Global Insurance Firm
Enhanced visibility and financial performance through global enterprise standards

Challenge: Rapid global expansion causes high costs and poor visibility

The IT organisation of this global insurance enterprise, one of the largest in the world, had, during sustained period of rapid business growth, developed into a fractured business. The disparate nature of the structure meant that each country operated as a standalone unit, with the regional IT organisations planning and operating independently with no alignment in technology platforms, standards or teams.


The result of this growth was that the countries within each of these regions had their own IT operations teams, their own products & technologies, their own configuration standards and their own operational tooling. The net effect was a business encumbered with huge, unmaintainable IT operations with costs that were disproportionate to the businesses size, caused by having to manage and operate the wide range of technologies and applications.


Further, the company’s agility was fettered by the inability of the different regions to have visibility of, or gain access to, data across other parts of the organisation, reducing its competitiveness and impeding its ability to operate as a truly global enterprise.

At a glance

  • IT infrastructures had developed organically with regional IT teams working to their own architectural standards.
  • IT architectures were becoming increasingly complex and it was difficult to share information.
  • WhiteSpider created a comprehensive reference architecture library in line with business strategy.
  • The outcomes were enhanced visibility, increased agility and improved financial performance.

Approach: Standardisation of global enterprise architectures

WhiteSpider approached this work by employing their ea4 framework, a proven methodology that standardises the delivery of IT services. This 4 stage approach is flexibly adapted to projects of differing scopes and scales, and in this work the emphasis was on the ‘Audit’ and ‘Architecture’ functions of the framework.

Audit

WhiteSpider carried out a series of IT strategy and solution audits to determine:


  • The business technology requirements for each region
  • Use-cases to understand how the technology is used
  • The key technologies in use across each of the regions

Architecture

The output of the audit work was used to develop enterprise reference architecture models in order to start to create standards in terms of IT services, platforms and features for the global enterprise. The business benefit of these standards is to ensure that each instance of a technology deployment or change follows a standardised model and framework of configuration. Such a model, however, gives individual teams and organisations flexibility of technology choice to ensure optimum cost and performance.


From this, WhiteSpider created a reference architecture library that covered the following ICT services and architectures:


  • Network Operations & Enterprise Management
  • Branch Office Infrastructure & Services
  • Data Centre Architecture
  • Wide Area Networking
  • Network Optimisation
  • Enterprise Security
  • Application Delivery
  • Enterprise Technology life-cycle management

These elements were provided as a centralised reference library for all the regions to standardise on their specific set of features, functionality and platforms.

Digital transformation

Turning strategy into reality through the effective use of IT.

Outcome: Enhanced visibility, agility and financial performance.

The result of the reference architecture library was to give the organisation a framework within which to start to create and build a structured and standardised IT estate. With a standardised approach to developing and deploying architectures the organisation gained significant benefits:


Visibility

Enabled cross regional visibility of the infrastructure, enabling a ‘follow the sun’ support model and reducing the global operational footprint.


Financial performance

Reduced the cost of ownership of IT through the use of a global standards for delivering technologies throughout the enterprise, such as:


  • Global Data Centre consolidation
  • Branch office services
  • Security services and operations
  • Unified communications

Agility

Improved agility of delivering new services across the organisation with standardised technologies.

WhiteSpider are consummate technical experts and design authorities for all things network and security related. Their capability and technical solutions, in both operational and architectural disciplines, are second to none. They have vast experience in data centres, security & networks and the results they deliver are nothing short of outstanding.

Vice President of Enterprise Infrastructure Architecture & Engineering

About WhiteSpider

Established in 2012, WhiteSpider specialises in providing consultancy, strategic advice, and practical support in enterprise service architectures. The company helps organisations to standardise their IT and communications infrastructures by using a unique new service framework – ea4 – developed specifically with the needs of global enterprises in mind. Headquartered in the UK, WhiteSpider works with global companies across a range of industry sectors, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, construction and motorsport.

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