DevOps has emerged as a buzz word recently. It’s mainly a business-oriented approach to deliver strategic solutions that use agile methods of automation and collaboration. This approach requires cooperation between stakeholders from business, operations and technology team to quickly provide and operate reliable software.
Any organization today strives to have seamless operations to enhance the end consumer experience. However, more often than not, business process experts and the delivery team tend to work in their siloes which may have an impact on the outcome. Through DevOps; developers, testers, business process experts and delivery team closely work together to achieve the desired results, simply because it helps with better understanding of the requirement and everyone is on the same page. My perspective is that DevOps is just an evolving practice for improving technological outcomes.
Many Insurers have already launched DevOps initiatives with selected application teams, and some have adopted them for digital transformation projects. DevOps employees support the deployment model to enable teams to accelerate the development and deployment of insurance solutions that customers value at every point in the journey.
At Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, we developed an Enterprise Platform, to lay foundation of the DevOps strategy. The entire tool stack was deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the initial phase of execution while, the GitLab was utilized for source code management to maintain synchronization between developers and process experts.
However, setting up the DevOps framework came with its challenges like the defect tracking and requirement gathering process. To ensure smooth flow of operations and seamless testing, a test case management process was set up and enabled with tools to train the teams on usage of such tools.
There is always a need to refactor code, to have the best possible outcome (with lesser lines of clean code) and inspect every line to perform automated reviews to detect bugs and assess vulnerabilities before-hand. We used SonarQube tool for Static code quality, which eases the code refactoring process in 20+ programming languages. The entire code is safely stacked up with the Nexus for artifact repository.
The above setup has benefited our company to effectively and quickly collaborate across stakeholders; more than 200 users were on-boarded from partners and collaborators. The DevOps strategy has helped us increase the efficiency by 20% with automation and deployment. We save 10% of our time spent on post deployment tasks like docker restart, docker stability and health check. Developers are on-boarded to enable concurrent work with the help of GitLab and shortening DevOps cycle time for deployment of multiple services.
“DevOps and continuity go hand in hand”
A development strategy focuses on continuous deployment of business applications that enables customers to have the best market experience. Insurers need to modify their approach to build and maintain applications to be effectively competitive in an era of digitization, and DevOps provides the latest and best recommendations for doing so. To enable an insurer with DevOps strategy, there is a need to have a holistic approach that keeps in mind the dependencies and interconnections between all departments of the organisation. Best practices for a successful DevOps implementation for any insurer involves; facilitating collaboration between business process engineering, product development, operations, underwriting, marketing, sales and support teams.
A strategy is not confined to one specific technology or practice but involves all people and multiple technologies in the strategy. Once you have implemented DevOps strategy, you receive and transform compliance and control through automated policies, monitoring, measuring, and continuous integration.
Authored by KV Dipu, Head – Operations & Customer Service, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
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