How Axa drives digitisation forward

How Axa drives digitisation forward

Digital improvement is not a one-shot task– it’s a constant and developing procedure that needs a state of mind modification in IT management


Released: 18 Nov 2021 14: 04

Digital change is a continuous task, cautioned Olivier Vansteelandt, CIO at Axa Luxembourg and Axa Wealth, at a current occasion.

Speaking at the MuleSoft Financial Services Summit, Vansteelandt explained the actions his IT work required to require to shift to an IT department for digital change. “I like to bridge the space in between IT and organization,” he stated. “These are 2 worlds that do not comprehend each other extremely well.”

Axa’s Luxembourg company consists of simply 300 individuals. Vansteelandt explained it as a little business, running all kinds of insurance coverage items, which suggests it has the exact same intricacy as other parts of the Axa Group, however runs with a much smaller sized group. “Thanks to the engagement of the group, we were very versatile and we might respond rapidly as a little business, however we were not nimble by style,” he stated.

Vansteelandt stated that like lots of monetary services business, Axa Luxembourg is arranged by company line, each with its own scope of activities, items and IT systems. These systems are linked together utilizing point-to-point (p2p) combination. “With a p2p combination design, you hang out structure user interfaces on systems,” he stated. “In the start, you believe it is a shift, however [digital] change is an irreversible state.”

In impact, from an IT management viewpoint, digital improvement suggests that the IT function should be run in such a manner in which tasks are run iteratively. “For every modification on a user interface, you require to retest whatever,” stated Vansteelandt.

However, Axa Luxembourg’s existing architecture was based upon p2p combination in between systems. These can frequently remain in location for several years, which, according to Vansteelandt, causes a complex IT architecture that is extremely costly to preserve. “You use up a great deal of energy incorporating systems,” he stated. “You believe it is a shift, however there is no end point.”

Vansteelandt stated the business’s previous technique to IT combination was not nimble adequate to the assistance business requirement to synchronise more platforms. This implied that any extra performance needed for a digital effort brought substantial expenses.

” We chose to examine the method,” he stated. Rather of utilizing p2p combination, Axa Luxembourg has actually switched to API (application programs user interface)- led connection and changed its focus to client centricity, stated Vansteelandt.

He developed a group to centralise its API technique and specify a canonical information design that might then be utilized to line up all parts of business onto the exact same information dictionary. This caused a typical information taxonomy throughout Axa’s line of product. 4 years into this API method, all combination is accomplished through Mulesoft. Architecturally, the APIs are divided into 3 layers, covering system, procedure and experience.

The advantage of having a main API technique is that it promotes reuse in various jobs. According to Vansteelandt, an API-based architecture changes the method information is structured, which implies the architecture at Axa Luxembourg is far more versatile than in the past. “You do not require to transform the wheel doing point-to-point combination and you can recycle parts,” he stated.

The versatility of the platform indicates that when a little part of the architecture is redeveloped, there is no requirement to redevelop and evaluate whatever else, stated Vansteelandt.

For Vansteelandt, an API method uses Axa Luxembourg a 3rd advantage, which shows how the insurance coverage sector is altering. Axa supplies items for customers and ingrained insurance coverage, such as the insurance coverage that is used totally free when somebody purchases a brand-new cars and truck. “Insurance items are ending up being a product,” he stated.

Vansteelandt stated that with the capability to look for insurance coverage items by means of the web, “there is no requirement for service and suggestions”. He included: “Then there is a 3rd design, which is a specific niche market, where insurance companies are professionals.” These cover really particular threats, such as guaranteeing business airplane, he stated.

Axa Luxembourg requires an API community to handle these various designs at the exact same time, stated Vansteelandt. “Managing client relationships is truly crucial. We need abilities varying from extremely standard web items to the APIs that we provide to partners and for brand-new kinds of services. It is crucial to have connection and have combination throughout gamers in this community.”

For an API technique to be successful, Vansteelandt thinks the culture of IT requires to alter from one concentrated on specific tasks to having a top-down method driven by an excellent architectural group. “It’s about lining up individuals to the exact same objectives,” he stated.

Another concern to think about is budgeting. “Who foots the bill?” stated Vansteelandt, including that it is extremely essential to have actually clear guidelines specified.

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