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a.s.r. | Ensuring the right flexibility and cost structure for a low-code solution

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03 December 2019

4 min

“We knew we needed an independent, unbiased opinion from the industry experts on software quality. That’s the reason we turned to SIG.”
– Director, a.s.r.

ASR Nederland (a.s.r.) is one of the largest three insurers in the Netherlands, offering insurance, pension and mortgage products and services for both consumers and SMEs. The company employs nearly 4,000 people and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.

The Challenge

Ensuring the right flexibility and cost structure for low-code pension administration solution

In 2016, the a.s.r. pension administration department selected a partner for the execution of the pension administration of its client organizations. This partner provided a low-code platform to develop applications specifically for pension administration, focusing heavily on optimizing corresponding calculations. The platform was designed to enable employees working outside of IT, such as pension experts and actuaries, to develop the applications. In this case, the applications were to be implemented by a subcontractor.

As the first custom applications were being developed and implemented, a growing importance was placed on the technical quality of both the core system and the custom applications. a.s.r. knew that a high level of quality would help speed up time to market for new applications, as well as ensure that new releases of both the core and custom applications could be deployed independently. In addition, it was critical that the implementation costs of subsequent applications were kept under control, and that the system could meet the company’s expectations for efficiency gains.

Given the strategic importance of the solution, a.s.r. sought confirmation that it could operate with sufficient flexibility and within an optimal cost structure. This validation therefore required in-depth insight into the technical quality of the solution’s code base.

“We knew we needed an independent, unbiased opinion from the industry experts on software quality,” says one a.s.r. director involved in the project. “That’s the reason we turned to SIG.” 

The SIG Solution

Independent, fact-based assessment of solution’s technical quality

To provide a.s.r. with the necessary insight, the SIG experts conducted an assessment to answer the following:

  1. What’s the current technical quality of the platform in terms of maintainability?
  2. Have the applications been properly separated from the platform to support independent maintenance and separate deployment?
  3. What’s the current technical quality of the applications in terms of maintainability?


A path forward to maintain solution’s required flexibility and cost structure

The SIG analysis provided the independent, expert opinion sought by a.s.r. and also recommended further process improvements to enable the company to maintain its desired level of quality. The a.s.r. team was pleased with the quality of the SIG assessment, which will enable them to take the appropriate actions going forward.

Based on SIG’s advice, a.s.r. created a new position solely responsible for defining the standard application as well as managing the conformity of the applications. This role ensures that the business requirements are aligned with the supplier’s development efforts and that application implementation costs are kept under control.

The insight from SIG has enabled a.s.r. to continue its use of the solution with confidence – and employ new practices to maintain the desired level of flexibility, optimize costs and acquire new customers more efficiently.

To learn more about a.s.r.,  please visit the company’s website.

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