Improving process efficiency and enhancing stakeholder engagement with eight new tech applications

25th June 2021

I’ve been working at Davies since 2018 on various IT Projects, and 18 months ago I took on my biggest challenge to date: the delivery of our Insurance Services division’s technology IT strategy. The overall objective was to re-write existing solutions using the latest technology, whilst simultaneously looking to improve functionality and process efficiency to enhance stakeholder engagement.

We wanted to make more efficient and cost-effective solutions.

We developed the strategy with our clients, using feedback from the market with the goal of delivering real time reporting for all stakeholders, a seamless data flow, and automation of as many processes as possible whilst improving data security.

So, when I was asked to write an article about the project and how far we’ve come, I wasn’t sure which angle to begin with.

Do I mention that we’ve not been delayed once by Covid, but have remained tight as a unit?

Or do I mention that we have a project team that’s made up of mostly women? (No glass ceilings over here!)

I could easily begin to boast about the technicalities. We have used the Azure platform to future proof the applications and ensure we are market leaders in technology: the SQL Developers have evolved from SSIS pipelines into Azure Data Factory pipelines.

Or perhaps I explain that we’ve now got certified Azure specialists? Plus, many of our team members have enrolled on Leadership Apprenticeships!

There really has been something for everyone on this project. We have been incredibly lucky to work on what is undoubtedly the most complex project to date in Davies IT. Hence the project name `Hydra` – which we all laughed about at the kick-off meeting. Each application we have developed has a dependency on at least one other application – which didn’t yet exist.

We have developed eight new applications in an 18-month period; some are now undergoing external testing; some are still having features developed. It’s been a difficult job to work out the running order due to inter dependencies and it’s been essential to focus on building the MVP whilst also delivering a quality product.

I’m most proud of the team who have managed to stay positive through 18 tough months – to design and create both functional and aesthetically pleasing applications.

Key applications

  • Access Management – an application that allows the full end to end Access Control of the solution suite to third party administrators.
  • Reporting Repository – a bespoke document management system that allows users to share reports securely using access control measures set within the Access Management application.
  • Data Management Application – which will replace the existing secure file transfer protocol to receive inwards data for internal data processing and reporting. This enables us to reconcile our debt and provide clients with the latest settlement position.
  • Live Feedback Reporting Application – an automated feedback reports submission process that allows users to share comments via a secure online platform.
  • Statement Report Application – an automated statement reporting process for a secure online platform that allows users to share statements with brokers and monitor responses in real time.
  • Insight – which is the engine room of our core systems. This application enables us to readily consume multiple data sources consisting of circa 40 million rows of data each month – and the number increases every month.

These applications will make multiple tasks much easier for our colleagues as well as external customers, Brokers, Syndicates and external auditors. Engaging auditors throughout the development process has been key to ensure we tick all boxes for future audits.

Our ethos has always been to overengineer the product to ensure it is future proof and can be easily deployed anywhere else in our business. We’re already deploying some key characteristics across newly acquired divisions, helping us to develop new services and solutions for our diverse markets and client bases.

Adapting to change is key to survival in any company – and that will now be easier due to our investment in the latest technology. A big thanks to our Software Architect who encouraged us down the microservices route and helped us break away from traditional monolithic architecture. It has enabled us to focus on data flows to provide the highest possible quality of service.

Our next focus as a project team is to deploy these applications into a live environment so stay tuned for further updates!

For more information and details on the new applications and key features, please get in touch with our IT Business Partner, Kim Hill on Kim.Hill@davies-group.com.

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