Dr Jeremy Martin giving a presentation

Moving the Insurance Industry into the Digital Age

21 November 2019

On 1 November, former University of Buckingham PhD student and visiting Senior Research Fellow, Dr Jeremy Martin, presented a talk on the role of an Enterprise Architect in the digital evolution of the insurance industry, reflecting his work at the Lloyd’s of London.

In the insurance industry, an Enterprise Architect translates an organization’s business strategy into concrete solutions, allowing them to keep up with the evolving economy. The London market is more accessible for specialist risk insurers of various contracts, such as insuring spacecraft’s or limbs of world class athletes.

The MIS Technology is an automated system that provides insurers with a variety of risk information including weather related dangers that may put properties at risk, and automatically triggers pay-outs for the properties at risk. The MIS system uses CCTV, Satellite imagery, news reports and website updates to update itself every 6 hours. Imagery is also used, to estimate the amount of damage done and if the property can be processed for a claim.

With the system being automated, microservices represent the fundamental shift in solution delivery practices but with complications such as domain bleeding, lack of business focuses and nano services, all are caused by multiple programs running at once or decomposition and focus of workers.

While studying for his PhD at the University of Buckingham, Dr Jeremy Martin focused on parallel computing with particular interest in analysing the behaviour of large networks of Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP). Within his current role as a High-Performance Computing Team Manager at Lloyd’s of London and while working on automating and simplifying capital modelling, Jeremy found analogy with his PhD work. Aspects of his current work highlighting the significance of the results he successfully obtained by CSP were reflected upon through his presentation. Together with his team, he established that the policy pay-outs could be processed up to 6 times on MIS due to a bug. In particular, Jeremy showed how designing and verifying microservices using CSP could prevent an automated insurance system from paying out more than once.

Two problems were identified as causing duplicate pay-out to come from a delay when using a message bus system, this occurs when the alert sits in a message queue while another alert is sent to be paid out. The second problem comes from more than one MIS system being used, with the alerts stuck in the message queue and being processed at the same time.

In conclusion, using a formal modelling language and proof tool, the problem and design solutions can be detected and implemented. Care must be taken when using microservices as this can introduce additional concurrency which may lead to unexpected problems.

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