Admiral Group, founded in 1993, is British insurance group specialising in coverage for cars and homes. The group serves over 6.5 million customers across Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain via its subsidiary companies.
The group’s European subsidiaries used a traditional hosting service, until 2018 when Admiral Group decided to migrate to AWS. Admiral Group’s Europe CIO Christophe Sanchez said: “Our main distribution channel is digital, and most of our customer interactions are on-line.”
“We started to see the limits of what we could do. Security is guaranteed but it is more and more complex and costly to maintain in these heterogeneous environments. We needed more automation but it was difficult to implement.”
The group was quickly able to create the foundations and structures which enabled it to operate in the cloud securely, while staff were trained via a center of excellence, establishing governance and security. Through this, Admiral Group was able to quickly use AWS and also grant significant autonomy to its cloud-based teams.
Sanchez says: “AWS allows us to move to more modern and automated security models. We very quickly invested in automating it and implementing controls that are just as rigorous as on-premises ones, but adapted to the cloud.”
According to Sanchez, the move to AWS opened up a range of opportunities that had previously been seen as too complex to be achieved within traditional environments.
With AWS, however, Sanchez says: “Once we have an idea, it’s easy to find the building blocks among AWS services – it’s like a box of Lego. It allows us to quickly implement a POC or a solution, and we don’t have to go through long purchasing processes; we just have to add it to the catalogue of authorized services and start using it.”
Moving to the cloud has also had the benefit of removing the hardware limitations that may have previously delayed teams’ progress. The company has also been freed from size limitations on data and the database performance limitations of on-premises environments.
AWS has enabled the group to work faster and more securely whilst also providing professional development opportunities for its teams. Furthermore, following COVID-19 lockdown, AWS enabled the company to build an Amazon Workplaces solution that allowed all employees to work from home safely and securely.
Regarding the group’s future with AWS, Sanchez says: “The agility that we gained with AWS is going to be the benchmark of success in the future. We’ve seen it already: with COVID-19, we scaled up very quickly, going from 0 to 100 percent of our employees working from home. And we achieved in two and a half weeks what would have taken a year on-premises.”