Data Centre: A Seamless Synergy between Technology and Operations
Data center primarily holds the IT components and application delivery controllers. These components hold and manage critical business data and applications related to operational process
Data Centre is the heart of an enterprise. It holds data which is not just the new currency of the world, but is very critical for organizations for their day to day functioning as well as to ascertain thefuture and as a result build strategy.
Let’s look at the context from an insurer’s perspective. In the current era of digitization, insurance contracts and policies are issued via various platforms web applications, mobile applications and other digital means. In the day to day operations, applications are hosted on the data center where customer, partners and external sources interact with applications and communication methods (Emails, Messages & Chatbots). In this case data storage and quick retrieval is critical. Let us look at a few scenarios why this is so;
- Sales teams and channel partners have mobile apps and portals, where they can generate quotes and issue policies on the go. Everything from quote level information to customers’ history in form of CRM, all has to quickly add up for an informed decision. Fraud triggers based on certain information can only work if there are strong flags sitting on top of really good quality data.
- Archival of policy critical data for the purpose of compliance and claims is very important to examine the records of policy and the customer to aid claim assistance and further underwriting at time of renewals. Example of this is vehicle photographs in case of break in insurance, which needs to be stored to examine for accumulated losses.
- Data Centers help aid analytics for better business intelligence and formulating strategy, as they are used to store structured and unstructured data; right from quote to claim to renewal information.
This information stored in Data Centers is thus used at various stages of the customer lifecycle. Data center primary holds the IT components and application delivery controllers. These components hold and manage critical business data and applications related to operational process.
There is a delicate synergy between Operations and Technology to manage the Data Centre. Below are a few things which both the teams need to consider for successfully managing and maintaining Data Centre:
- Identifying the critical process to avoid poor documentation of critical process
- Scheduling and planning of step by step configuration procedures related to abnormal, and outdated systems.
- Calendarization of activity with coordination with rest of the teams with minimal impact on applications ensuring security controls/ access controls
- Planning for data is extremely important for mission critical situation
With this planning both teams are able work backwards to applications and critical services for data security/Backup and securing.
Clear roles will be identified and assigned. Planned change activities that need to be carried out from time to time, need to be clearly communicated to the appropriate individuals in a timely manner so that no one is caught off guard by the change or by any problems that might occur when the change is made. This may be temporary downtime due to maintenance or some hardware/ backup activity.
There has to be a system within a system approach in place to keep the critical infrastructure records well organized and up-to-date for easy retrieval. Accurate information that is readily available to anyone in the organization needing access is a fundamental operational goal. Ideally this is accomplished through a document management software application that can automate processes and facilitate document processing, storage, retrieval, and archiving. Operations plays a critical role in testing of these applications from time to time basis for ensuring effective operations of a well-run data center.
Authored by KV Dipu, Head – Operations & Customer Service, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
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