The Institutes is a nonprofit organization that provides designation programs and continuing education for insurance professionals.
The Institutes’ information technology (IT) department had grown over the years to 20-30 developers split across six teams. The team was struggling to scale their development practices and the technologies they used to this size. Coordination across these teams was becoming more difficult and error-prone. In particular, release management was an ad hoc process without sufficient technical or process support; the result was multiple failed deployments and customer-impacting system downtime. The Institutes wanted to improve their development process to accommodate this scale of concurrent development, reducing the risk of errors and increasing developer efficiency.
Our team solved these issues by:
The IT department now uses a mix of old and new technologies to manage their development operations:
The Release Management initiative has had several positive effects on the Institutes’ IT department:
This project addressed issues that appear to be far removed from our client’s customers. Software configuration management? Virtual environments? Oracle and Python?
None of these things show up directly in front of a customer. However,the challenges faced by the IT organization showed up in fewer new features, more bugs, and system downtime. Your customers can’t buy from you if your systems aren’t up!
As unglamorous as this all may seem, improving the way in which the IT department manages, builds, and deploys its software has a significant and immediate impact on the end customer.