FWD Insurance has embraced open source technology by partnering with Red Hat to face growing traditional and non-traditional competition. With this, it wants to break its reliance on proprietary systems and a single vendor per system. The move reduces time to market and will enable FWD to plug into multiple vendors thereby helping it to pursue open APIs, enter new distribution channels and provide new products and services.
FWD has nine operating entities active in eight markets with different regulations. As a result, FWD has to rely on a diverse set of solutions and vendors. Traditionally, these financial institutions build and control everything in-house or rely on global vendors. This significantly increases time to market for innovative initiatives.
With Red Hat, FWD can outsource tech support, as they would with a proprietary vendor with required tech and development expertise. For FWD, reducing time to market from six months to two-three months will be one of its 2020 imperatives. During 2019 the company focused on designing foundations and 2020 is about implementation, as it wants to use DevOps to develop new products.
Red Hat uses Linux which is an open-source operating system that can be customised by independent developers worldwide. The applications are ‘containerised’ using Linux, which helps with easy porting among different platforms. To make this process seamless, Google has developed a platform called Kubernetes that automates the movement of containers, including across different types of cloud platforms. Red Hat is the second largest contributor to Kubernetes programs (after Google) and it has commercialised it for enterprises.