The great AAR Insurance migration

The onset of the pandemic marked an acceleration of digitization amongst many companies across the world. At this leading health insurer in Kenya, the restrictions and the limited movement were no barrier to work. They were just the right set of circumstances.  

06 Oct 2021 . 1,254 Views

As the pandemic raged in 2020 with the wave of restrictions, reopening and more restrictions, a small team from Safaricom and AAR Insurance was taking advantage of the opportunity to work remotely.

They would log into daily and weekly meetings and go over long lists, spreadsheets and process maps and pore over them before going back to their workstations.

They were working on moving 20 applications from a data centre at AAR Insurance’s headquarters to servers on AWS Cloud, and they were racing against time.

This race was driven by two main factors: the data centre was about to reach the end of its life and a long-term plan by the insurance provider was coming to fruition.

When a data centre reaches the end of its life, the natural option is to buy another one. But data centres are expensive and subject to the phenomenon in technology where computational technology becomes faster and more efficient over time.

AAR Insurance had set a strategy to become fully digital about three years before the pandemic struck, but when it did, the pace of this transformation had to increase and the ambition to enable customers and staff have remote access was brought forward.

Wilfred Rono, the General Manager in charge of Operations at the insurer, and his team had set out the steps required and they soon had all the approvals they needed to head to the AWS cloud.

When the team was flagged off by the management and linked up with Safaricom, they were ready for what would become a challenging but interesting migration during the pandemic.

Here is their story.

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