Case Study

National Health Insurer: Digital Transformation Strategy

Large national health insurer adopts enterprise architecture to support consumer-centric care

Stringent regulation, patient privacy and deeply embedded legacy platforms create high barriers to change for healthcare organizations.

Large health insurance providers find themselves positioned to use data to drive a new model of care focused on viewing patients as consumers. Data consumed from a broad range of sources can be and analyzed to provide customized patient care.

To achieve this data-driven care model and gain an advantage in an industry facing rapid competition, health insurers need to quickly modernize and scale IT infrastructure.

When the CIO of one of the largest national healthcare insurance providers announced a strategy to support this transformation to consumer-centric, customized care, the organization faced challenges that had resulted from an absence of an enterprise architecture strategy.

LEGACY SYSTEMS

The organization’s IT systems had grown organically over the years to support numerous mergers, divestitures and investment opportunities. These systems were loosely integrated, needed to be refreshed and required manual processes to be followed to scale them to meet business needs.

The platforms could not be effectively secured nor efficiently automated without significant rework.

SILOED TEAMS

The organization lacked a cohesive vision and strategy for how to modernize infrastructure given siloed working teams within IT. This led to the slow adoption of new technologies and the persistence of legacy processes, which prohibited digital transformation.

A HOLISTIC GREENFIELD APPROACH

To solve these gaps and still meet the needs of the business to modernize, we applied our modern approach to enterprise architecture.

After a ninety-day evaluation of the current environment, it was apparent that attempting to transform the current IT infrastructure would take more five years to complete. The CIO’s call for transformation, and the pace of market change, required the organization to move much faster.

We built a principle-driven strategy that documented the need for a greenfield approach and outlined a plan for execution.

TRANSFORMED AND SECURE INFRASTRUCTURE

To achieve this objective, we took a holistic with the organization to cut across all IT functions: networkstoragecompute, security and operations. We leveraged our broad set of OEM partnerships to design and implement a fully software-defined data center (SD-DC) platform that comprised:

  • Software-defined networking (SDN) and load balancing was implemented using Arista, VMware NSX, and F5 to create a flexible application delivery fabric for infrastructure optimization and security.
  • Default deny segmentation (Enclaving) was implemented using VMware NSX distributed firewall and Palo Alto Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) to provide user and application micro-segmentation
  • A fully automated and integrated set of operational tools were introduced to provide all tiers of operations personnel the necessary troubleshooting and monitoring environment. Splunk was integrated for security incident event management; VMware vRealize Operations was implemented as the primary infrastructure operations tool; and VMware vRealize Log Insight was implemented for advanced troubleshooting and analytics.
  • VMware vRealize Network Insight was leveraged for application dependency mapping of an initial set of applications to provide detailed data on the impacts of migrating an existing application environment onto the SD-DC platform.
  • Hybrid cloud development and automation (IaaS and PaaS) drove simplification and efficiency in testing, deployment and operations. VMware vRealize Automation/ Orchestration and ServiceNow serve as the primary hubs with extensions into a variety of tools and technologies, such as Microsoft Active Directory, Splunk, Infoblox, VMware vCenter, NSX, Pure, F5, Cisco UCS.

LEVERAGING THE ATC ECOSYSTEM

The full breadth of the WWT Advanced Technology Center (ATC) was leveraged first to evaluate the latest technology within each area as individual components and then as integrated solutions.

Beyond evaluation, the ATC continued to serve as a development sandbox for integrating and testing a multi-OEM enterprise reference architecture. This allowed us to test solutions with the organization before deploying them into their production environment.

A BEST-IN-CLASS ARCHITECTURE IN 90 DAYS

In 90 days, we designed and delivered an always on, available anywhere, guaranteed performing, automated and secure software-defined data center platform including:

  • 194 Virtual Machines Built
  • 50 Components
  • 10 OEMs
  • 25 Automated Workflows
  • 14 Technology Workshops