Ecosphere as a Service: Not a Cloud on the Horizon

Every insurer wants quick, flexible, and easy-to-configure portfolio management software that requires as few internal IT and human resources as possible for its integration and operation. What's more, this software should meet all current and future data protection requirements and be maintained and upgraded by competent employees.

Cloud-native platforms address these challenges directly during day-to-day business and operations by combining configurable, scalable software products with corresponding IT infrastructures and customized business models.

The key to a platform lies in scalability

Ideally, a platform is created right at the start of a software solution. The key to a platform lies in the scalability of software products. If attempts are made to solve scalability in the project, this not only prevents the platform, but also results in unnecessary coordination efforts, provisional solutions, technical debt and, in the worst case, dissatisfied customers.

In recent years, many tools and initiatives have arisen in the area of platform development and management. For more information, tools, and solutions, the "Cloud Native Computing Foundation" is a good place to start. Cloud-native computing is the living blueprint of a platform.

The scalability of software products can be viewed in the following terms:

  • Operation: Flexible provision of hardware resources, automation, clear self-service processes (for the customer), monitoring, and metering
  • Project: Configurability and interoperability of software products, documentation, end-to-end process transparency
  • Development: Testability, consideration of customer requirements (end-to-end customer journeys), continuous integration and provision

The underlying software product does not necessarily have to be "cloud-native" or meet the requirements of a twelve-factor app, as long as it was developed with the above-mentioned scalability and the principles of software development follow these paradigms.

Software as a Service = (software + platform) + operation + no longer my computer

A platform can be operated as a "service" in the cloud, virtually on someone else's computer (e.g., Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Engine, Microsoft Azure, so-called "hyperscalers"). This cloud delivery model is referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS), even though a platform with various software products operates in the background. The platform itself then becomes the software.

With a SaaS operating model, the software provider can flexibly scale its costs and resources across any number of customers. The customer of a SaaS offer can get started immediately and cost-effectively and enjoys complete cost transparency and investment security via standard interfaces (including the documentation thereof). The SaaS provider grows with its customer, who can quickly and easily benefit from all platform extensions, partnerships, and features.

For a platform or SaaS offer to be successful, software products should focus on the following:

  1. Standardization and runtime autonomy of customer extensions — independent of existing models — via APIs and maximum configuration options
  2. Standardization of integration projects (configurability, interoperability, and compatibility of interfaces), as well as industrialized migration processes
  3. Standardization of the operation of software products and the platform
  4. Creation of the platform as an integral part of the software products and development, as well as a stand-alone product (e.g., for multi-client capability and internationalization)

Our in|sure Ecosphere platform – Not a feature

The products and operation of in|sure Ecosphere will soon be provided on adesso insurance solutions' Ecosphere as a Service (EaaS) platform. EaaS allows for the standardized, automated provision of software (including its operation), thereby reducing complexity and the need for additional IT resources.

Ecosphere as a Service is therefore neither a feature nor an upgrade process for existing software. The platform is the result of joint software development that surpasses the products themselves, with the goal of being faster (time-to-market/costs), better (quality), and more economical (resources) during the implementation of projects. Not just once – but every time.

Download our free whitepaper Plug & Play - Application Landscape for Insurance Companies as Software as a Service (only available in German) to discover what insurance companies must consider before using the cloud.

Want to learn more about our SaaS solutions? Contact our expert Karsten Schmitt, Head of Business Development.

Do you have any questions or comments? Then please leave us a comment.

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