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How Insurance Companies Can Implement DevOps to Eliminate Dysfunction

The very idea of a DevOps team is relatively new. Per Atlassian’s account, the idea of bringing development and operations teams together only began to catch on in 2007 and 2008. But they have revolutionized how all kinds of companies – from startups to legacy insurance companies – break down silos, share information, and approach communication between teams. And that’s just what DevOps is intended to do.

When we talk about digital transformation for insurance companies, we often begin by talking about revisiting data models and operational efficiencies, but this process begins with even higher level thinking.

To reform your company’s dysfunctional components of your digital infrastructure, you must first address dysfunction within your IT teams, and this is where a DevOps team can provide essential support for an insurance company.  

Align Your Teams’ Goals and the Incentives Behind Them

Many insurance companies have a dev team, an IT infrastructure team, and an IT security team, each of which has its own goals and incentives to achieve them:

  • Developers are often rewarded for getting code into production and delivering new things.
  • IT infrastructure is typically rewarded for uptime, and they don’t want to let code go out the door that might disrupt that.
  • IT security are gatekeepers: they’re incentivized to avoid catastrophe and breaches.

Because dev’s goals run counter to the priorities of the other two teams (and vice versa), it’s not uncommon to find friction between these groups.

But all three work for the same company, which is ultimately operating toward one major goal, which is likely financial. So rather than telling the IT infrastructure team to aim for 99 percent uptime, set one goal for all teams that is financial and based on the success of the company as a whole. Having a trackable, measurable goal in place will help align teams across the entire organization.

To break down silos and ensure that every IT team is moving towards that common goal, DevOps can ensure everyone stays focused on their shared objectives.

With a Common Goal in Mind, Consolidate Your Tech Stack

Once your teams are aligned behind a common goal, you can gain efficiency by making sure everyone is using the same technology.

Insurance companies tend to find particular challenges in this area: it can be difficult to throw out old code that doesn’t meet modern tech requirements, even if it is better for your company in the long run.

This is where DevOps can help. Today, it doesn’t make sense to have disparate IT teams that are siloed because one works in a different language than the others. Rather than allowing your team to continue working from the corner they’ve been painted into by outdated code, find a consensus on what tools and languages your IT teams can share.

Consolidating a tech stack isn’t easy and it takes time, but the savings you’ll gain in efficiencies and in overhead are significant.Remember, the ultimate goal of devops is to remove barriers to getting working code into production. If everyone is working on the same page, you’ll be better positioned to move quickly and automate processes that are ripe for standardization, which can even include launching new testing environments and critical security checks.

Digital Transformation for Insurance Requires a Culture Shift

There are many good reasons for keeping things the way they are. Insurers are risk-averse for a reason, and when it comes to updating the code and systems that make up the digital framework for your business, caution isn’t a bad thing.

But the insurance industry has been transformed by insurtech challengers, and they’ve raised the bar for digital products and customer experiences for everyone. So, it’s time to put more trust in your developers and put them in the position to break down silos within IT to ensure that necessary code can make it out the door, unobstructed by outdated thinking.

Saggezza’s team can help launch a DevOps effort to support this culture shift by showing your IT teams and your executive suite exactly what this kind of teamwork looks like in practice. By presenting a roadmap and an active model for what internal UAT can look like, our experts can show your teams what communication looks like when stakeholders are committed to getting past obstacles and updating code in a way that’s more efficient and more secure.

Culture shifts don’t happen overnight, but with proof points in hand, we can help you accelerate your digital transformation while increasing stakeholder buy-in.

Communication Is Key to Facilitating DevOps Success for Insurance Companies

The beauty of implementing DevOps is that it allows you to generate measurements that allow you to not just create a roadmap and follow it, but also calculate the impact of that process along the way. With DevOps in place, you won’t just know how much code is going into production but how much more quickly it’s going into production and how those features are being used, by internal teams or external end users.

With more automated data, your IT teams and your executive team will be better positioned to use data to drive decisions. And this, at the end of the day, is what will help move your whole company toward its financial goals.

The reality is that most companies today are behind in the race toward automation. If you’re still unsure whether your insurance company is ready to undergo a digital transformation or if it’s even necessary to meet your goals, you’ve got to ask yourself, are you ready for the next five years and the rapid changes that are coming? DevOps can help get you ready. Contact our team of experts to get started.

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About the Author:

Frank Trainer leads our Technical Excellence practice. He is an expert in creating consistently effective, self-managing teams that deliver high-quality, value-added software in a timely manner. He is particularly passionate about helping certain clients to leverage technology to its fullest. Prior to joining Saggezza, Frank was a consultant for high-level companies in Chicago.

Saggezza is a proven technology and consulting partner that delivers personalized, high-value solutions to accelerate business growth.

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