Guardian Life Designates AWS as Its Preferred Cloud Provider

The New York-based mutual life insurer is moving the majority of its workloads to AWS to reduce its data center footprint as it drives business transformation, operational efficiency, and innovation.

(Image source: AWS homepage.)

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (New York) has selected AWS (Seattle) as its preferred cloud provider, and is moving the majority of its workloads to AWS for greater agility, reliability, and functionality.

Dean Del Vecchio, EVP, CIO, and Head of Enterprise Shared Services at Guardian.

Guardian is migrating production workloads to AWS, including mission-critical functions such as data analytics platforms, customer portals, and direct-to-consumer services, and is closing its Guardian owned and operated data centers, according to an AWS statement. By moving to AWS, the vendor says Guardian has reduced its IT operating costs and is using AWS for its acquisition strategy, migrating newly acquired businesses to the cloud to shed legacy infrastructure and technical debt.

Guardian took a deliberate approach to its cloud migration, moving targeted production workloads to AWS first, the AWS statement relates. The vendor says the insurer worked with AWS to create an enterprise readiness program that would allow for a smooth transition from on-premises to the cloud, and provide a training facility for employees to develop advanced digital capabilities faster than ever before. AWS delivered what it calls hands-on support and dedicated resources who were deeply steeped in industry-specific challenges, and helped to establish Guardian’s best practices for security in the cloud.

The success of these initial migrations to AWS and the ability to train its workforce using this program gave Guardian the confidence necessary to accelerate its move to the world’s leading cloud, according to AWS. Guardian now relies on what AWS describes as its fault-tolerant, secure infrastructure, and is prototyping and developing new applications using AWS’s breadth of functionality, including compute, database, analytics, and machine learning services.

Guardian has built a data lake on AWS and Amazon EMR to support its anticipated data growth and analytics strategy. Currently, Guardian is actively evaluating Amazon SageMaker—a fully-managed machine learning service—to gain insights into critical business functions such as customer analytics, and fraud detection, the vendor reports.

Enabling Innovation

Mike Clayville, VP, Worldwide Commercial Sales, AWS.

“AWS has helped Guardian get ahead of insurance industry disruption driven by new technology and changing customer expectations, and enabled us to innovate and provide services how, when and where our customers prefer,” comments Dean Del Vecchio, Executive VP, CIO, and Head of Enterprise Shared Services at Guardian. “AWS’s reliable, secure and proven infrastructure lets us scale quickly and access industry-leading services to test and deploy new technologies that delight our customers while protecting our assets in the cloud.”

“Companies across the financial services industry, like Guardian, are turning to AWS for the reliability, functionality, scalability, and security that often exceed the capabilities of on-premises data centers,” comments Mike Clayville, VP, Worldwide Commercial Sales, AWS. “Guardian has been a trusted insurance company for more than 150 years, withstanding the test of time and embracing new technological advances to provide services that deliver financial confidence to customers. We look forward to continuing our work with Guardian as they move to AWS, closing the last of their data centers by the end of this year and looking ahead at ways they can leverage our services, including machine learning and analytics, to continue to evolve their business.”

Inside Guardian Life’s Talent Transformation, with SVP Bob Thompson


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