How to bolster speed and security? Work with an MSP

Technology advances at a breakneck pace, and so does its complexity. Fortunately, if an enterprise wishes to adopt an innovation, they don’t have to buy the required infrastructure and train employees to run it for them, then deal with a legacy platform after several years. They can simply work with a managed service provider (MSP).

This is precisely what digital insurer Auto & General Southeast Asia did: They recently chose Rackspace Technology to take care of their cloud infrastructure.

According to Koji Yung, A&G SEA’s Infrastructure and Security Manager, they were looking for a “cost-effective” managed services partner who can handle and implement security measures in its cloud infrastructure to protect the organisation from cyberthreats. Furthermore, they needed help meeting local regulatory guidelines, such as those from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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“Having a secure cloud infrastructure is a top priority for us, as protecting the privacy and personal data of our customers is critically important,” said Yung.

“We also needed to improve the performance of our two websites by reducing load times – recognising not only that we cannot expect to keep our customers waiting for the websites to respond, but that search engines like Google give higher rankings to websites with quick load times,” he explained.

Mobile, Yung noted, is also increasingly important to A&G SEA. “52% of our site traffic overall comes from mobile, and 68% in Thailand, so we also needed to ensure that site performance was optimised for all devices,” he said.

With Rackspace Technology, A&G SEA improved its website page load time by 60%.

Describing the service, Yung said Rackspace has a platform that could deploy (and update) security features to combat ever-evolving cyberthreats. “Security solutions can be implemented seamlessly, without impacting service delivery which allows operations to continue as normal,” he remarked.

According to Sandeep Bhargava, Managing Director of Asia Pacific and Japan at Rackspace Technology, using a cloud-based approach for such projects enhances cyber defences because security updates are automated.

Technology-agnostic approach

Yung added that the digital insurer also deployed an edge security solution, which includes a web application firewall, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, domain name system services, and a global content delivery network.

“The edge security solution protects our web applications against security threats including bots, DDoS, and attackers. We can carry out real-time analysis through high-level access to dashboards, while the solution also allows for logging and reporting. Malicious traffic is blocked before it even reaches the web application, which means we enjoy lower web server utilisation costs, and we consume less bandwidth,” he said.

Sandeep Bhargava, Managing Director of Asia Pacific and Japan at Rackspace Technology. Image courtesy of Rackspace Technology.

Rackspace, however, isn’t the only MSP in the region. What helped A&G SEA decide to work with the Texas-headquartered technology company was its service.

“They have knowledgeable consultants and a technical team that provides 24x7x365 support,” said Yung.

The “relatively competitive” pricing played a role as well, he added.

But service and pricing aren’t the only factors to look at. Bhargava believes that Rackspace Technologies is different from competing services because they’re technology-agnostic.

“We can design, build, and operate our customers’ cloud environments across all major technology platforms regardless of technology stack or deployment model. We are alongside our customers at every stage of their cloud journey, enabling them to modernise applications, build new products, and adopt innovative technologies,” Bhargava said.

However, the A&G SEA deployment didn’t go completely without a hitch, as Rackspace Technology faced a time concern during the project.

“Time was of the utmost importance; Auto & General had a short timeline in which to complete the migration,” Bhargava noted.

In the end, Rackspace helped the insurer improve its web and mobile site delivery, as well as its reliability. Latency was also reduced, while website performance was optimised. These are all critical factors for A&G SEA to provide a positive customer experience and help keep customers on their site.

Adding capabilities

So what’s next for Rackspace Technology? What have they been working on recently?

Bhargava shared that they have recently added “full-life-cycle” cloud-native development capabilities, which means they can now offer the service to customers.

“These capabilities help customers build modern applications that take advantage of cloud-native technologies and microservices architectures. This supports our approach of working alongside our customers to re-engineer their legacy applications and build new modern applications that take full advantage of the agility, reliability, and cost-saving benefits of the cloud,” he explained.

In Singapore, specifically, Rackspace Technology has acquired Just Analytics. “The company provides cloud-based data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) services across the Asia Pacific and Japan region. The acquisition will also bring stronger regional ties with the Microsoft Azure ecosystem,” Bhargava said.

Bhargava also revealed the top-level results of a global survey by Rackspace Technologies, which found that while AI and machine learning (ML) are on nearly every organisation’s radar, there is still a lot of work to be done to reap their full benefits.

“While 99% of Singapore respondents said that AI/ML is a priority for their organisation, almost half (42%) indicated that measuring and proving the technologies’ business value remains a challenge,” he said.

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