In Part 1 and Part 2 of our microservices blog series we shared our views on microservices architecture (MSA) and the business values it delivers. We looked at how MSA benefits the insurance industry in the age of the API economy and the #InsurTech revolution. In Part 3, we talked about some of the best practices, the impact on people and process, and how KPIs validate the outcomes of a microservices approach.
Hopefully, you now understand microservices capabilities enough to want to start innovating your insurance value chain with smart micro-apps. As we reviewed the benefits, however, we also articulated a number of challenges, such as:
- API design: Having the right level of API granularity, having a repository to catalog and organize the APIs, enforcing the documentation of the API, de-centralized governance of APIs
- Technology: The complexity of the distributed nature of the services, managing discovery of services, API gateway, service versioning, high availability, autoscaling using a cloud platform, and doing all of this in a rapidly evolving technology landscape
- DevOps: Tooling, to automate the management of SDLC for the vast number microservices APIs, continuous integration and continuous delivery with quality
- Organizational Culture: Facilitating collaboration between development and operations and creating the culture of shared responsibility.
In this fourth and final blog, we would like to show you how Majesco’s Digital1st will help you rapidly innovate with microservices by overcoming these challenges.
Can I have my cake and eat it too?
With Majesco’s Digital1st approach, the seemingly opposing forces of managing the complexity of microservices architecture and delivering the business benefits of this architecture rapidly at scale — come together. Digital1st is the insurance industry’s first “born cloud microservices-based platform.” It does the heavy lifting of building and managing the microservices for your insurance apps while hiding the complexity of managing technology infrastructure. It also comes with Insurance Content, some based on ACORD P&C and L&A Standards to help accelerate development and promote consistency of the data model. It allows you to focus on building your application logic and digital customer experience in a declarative manner while keeping the architectural integrity underneath.
Designed for Speed to Value
Speed to value is one of the most important value propositions of the Digital1st platform. We have realized this benefit with some creative outside-in thinking. Majesco designed the toolset and the processes so that you can realize business value sooner. Digital1st hides the complexity of the underlying technologies while giving business analysts a simple WYSIWYG user interface. For example:
- A business analyst can focus on graphically defining business entities, attributes, relations between entities and rules, while the Digital1st platform does the heavy lifting to generate the microservices for all of these.
- Someone without in-depth knowledge of HTML/CSS or Java/.Net can simply use the page designer to visually build the responsive user interfaces that not only look great on all devices, but are also visually wired with the microservices built for the data layer.
- Most insurance rules can be written using a simple point and click interface, without the need for writing code.
- Where complex conditions exist, the user can define rules using “Snowflake,” our Insurance Domain Specific Language that is very expressive, dynamic, functional and object model aware.
- With its robust, model-driven approach, users can build integrations with external systems using a simple drag and drop interface. Painful and time-consuming integration projects are things of the past.
- Digital1st has the ability to create modular and extensible configurations.
Connect with Insurance Ecosystem
In this digital age, platform ecosystems are the foundation for creating new value by combining different APIs. A number of data sources are becoming available. These come from both established and non-established players, as well as from startups and from insurance technology companies, and they are all made available as APIs. Majesco’s Digital1st EcoExchange provides a one-stop-shop “App Store” experience for insurance APIs, provided by a vast partner ecosystem. This allows rapid application development by using a Find and Bind approach to construction by assembling the available APIs, instead of building everything from scratch.
The Digital1st platform provides an easy-to-use interface to manage API subscriptions. For digital apps created using Digital1st, one can use the drag and drop process flow modeler to connect to the subscribed APIs in a LOW-CODE/NO-CODE manner. EcoExchange also acts as an API registry that can be used by native applications to simply consume the services.
Digital1st eConnect hosts an array of ready-to-deploy digital apps that provide native out-of-the-box integration with Majesco’s core suite, exposed as APIs. Thanks to our emphasis on building on applications with a semantic model, these apps can also be easily integrated with other core systems.
Create Extraordinary Customer Experiences
With Digital1st, you can map your customer experiences like never before. Create more personalized apps, targeted to specific demographics, personas, and access methods by easily reusing the same underlying data model and rules. You receive the full benefits of microservices-based development, because it allows for straightforward experimentation to test the best sequences for a process flow or question. You can also utilize hypothesis-based development, combined with native A-B testing abilities, to understand what works and what does not work and make quick corrections — enabling you to roll out changes incrementally, rapidly, and with confidence. Digital1st is designed to inspire a new standard for customer experience.
Deliver Continuously with Built-in DevOps
With its integrated change tracking system, Digital1st can help you plan your incremental changes with tickets. Develop the changes using the tickets and test in isolation in the development environment, without the need to do the compile, build, and deploy cycle associated with a traditional development lifecycle. Once development is complete, changes can be “promoted” to the QA environment instantaneously, with the click of a button. In QA, the changes get tested in an integrated fashion with other tickets. If the ticket passes in QA, it can be promoted to the acceptance environment. The acceptance environment is kept in sync with production by “demoting” any ticket that does not pass testing. Changes that pass in acceptance can be promoted to production instantaneously and with confidence. The platform comes with four environments: Development, Test, Acceptance and Production, as standard. Additional environments can be provisioned quickly as needed. The APIs for ticket promotion with appropriate security considerations, can be easily used with any CI tool, such a Jenkins. This automates the testing when changes are promoted to QA and the acceptance environment in order to make the go/no-go decision. With its supercharged support for CI/CD, Digital1st empowers continuous innovation and agility to rapidly test and learn.
As we discussed in Part 3, any discussion about microservices and DevOps will be incomplete without addressing the people and organizational culture. To address these concerns, Digital1st provides an innovative cloud-based IDE to track development and operational activities online in a collaborative manner. It gives up-to-date information to all stakeholders in real time, allowing them to see a unified view of the system to better align development and operations.
Grow with the Power of the Cloud
Thanks to the cloud-native architecture of the Digital1st platform, every digital App you build is powered by the cloud. Whether it is a transactional quoting app or a customer survey app or even a social blog posting site for your staff/channels, you can rest assured, knowing that if there is a spike/peak demand situation, your app will automatically scale up and scale down as needed, while providing high availability, and without causing adverse customer experiences. This allows insurers to take advantage of optimal pooling opportunities and the increased utilization of resources while keeping costs down. It also places the business in complete control of expenses with usage-based pricing geared for “Pay as you Grow.”
We hope you enjoyed our series on microservices architectures and how Majesco is revolutionizing the digital application development landscape with the Digital1st platform. We are excited about the power and benefits of the microservices architectures for the insurance industry — with the promise of simplicity and a faster route into Digital Insurance 2.0. We would love to hear your feedback about our views on microservices architectures and their benefits within insurance.
In the coming weeks, we will dive deeper into the EcoExchange and how this API gateway will transform insurers’ ability to rapidly gather, analyze and use data for digital decisions.