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Changing the IT Landscape of an Insurance Co. with Big Data

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Wednesday 14th

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17:50 | 18:30

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Theatre 25


Keywords defining the session:

- Insurance

- Data centric

- Big Data

Takeaway points of the session:

- Competing in the 21st century requires a significant change in the way companies are run an in the way they interact with customers that are quickly becoming fully digital. Keeping legacy system with information silos that do not allow real time response for service and decision making is not an option. With the support of big data technology it is possible to build a Data Centric Model to transform processes and provide advance analytics to better serve customers, increase productivity an profits and in that way also grow shareholders value.

- To successfully conduct a transformation process it is necessary to work in parallel with cultural changes inside the company. It requires focus a continuous follow up to get employees to embrace change. Leadership from company executives is vital. Quick wins are necessary so that employees begin to trust the new technologies, but it is also important to have la long-term view and understand that the whole operation has to move around the intelligence of data in real time.


SBS’s previous owners had been on the local market for more than 40 years. During the last quarter of 2016, FairFax Financial Holding acquired their insurance operation in several countries, including Colombia.
Immediately a transition project was started to plan and execute the transfer of all the assets and information included in the purchase deal and the replacement of IT platforms that were not. Although the business portion of the project was important, information stored on file servers, data bases and application migration took most of the effort; +20 TB of information, core systems with both application and DB servers, +500 email accounts among other technology solutions were migrated to a whole new infrastructure.
Once the transition was coming to an end and after a technology landscape review, where both replacement and upgrade of applications were needed, a deep transformation program began taking shape. The project name was inspired in one of the greatest examples of evolution, transformation and survival examples present in nature: SYLI.
SYLI stands on 4 main pillars:
• Latest generation big data technologies to enable a Data Centric model, seeking to have a unique production Database where all the Core, Legacy and business systems can connect using micro services APIs. Since data analytics will be done using real time productive data, the amount of reports, information, intelligence and predictive analysis is limitless. Also, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will be possible once the whole model is implemented, taking customer knowledge and service to a new level,
• In order to feed the Data Centric model, a data ingestion and document intelligence partner was also included in SYLI. Eliminating the use of paper, turning raw information into useful assets, including optic character recognition and enabling real time reporting on the business processes, will dramatically change the client experience with SBS
• Since all the history is stored in legacy systems and taking into account the speed of change in the IT industry, SYLI also includes in its scope the best possible usage of this systems. Ingesting the information into the data lake, connecting the systems through micro services and gradually replacing them, is the strategy selected. To build a new future, the good things from the past are used as foundations.
• Finally, innovation. Not only embracing new technologies but encouraging every colleague inside SBS to think different, to challenge the way things are done. This is why SYLI is not a technology program, but a companywide transformation initiative with deep management support.
As expected, because we come from a different kind of company, we are implementing a new generation of technologies and we are using agile methodologies, lots of lessons learned and unexpected knowledge has emerged on the way. Data governance, internal and external client involvement, program capacity management and many other adjustments are being done to the program on a daily basis.
The main objective of SYLI is making SBS a unique company in the local, regional and global market, with focus on our client experience, clear knowledge of our products, channels and brokers and business processes monitored in real time.