The highlights of our Insurance-as-a-platform solution

Completion of tasks now significantly faster

The new platform allows immediate interaction

A cloud native architecture based on AWS infrastructure

This project demonstrates the transformational effect of embracing the Amazon cloud. We are not merely talking about a migration to the cloud in order to decrease costs. It was an opportunity to reimagine business process to become more efficient and provide scalable operations for continuous growth.”

The challenge

A lack of technology was a business inhibitor

Our client, a major global financial services company quoted on NASDAQ, acquired an independent insurance broker to develop insurance services in a new vertical sector. The broker suffered from a lack of automation – most business processes were manual and paper based. Smaller contracts were commercially unappealing so the company only pursued larger deals that would yield a more acceptable return. As well as inhibiting business growth, dependency on manual processes hindered regulatory compliance.

Furthermore, broker decision-making relied on a complex array of underwriting variables and large volumes of unstructured data. Working with a clumsy, haphazard and error-prone system, broker decisions were subjective and inconsistent. GFT established clear business objectives for the project:

  • Deals of all size to be commercially viable
  • Business must offer economies of scale
  • Compliance burden to be eased through automation
  • Data and business insight should drive future business

The engagement


Design and deliver an Insurance-as-a-platform solution to support an ambitious growth plan

GFT was awarded the assignment to design and build a platform to automate and digitalise business processes. The aim was to streamline, reduce complexity, automate repetitive tasks and boost productivity to gain early mover advantages. One measure of success was to implement a durable solution that combined a maximum of flexibility with simplicity, allowing constant adoption without ongoing involvement of GFT staff to apply to new technologies and changes to meet emerging business requirements.

GFT built a team of specialists with deep experience of Amazon Web Services to leverage its global presence and expertise in technology in a reasonable timeframe. Performance, risk and capacity were crucial and considered on equal terms for the platform developed. With a proper mix of onshore and nearshore resources, GFT was able to adopt an 'agile pod' approach embracing a culture of teamwork and joint accountability with the client.

GFT delivered on the brief by using the optimal mix of technology and people:

  • A simple architecture based on 'cloud native' serverless applications with AWS Lambda, using ReactJS with Redux and Java for the back end
  • A continuous delivery pipeline
  • A scalable database with no meaningful limits to growth
  • A powerful engine harnessing the benefits of DevOps
  • Replicable functionalities, that can be reused by regions
  • An improved customer interface utilising a digital user experience

The benefit

The business has been transformed and the client is more agile and responsive
The client now has a strategic platform on which to build new profitable business. In parallel, our client's customers are better served as new processes and automation have shortened response times and improved the service.

As a compute service, the solution runs without provisioning or running servers, sparing the client the complexity and overheads of owning and running a technology stack. This serverless solution can be switched on more quickly and more easily than any physical disaster recovery solution. By utilizing AWS cloud, quantifiable benefits can be enjoyed permanently.

These include:
  • Greatly reduced cost-per-transaction and an increased productivity, which empowered people to focus on more value-generating tasks
  • Tasks that previously took two days to complete are now completed in two minutes
  • With this new flexible and data-driven platform, our client is already closing business that was previously unattractive or inviable
  • Improved client experience that drives new business and loyalty
  • New products can be added easily without changing software and the regulatory compliance burden has eased

Building for the future
The GFT Delivery Framework is built upon a component-based method architecture that supports frictionless continuous change.

Front-end components overview

  • Amazon CloudFront: securing the delivery of data, videos, applications, and APIs with minimal latency impact
  • Amazon S3: Amazon Simple Storage Service, is storage for the internet. This is used to store vast quantities of data with lightning-fast retrieval.

Back-end components overview

  • Amazon API Gateway: enabling developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at scale
  • AWS Lambda: allowing code to be run without provisioning or managing servers
  • Amazon RDS: making it easy to set up, operate, and automatically scale relational databases in the cloud, whilst automating many time-consuming tasks
  • Amazon Cognito: providing authentication, authorization, and user management for web and mobile apps.

All of the above cloud-based components are available on a pay-as-you-go basis with minimal fixed costs. Affordability was a key driver of this project, as the cost/benefit analysis of in-house datacentre proved prohibitive.

A flexible multi-stage, multi-business data model
Beginning with a single 150-page binder, a solution was built as part of a continuous delivery model. From the outset, the system was designed to be businessline and business-risk agnostic. Over time a robust data hierarchy was built to facilitate a systematic approach to processing. However, the system needed to accommodate change ‘on the go’ while maintaining a comprehensive audit trail.