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Australian well being insurer nib’s 9-year migration to AWS cloud is lastly over


Australian well being insurer nib’s cloud migration began in 2015. Nonetheless, it wasn’t till 9 years later, in 2024, that it was in a position to full the migration of 100% of on-premise workloads, 95% to Amazon Net Providers and the remaining 5% to different cloud platforms.

nib Chief Data Officer Brendan Mills mentioned mission prioritisation proved to be a problem, with IT balancing growth-related enterprise initiatives alongside the migration. He mentioned the completed mission positions nib properly for utilizing AI, which is being piloted for a variety of use circumstances.

SEE: Evaluating cloud choices? See our comparability of AWS with Google Cloud.

Who’s nib, and why is its cloud migration a giant deal?

Australia’s nib is a High-100 ASX-listed non-public well being insurer. With a gaggle income of AUD $1.7 billion final 12 months (US $1.1 billion), it provides well being and medical insurance coverage to 1.6 million Australian and New Zealand residents, and paid out $1.2 billion in claims over the last reporting interval.

Along with being amongst Australia’s largest medical health insurance gamers, nib can be:

  • An Australian prime three participant and international distributor of journey insurance coverage.
  • A number one supplier of medical health insurance for worldwide college students and employees in Australia, the place it insures round 200,000 worldwide college students and employees.
  • Has an curiosity in Australia’s Nationwide Incapacity Insurance coverage Scheme, the place it has executed a number of acquisitions and helps 40,000 members by means of its nib Thrive enterprise.
  • Maintains a majority stake in medtech organisation Midnight Well being, which has offered entry to healthcare by means of telehealth providers to greater than 160,000 Australians.
  • Has a knowledge science and repair three way partnership with Cigna Company referred to as Honeysuckle Well being.

nib’s dimension, footprint and operations in a regulated business imply its all-in transfer to the cloud is important. The mission wanted to contemplate key dangers comparable to paying insurance coverage in a well timed method to prospects, safeguarding buyer information and minimising danger for buyers.

Why did nib resolve to maneuver all the pieces to the cloud?

nib first began to experiment with the cloud in late 2015. Mills mentioned that, like many giant Australian companies, it began small with a view to accelerating shortly. The enterprise was primarily motivated by the agility that it believed shifting to the cloud might deliver.

SEE: Our refresher on some great benefits of cloud computing

The shift to the cloud was not all by design. By merger and acquisition exercise and development, together with the operation of a giant journey insurance coverage arm, nib had seven disparate information centres; considered one of these was nib-owned, whereas the others have been a mixture of co-located information centres.

“We noticed the advantages of a extra targeted funding in know-how that may profit our prospects, versus managing information centres and infrastructure,” Mills defined.

Shifting a major insurance coverage system of file to AWS

In 2019, nib migrated its company medical health insurance enterprise GU Well being to AWS. This marked a major enhance in its use of cloud providers, and one of many Australian medical health insurance business’s earliest migrations of an insurance coverage system of file to the cloud in Australia.

By the ultimate levels of the migration, nib has moved different a number of Excessive Inherent Danger methods. “By transferring these EIR methods, we’ve additional fortified our know-how spine, making certain that essential operations are working on superior and resilient platforms,” Mills mentioned.

Key learnings from nib’s epic cloud migration mission

nib achieved the migration of 95% of its on-premise workloads into the AWS cloud in February 2024, after the closure of the final of its seven information centres. Mills mentioned the remaining 5% of its workloads are supported by different cloud suppliers and SaaS methods. These are a few of the learnings from this cloud migration mission.

Select a cloud supplier aligned together with your cloud technique

Mills mentioned AWS was chosen because the well being insurer’s major cloud companion on the again of its product set, its scale and its sturdy means to companion with prospects. nib is sustaining a 5% toehold with different suppliers as a deliberate technique to offer it with future optionality.

This was a consideration for nib in addition to insurance coverage regulator APRA, who’s absolutely aligned with nib’s strategy. “I’m not suggesting we are going to up our tent and transfer campground, however a few of these purposes have been refactored, and we now have some optionality round a few of these.”

Inner prioritisation can place strain on mission timeframes

The most important mission difficulty was the momentum and prioritisation hurdles encountered after the mission began in 2017. Mills admitted that “we’d have favored this to occur earlier,” regardless that nib was nonetheless taking a really methodical and risk-conscious strategy to the mission.

Mills defined that it’s typically “exhausting to get government colleagues enthusiastic about cloud migration” and that cloud and infrastructure was by no means seen as a cause to not help enterprise development. This meant balancing priorities between different enterprise know-how wants and the migration.

Working with regulators can require vital time funding

nib labored intently with APRA to satisfy its stringent cloud adoption requirements and necessities. That is thought of essential for methods of file, which keep data important for an establishment to find out its obligations to prospects and counterparties.

Mills mentioned nib spent loads of time all through the method consulting with APRA, together with working up artefacts and offering data on its migration to make sure that it aligned with cloud computing steerage. He mentioned, whereas he wouldn’t name this difficult, “there was loads of it.”

SEE: The challenges and advantages of cloud migration

Count on technical challenges as merchandise and purposes evolve

There have been some technical points encountered all through the mission; Mills mentioned this occurred in some circumstances the place a product set had advanced or purposes wanted refactoring. Nonetheless, he mentioned the enterprise went in with “eyes extensive open” to those potentialities.

Entrench cloud optimisation as an “evergreen and ongoing” course of

The well being insurer’s cloud optimisation is one thing that it continues to take a look at. Mills mentioned this sees the enterprise sitting down “shoulder to shoulder” with AWS to take a look at cloud spending by means of a finops lens to optimise and guarantee it’s “paying for the suitable issues.”

What advantages does nib count on after its cloud migration?

Mills mentioned the finished cloud migration will present nib with an expansive surroundings that may be dialed-up or down, which can be price environment friendly and permits higher member information analytics.

“The transfer could be very a lot a strategic determination on many fronts,” he mentioned.

“We’re assured concerning the surroundings; AWS offers us with agility and suppleness, and permits nib to construct functionality in the way in which we function our enterprise and comprise prices.”

SEE: The cloud computing future, in line with Gartner

AI use circumstances being explored throughout nib’s enterprise

nib expects the cloud to permit it to develop its present use and future exploration of synthetic intelligence. The well being insurer is already experimenting with or deploying use circumstances for generative AI in a variety of areas, together with “nibby”, an AI-powered voice and textual content chatbot.

nibby, which had managed 3.2 million buyer queries since its first launch in 2017, was developed and enhanced utilizing AWS providers, together with Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Lex. SageMaker is designed to assist organisations construct, practice and deploy machine studying fashions, whereas Lex is a managed AI service for constructing conversational interfaces.

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