Standard Life has saved £6m by developing new products on a life and pensions platform wholly built using a service oriented architecture.
The insurance company is due to go live with 11 products on the platform this week, and it plans to build all new products on the platform for the foreseeable future.
Although product development using the platform only began last August, Standard Life has been able to launch 14 products using SOA. All of the insurer’s Irish business is now administered using the platform, and legacy products for the Irish market have been migrated.
The SOA used by Standard Life is based on IBM’s Websphere. It has enabled the IT department to cut costs and speed up product development by reusing applications and modules across projects.
Standard Life chief technology architect Ian Muir said, “We put some capability in our SOA to identify reuse in December 2004. We are getting £6m in savings now.”
In an IT department of 400 people, 70 employees are working on developing reusable modules to support the SOA. More than 80 such applications are currently being used.
However, the insurer is continuing to run the bulk of its business – the 50 to 60 products that it sells in the UK – on a non-SOA life and pensions platform.
The SOA has also helped Standard Life get ready for its planned demutualisation in July. Preparations began in summer 2004 and have taken in a change to the finance system and verification of the identities of the mutual’s members, who will vote on the move. More than 120 IT staff worked on the demutualisation project at its peak.