A 158-year-old insurance company is an unlikely place to find innovation, yet CIO Dean Del Vecchio insists Guardian Insurance has transformed itself over the past few years thanks to its implementation of AWS.
Speaking at the opening keynote at AWS re:invent in Las Vegas, Del Vecchio said transformation like this, takes time.
“It’s a multi-year journey, within grey walls and high cubes, with informal and formal collaboration spaces, it’s about fostering teamwork and collaboration –and certainly not what you expect from a 158-year-old insurance company,” he says.
Del Vecchio said Guardian made a decision to invest in tech to make their employee’s jobs easier on daily basis. To do so required drastic retraining of over 2500 employees and involved the deployment of a new way of working.
“It took a year to prepare our environment, “ he says. “We made sure it was enterprise-ready – we looked at gap analysis and AWS was there with us every step of the way to make sure we’re in a compliant environment.”
“We developed a cloud-first strategy and a production first approach.
Del Vecchio says what Guardian has gained from employing AWS is a “highly scalable, available and efficient way to run an operation.
Del Vecchio says working with AWS has allowed the company to simplify its processes.
“We had over 40 SaS providers but there’s only one AWS. We migrated over 200 applications in a 12 month period and this allowed us to shut down our last owned and operated data centre in November 2018
Del Vecchio says Guardian is now truly cloud-first for all things.
“Our staff no longer worry about racking and staking but driving business value. I don’t have to worry about managing a data centre. We can scale up and down as needed. We can fail quickly and break new ground.”
Del Vecchio says now Guardian sees themselves as an innovative company.
“It’s our DNA. We participate in accelerator programs now and we can work effectively with startups.
The CIO says the payoff has been great.
“We just launched guardian direct.com and it allows us to get consumers to directly interact with the products and services.”
Del Vecchion says AWS will remain the company ’s preferred cloud provider and says the company will migrate the remainder of its service soon.
“We chose AWS for its market dominance, maturity, thought leadership and broad capabilities and we want to take advantage of that.
“We will continue to look at how to modernise and expand on AWS and gain insights to clients and customers and embrace new tech to improve customer experience. This will allow us to better serve customers when, where and how they prefer.
“We see AWS as a clear competitive advantage for us. We hold ourselves to high standards – though much has changed in our culture that has not changed. Even in the cloud, everyone deserves a guardian,” he concludes.
The author was a guest of Amazon at AWS re:invent 2018