Breaking boundaries through tech innovation
In today's fast-paced business world, where innovation is the driving force behind success, several companies are redefining their essence and Admiral is not left out. Admiral, a prominent FTSE100 organisation in the insurance sector, is breaking barriers and leading the way by transforming its infrastructure in an unprecedented manner.
Admiral is not just an insurance company; it's a technology powerhouse that happens to sell insurance.
In a recent interview with Chris Bevan, the Head of Platform Services at Admiral, he revealed their remarkable journey towards this transformative vision. As the world grappled with the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, Admiral recognised the need to evolve, not only to meet the demands of the present but also to future-proof their operations. This commitment to adaptability and innovation in the face of adversity has positioned Admiral as a trailblazer in the insurance industry.
In this article, we will delve into Admiral's ambitions for network transformation, the challenges they've faced along the way, and the unwavering commitment that drives their digital future.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Admiral embodies a vision that goes beyond traditional insurance services. As Chris Bevan, Head of Platform Services at Admiral, puts it, “We are a technology company that sells insurance.” To uphold this vision, the company has significantly expanded its infrastructure team, focusing on platform engineering and technology, emphasising the rising significance of infrastructure in ensuring customer satisfaction and meeting regulatory requirements.
“We’ve got platform engineering, which is a team of engineers focused on building and maintaining pipelines, providing development, production, and testing environments for product teams. The other side of that coin is platform technology, which consists of all the traditional domain technologies, server storage network, cloud technologies, and database administrators,” Chris explains.
AMBITIONS FOR NETWORK TRANSFORMATION
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sharp increase in digital interactions with customers along with changes in internal working locations and behaviours, necessitating Admiral to scale digital operations while maintaining stability and security. To balance these aspects, Admiral is transitioning towards a multi-cloud tenant infrastructure.
“Our network is built for today, but designed for tomorrow,” says Bevan, signifying Admiral’s foresight in preparing for future technological needs. Security, embedded in the company’s strategy, adopts a DevSecOps approach, “Everything is secure by design now. Security is everybody’s responsibility,” Bevan affirms.
ADDRESSING TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGES
As Admiral shifts towards an engineering-focused mindset, challenges naturally arise. One such challenge is sourcing talent and resources adept in managing and innovating within the new infrastructure landscape. The complexities of managing dispersed teams add another layer. Given the current economic climate, budget constraints press for cost optimisation without compromising system reliability or accessibility. Together, these challenges require a nimbler approach to infrastructure management.
Bevan comments on the need for adaptability:
“For us, it’s about making sure that we’ve got technical roadmaps in place that support our vision, and making sure that they are aligned and that we’re ready to react to any issues.”
Admiral remains unwavering in its commitment to transforming its operations to deliver a higher level of service for users, both internally and externally. “We’ve got SD-WAN on our roadmap. We’ve transformed the way in which our business, strategic directives, and our IT objectives align. It’s a modern, flexible, stable architecture that’s going to underpin Admiral for many years to come,” Bevan elaborates. Despite the hurdles, Admiral’s business transformation journey continues, meeting customer obligations and regulatory requirements.
As Bevan concludes, “If we do it right by our customers, it means we do it right by the regulators as well.”
PREPARING FOR THE NEXT STEPS IN ADMIRAL’S DIGITAL JOURNEY
Admiral is shaping their digital future, overcoming hurdles to embody their identity as a technology company. Central to this transformation is the network fabric, which Bevan emphasises “It’s the glue that holds us together. It’s the transport mechanism for everything Admiral does.” Despite the challenges that arise at both technical and human levels, Admiral’s commitment to flexible strategies and adoption of modern, cloud-considered IT strategies positions them at the forefront of innovation in the ever-more competitive insurance sector.
Challenges are an inevitable part of any transformation journey, and Admiral is not immune to them. Yet, they embrace these challenges with resilience, actively seeking talent and resources, and adapting to new infrastructural landscapes.
Admiral's journey of infrastructure transformation embodies a powerful message for companies across the financial industry. Their transition from a traditional insurance provider to a technology-driven innovator showcases the remarkable potential that lies within every organisation.
Key takeaways for other companies include prioritising technology, embracing adaptability, balancing innovation with stability, and nurturing talent. Admiral's journey serves as an inspiring example of how any organisation can successfully redefine itself in the digital age by harnessing the power of technology and innovation while remaining customer-centric and security-conscious.