For Bharti AXA Life, the cloud strategy is based on decisions taken for creating value to the business in terms of time to market, flexibility & ability to scale.
Before the company started its digital transformation exercise, the legacy technology landscape consisted of monolithic applications suffering from “Big ball of Mud” syndrome and leveraged large infrastructure footprint with sub-optimal utilization, according to Pankaj Gupta, CTO, Bharti Axa Life Insurance.
Change Management was harder with high time to market. With digital transformation Strategy, it required Bharti Axa to enable Digital elastic Infrastructure which could provide all the components to achieve Microservices architecture leveraging DevOps with optimal utilization & monitoring of infrastructure.
The Cloud enabled Bharti Axa to drastically reduce the time to market for launching new apps/capabilities. “Cloud has brought in Infrastructure like Containers to help us build microservices based applications. With auto-scaling capabilities it has helped manage business seasonality & variability to keep the cost optimized. AWS is our primary Cloud provider while Google is leveraged for Workspace solutions,” said Gupta.
The company aims to migrate all workloads that are strategic in nature to cloud and leave behind the ones with legacy Mainframe technology platforms. The migration strategy is expected to be completed in the next 12 months.
As part of digital & operations transformation, Bharti Axa Life Insurance has built new systems of engagement of cloud-native applications for customers & sellers across the value chain. The organization has also tapped Software subscriptions (SaaS) on the cloud for commodity capabilities/platforms like Single Sign-On, Product configurator, CRM & workflow systems, HR Management Systems, Workspace solutions, and commercial lead management solutions.
Along with this, the insurance provider has also built its Enterprise data management with data lake & customer 360 operational data with dashboards on the cloud. The company strategy is to completely move to Cloud, and AWS is the primary cloud services provider.
As part of multi-cloud strategy it is important for companies to play on the strengths of both for a multi-fold impact, believes Gupta.
“It is also important to consider a single cloud service provider who could bring synergies across the two and use Hybrid Cloud management platforms for monitoring & optimizing the infrastructure. Negotiations with multiple cloud providers are essential to control investment made. Additionally, using Cloud Provider agnostic technology (e.g. Kubernetes) will help optimize the use of infrastructure while taking the advantage of multiple cloud providers,” he added.
With Cloud Native applications, Bharti Axa Life has set up Blue-green deployments as part of DevOps to ensure that there is no downtime required for applications that are available 24×7.
With Multi-AZ deployments across regions, creating read replicas, clustered environments along with the use of load balancers contribute towards minimizing the downtime.
The insurance company is also focusing on its data center to ensure a robust connectivity including to cloud and enabling virtualization using VMWare technology with best in class storage & backup solutions.