Keeping it lean: How the financial services industry is tapping IT for operational efficiency

In the financial services world, operational efficiency is essential for paving the road to success. With regular legislative changes, and shifts in economic and public expectations, the insurance industry is required to be one of the most adaptable sectors in the UK. Firms servicing the insurance sector need to be just as flexible in their approach.

From start-ups looking to develop an enterprise-level platform from the ground up, to established companies aiming to refresh their IT infrastructures in line with their business ambitions, implementing a virtualised, streamlined IT infrastructure is key to maximising profits and staying ahead of the competition.

One established company that’s reaping the benefits of an infrastructure revamp is Ai Claims Solutions which has provided a range of non-fault accident services to the industry for the past twelve years. With ambitious targets for growth, but five-year-old technology in place, the insurance organisation wanted to refresh its IT infrastructure to cut datacentre costs, reduce energy consumption, and deliver the performance needed for rapid growth.

Ai Claims Solutions recognised that change was crucial to staying competitive and decided a renewed infrastructure was paramount to meeting its business targets. I forecast that Ai Claims could reduce its energy consumption by 40 percent and it’s a figure the claims company is rapidly approaching.

In addition, backup times have been cut from eight hours to 30 minutes, Microsoft SQL performance has improved by 80 percent, and it now takes the company just half a day to deploy new environments on servers, rather than a week. Most importantly the new infrastructure means Ai Claims Solutions is now able to accelerate the development of new applications, improvements and research.

Through a combination of virtualisation, server consolidation, lower energy costs, a leaner management team, and reduced licensing, the company is now saving an estimated £100,000 a year.

Regardless of a business’ size and maturity, ensuring a reliable, scalable and adaptable IT infrastructure is in place is critical in the financial services industry, and partnering from the outset with an experienced solutions provider can make the road to success a far smoother one.

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Kevin Peesker is General Manager for Dell UK & Ireland, responsible for all aspects of Dell’s Consumer, Small and Medium Business activities in the region. Prior to his appointment to the role in 2011, Kevin was Dell Canada's Vice President and General Manager, responsible for the Canadian small and medium business market. Before joining Dell in January 2003, Kevin occupied several management and executive leadership roles in finance, operations, marketing, sales and general management. In addition to an active family life, Kevin has held several Board positions and is actively involved in community coaching roles. Kevin attended the University of Texas, Pan Am Campus, having been granted an athletic/academic scholarship before transferring to, and completing his bachelor degree, at the College of Commerce, U of S.