Case Study IAG
IAG is the largest general insurance company in Australia and New Zealand, with a wide range of products to protect homes, lifestyles and businesses. With a purpose “to make your world a safer place”, IAG has successfully served customers in all areas of their lives and, as a result, grown several brands. To continue in the modern era, a critical strategic pillar of IAG is to create value through digital by creating connected customer experiences across its network of products.
Digitising their customer experiences entails using technology to unlock value to customers and automate much of their operational processes to create efficiency in their business. Multiple systems and teams manage a diverse range of products and brands, bringing complexity. APIs are heavily used to bring together multiple systems to complete end-to-end processes. Managing their technology landscape requires new ways to manage workload, ensure responsiveness and increase the visibility of overall performance. IAG adopted the latest Observability and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) practices to surface and monitor performance data. The IAG team has a mission statement of “building and maintaining reusable assets, tools and services to optimise business agility”. Observability provided the focus to metrics to help tell their story with:
- Uptake of APIs within IAG as they introduce platforms to our API capabilities, measuring the trend in growth
- Increase in the re-use of open, secure, externally exposable APIs
- Increase in number of requests, trending channels, brands and consumers
The challenge for Boxfish was to consolidate the immense quantity of data available into an easily consumable format for all audiences.
IAG has increased their ability to surface metrics around its primary APIs to improve decision-making and respond to performance concerns or errors. Boxfish also ensured that all personnel is well-versed in Prometheus, Observability and SRE principles and practices, fully able to progress and expand the value provided. Boxfish has enabled IAG to:
- Report on metrics in detail and more accurately - telling their story better to stakeholders
- Apply new business and technical metrics such as business functions inhibited by faulty functionality, abnormality with systems, and availability of systems
- Develop dashboards with appropriate alerts and notifications to the targeted audience
- Reduce time to detection for performance problems and affected functionality
- Provide customer-facing portals and systems that proactively managed and logged problems using the Rate, Error & Duration (RED) concept
- Train staff in using Prometheus and Grafana to create queries, rules, alerts and purpose-driven dashboards
- Share Observability capability with all business stakeholders and receive feedback.
- Show trends and events to identify and diagnose problems with drill-down capability
Boxfish was engaged to work with IAGs IT teams to help build their capability and application of Observability. This entailed uplifting the ability to report on progress and demonstrating the success of the API delivery over time to executive-level management; implementing Observability required deep-diving into the API platform and defining meaningful business and technical metrics for improving the performance, availability and security of the systems. By leveraging existing platforms to surface critical information, a dashboard was designed to focus on business, performance, and risk metrics. Due to the large and diverse audience that relies on the data, the visualisation was designed to filter, drill down and view impacts on each component or customer, enabling trends to be shown.
The Boxfish Difference
IAG’s digitisation of customer experiences and automation of operational processes for efficiency needs a combination of practices, tools and capabilities to succeed. Boxfish demonstrated the ability to right-size from industry best Observability and Site Reliability Engineering practices to apply to IAG.
Boxfish showed genuine interest in uplifting teams’ capability on executive reporting – storytelling through dashboarding. They understood the team’s maturity in terms of skills and tooling and then suggested ways for growing with innovating thinking.”
Sirin Akbas (API Delivery Manager, IAG)
A key to Boxfish’s success is working alongside the teams to generate meaningful business and technical metrics and surfacing data from platforms to enable them. This collaboration and training enable sustainable change in the future.