Abra Auto: Technology Strategy and Roadmap

Precocity engaged with Abra to perform an assessment of their entire application landscape and technology footprint.

After rapid organic growth and expansion via acquisition, the development process had broken down and patched together integrations were routinely failing. Our holistic assessment looked at their architecture, their development process and their organizational structure. We implemented a lean development process focused on automation and crafted a roadmap for architectural evolution based on a cloud migration strategy.

The Need for Modernization

There were several key factors driving the need for modern technology infrastructure:

  • Aging systems that were no longer vendor supported and that were poorly documented.
  • Increased pace of acquisition requiring faster integration and migration of systems.
  • Need for more timely data to make faster, better operational decisions.Over-burdened technology team scrambling to keep the lights on.

Technology Challenges

In addition to the general business needs around modernization, there were specific IT issues that had to be addressed:

  • Routine processes regularly failing requiring an excessive amounts of time devoted to operational support and high operational costs.
  • Lack of a platform to support self-service reporting as well as executive-level dashboards.
  • Aging hardware and software platforms that were unable to support the increased scalability needs.
  • No mechanism to support near real-time data ingestion and processing.
  • Lack of platform and API strategy to support rapid innovation and integration.
  • Lack of lower (dev/test) environments.
  • Lack of automation an observability.
  • Limited capabilities for failover, backup, and disaster recovery.

The Solution

In addition to the general business needs around modernization, there were specific IT issues that had to be addressed:

  • Create a “serverless” platform that would support the features and scale requirements of the business while minimizing the operational support burden.
  • Migrate technical infrastructure to the cloud with cost optimization in mind (i.e., not “lift-n-shift”).
  • Focus on the use of open source components and cloud-agnostic solutions to allow for multi-cloud strategy as necessary.
  • Reusable components reduce development needed to ingest new data sources.
  • Adopt an API-first strategy based on serverless technologies to facilitate easy integration of new systems and sources.
  • Utilize a scalable, cost-effective cloud data warehouse with minimal operational support needs. Enable the separation of storage and compute in order to enable elastic expansion and contraction.
  • Implement a modern reporting and dashboarding solution that allows for self-service and data exploration

Platform Architecture

 

High-Level solution benefits

  • The ability to onboard and transform new data sources in a matter of days using serverless technology and reusable components and patterns.
  • API-first strategy allows for rapid integration with 3rd parties (e.g., CCC1, Mitchell, Enterprise, etc.).
  • Near-real time (~5 minutes) updates of key operational reports.
  • Fully managed solution that requires less than 1 FTE to operate (as opposed to 6+ on the previous platform).
  • Ability to scale the system up and down based on load. Ability to run batch infrastructure only when needed to further reduce costs.
  • Dev/Test environments that can be created on-the-fly to reduce costs and ensure parity with production. Resulted in significant reduction in production issues.
  • Automated deployments.
  • Reliable and redundant system with proper monitoring and alerting to ensure that IT knows about the issues before the business.

Snowflake Data Warehouse Benefits

 

 

Proposed Next Steps

 

Implement custom reporting solution to provide license-free operation reporting for all shops. Explore opportunities to utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to help identify patterns of concern with our insurance vendors, predict total loss, etc.

 

 

Multi-cloud architecture

Your Turn

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