mobile logo


Disruption and Innovation in the Insurance world

Graeme Howard is the current CTIO at Covéa Insurance. He has a wealth of experience leading transformational projects and has for the past two years been responsible for leading and developing Covéa’s technology innovation and transformation strategy, as well as driving improvements in delivery and services.

Graeme recently talked to eSynergy about his work at Covéa, including the introduction of a microservices architecture into a traditional technology estate…

The challenge at Covéa

Covéa is a mid-sized, Tier 1 insurer, with over 60 years’ experience in the UK market. The challenge, when I arrived, was the same challenge affecting most insurance providers, in that insurance hasn’t really changed for a hundred years. There was lots of legacy hardware, software, and systems, technical debt and systems that existed in silos. This had to be addressed.

We needed to migrate to new technology platforms that support future customer and business needs (it was recently estimated by EY that less than 10% of European insurers have workload on the cloud). This meant taking a leap of faith and not building on these legacy systems…

Our aim

We want to change the face of insurance through disruptive and innovative technology. The advantage we have is that we’re not tied down by some of the restraints affecting the bigger, monolithic insurers, who find it harder to disrupt the market. We’re doing something that’s a little bit different. To create that new identity and culture, we created Covéa Digital as the technology-driven engine of Covéa.

The team is around five hundred people, both permanent and contractor staff, working on things like the digital experience, UX, insight, DevOps and engineering. We’ve created much of our own software, not just bought it ‘off the shelf’. There’s also a whole piece around service – looking after our existing legacy platforms, looking after our new systems, exploring data science – and insights and analytics. Our strategic aim is to drive this forward…