Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) is the largest general insurance company in Australia and New Zealand, headquartered in Sydney. The Group’s businesses underwrite almost $12 billion of premiums per annum, selling insurance under many leading brands.

Accelerating digital transformation

IAG, Australia’s largest general insurer, had an ambitious digital transformation program with the leadership team committed to putting innovation and technology at the heart of everything they did to meet current and future customer demand.

Three years ago, 20% of all transactions were digital. Today, it’s more than 50%, according to Daragh Martin, Manager, Engineering Practices, Engineering Excellence, IAG.

With the growth came the realisation that it was imperative for IAG to understand what was ‘under the hood’ at all times, in real time—the organisation needed to gain more visibility into their systems to match rapid expansion in line with their digital transformation vision. 

‘We had no flexibility and no real way to monitor production apps, especially from the customer point of view, which is really important. There was a release team and a production monitoring team, but there were all in silos. 

‘Digital is the way of the future … we can’t get there without knowing what the performance issues are from the customer side’, Daragh explains.

IAG chose New Relic as their digital partner of choice.

‘New Relic has been critical in accelerating that transformation and enabling [digital growth]’, Daragh says.

‘We had just integrated New Relic into AWS, but the site was down so my team needed to find answers fast. Everything was happening so quickly, we couldn’t get onto the VMs and developers weren’t logging errors properly. We needed an urgent fix’, Daragh explains.

‘‘New Relic solved the problem within two to three minutes. We could immediately see that transactions were getting blocked in the PHP stack to the payment gateway.’’

Daragh Martin, Manager, Engineering Practices, Engineering Excellence, IAG

From then on, Daragh decided that he needed ‘New Relic on every single app—I need it running wherever I am.’ IAG was a very different prospect in being much more mature, but there were still transparency and visibility improvements to be made. 

‘New Relic is helping us solve problems faster. It has seen a cultural shift as developers can own production and watch application performance in production’, Daragh says.

IAG has also been very impressed by New Relic’s training program, which Daragh describes as ‘very compelling.’ 

‘We’ve had great feedback [on the training]. With workshops and puzzles to solve, the IT team is much more engaged and it has really helped get the devs to the point [where] they are now’, he says.

New Relic also supported IAG through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling the business to rapidly build and implement a range of measures created to support IAG’s customers. 

‘New Relic gave us the ability to scale fast and scale easily’, Daragh says.

A key overview of app performance

Deploying New Relic immediately fixed the silo problem at IAG. It brought production right back to the development team, creating a single source of truth. Recently, deployment has been expanded to replace older monitoring systems in the data centre—a process completed in just a few months.

‘Because we have a known way of doing things, it’s an easy win for teams. When it comes to DevOps, developers should be thinking about customers and what they want, not budget, cloud, or conformity. With New Relic, we solve that big organisational complexity for devs, so they can get close to the customer. To do that, you need observability, and with New Relic we can automate a lot of that’, Daragh says.

New Relic’s dashboards have also made it easier to monitor systems from anywhere. IAG developers typically check dashboards while on their way to work in the morning and all business metrics are linked to the New Relic dashboard.

‘It was impossible to have this mobility in the past—we were in the dark’, Daragh says.

The future: Measuring outcomes

As IAG continues their digital transformation journey, they want to increasingly move towards outcomes and customer measurements. The principal way to measure these is through New Relic.

‘I would definitely recommend New Relic and have been for years. It’s absolutely a market leader. No other product provides the quality and the user experience like New Relic’, Daragh says.