Implemented in the right way, DevOps can help insurers reduce time to market, increase team productivity, lower risk and improve resilience.

In a DevOps environment, applications are no longer “built” as one distinct activity and “maintained” as another. DevOps brings development and operations stakeholders together, using both cultural change and automation techniques for deployment, environment set-up, configuration, monitoring and testing—to increase speed to market, improve quality and reduce the costs of deploying new products.

But this is just scratching the surface of the value insurers can gain. By embracing DevOps, organizations can take advantage of metric-driven feedback loops to improve productivity, introduce new features in hours or days rather than months, introduce changes in real-time, eliminate regression defects and identify security vulnerabilities at build-time.

In any DevOps implementation, organizations should follow two sets of guiding principles.

1. Technical principles:

  • Implement strong source control.
  • Enable zero-touch build and deploy.
  • Test early and often.
  • Automate everything (in pipelines).
  • Take advantage of the elastic supply of cloud resources.
  • Use a fine-grained service architecture (API-first).

2. Organization and culture principles:

  • Build cohesive teams with shared objectives.
  • Use lean principles and encourage continuous delivery of value.
  • Embrace failure, recover automatically and degrade gracefully.
  • Experiment without regret.
  • Enable continuous improvement.

To maximize business value, organizations also need to choose resources and tools that support the DevOps process. We recommend:

  • Integrated Development Environments (IDE): A cloud-hosted development environment, such as the Accenture DevOps Platform, and tools such as Eclipse and Xcode.
  • Continuous integration: The autonomous building and testing of code submissions requires a source code repository, code branch management and code review, and tools such as Git, Gerrit and Jenkins.
  • Continuous delivery: Quality gates should be enforced using code analysis with tools such as SonarQube, code quality, coding standards and standardized tests against re-usable components and libraries.
  • Continuous deployment: Managed roll-out of new features with A/B testing using tools such as Docker and Cucumber.

For insurers wanting to implement a DevOps environment without having to build their own solution from the ground up, Accenture’s DevOps Platform delivers a cloud-hosted development environment for continuously testing, releasing and maintaining applications. It comes with preconfigured tools, test environments, automation blueprints, leading practices and security features. We also offer complementary strategy and implementation services to help insurers assess their existing software delivery maturity, build a value case for change, define a DevOps framework and governance structure, and select the right blend of automation tools.

DevOps encourages flow and systems thinking, an amplified feedback loop, and continual experimentation and learning—and addresses insurers’ need for flexibility and speed in a world where stakeholder and customer expectations are changing rapidly and the pace of business is increasing exponentially.

To learn more, visit DevOps: Are you ready to shift to continuous delivery?

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