to take 3-6 months from requirements to release is now reduced to a daily, if not hourly, release build cycle. This fosters continuous development and deployment, subsequently increasing the value of IT to the insurance business. Increased release velocity also provides companies that successfully manage DevOps a competitive advantage due to their quickness to market features that insurance business needs the most.
Farewell defects: In an application production environment, defects are an app’s worst enemy. However, with the intervention of DevOps, defects become next to negligible, making it an instant solution for most problems. Through collaboration, modular programming, and iterative development, defects are often minimized, making it a foolproof technique to handle defects. With digital transformation paving the path for minimizing defects, there are endless opportunities being pursued to reduce defects and enable efficiency within each and every organizational vertical.
Improve collaboration between teams -by improving the transparency required for effective decision making. Today, more than ever before, development teams need to break down their inter-departmental silos and collaborate and communicate in a dynamic, round the clock environment. DevOps paves the way to improve business agility by providing the much need atmosphere of mutual collaboration, communication, and integration across globally collocated teams in an IT setup. The earlier set boundaries based on roles are getting blurred in such an encouraging DevOps atmosphere. All team members, together, are responsible for the quality and timeliness of deliverables
Continuous Release and Deployment, Continuous Testing, and Continuous Monitoring – Today’s software development practices require teams to continuously deliver quality software, reduced go-to-market timelines, and adaptation of shorter release cycles. DevOps, using its practices of Continuous Release and Deployment, Continuous Testing, and Continuous Monitoring, provides just that.
Reduced Time-to-Recovery – Even if the likelihood of failures is minimized, failures, as a rule, are inevitable. When failures do occur, the time to recover to operational efficiency is relatively reduced in a DevOps environment compared to a traditional IT environment. This is primarily due to the efficiencies gained by development team members understanding how operations teams work and vice-versa. Combined with a robust versioning process, rollbacks are made easier.