Takaful Malaysia says yes to inhousing, no to outsourcing

Inhouse rules (L-R): Raymond Chou, managing principal consultant at Redynamics; Patrick Wong, CIO of Takaful Malaysia; and Patterson Hicks, senior director for Datacenter & Cloud Sales, Microsoft Asia Pacific. ― Picture courtesy of Digital News Asia
Inhouse rules (L-R): Raymond Chou, managing principal consultant at Redynamics; Patrick Wong, CIO of Takaful Malaysia; and Patterson Hicks, senior director for Datacenter & Cloud Sales, Microsoft Asia Pacific. ― Picture courtesy of Digital News Asia

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 ― After outsourcing its information technology (IT) infrastructure for about five years, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, the oldest takaful or Islamic insurance operator in the country, has decided to bring it back inhouse.

The company, which is 61 per cent owned by BIMB Holdings Bhd, announced that it has adopted Microsoft System Center 2012 to manage its IT infrastructure and end-user computing.

It said that the decision to go inhouse has shown immediate benefits, and it has been experiencing a 40 per cent improvement in response time and 27 per cent in cost reduction.

“In our business, IT is what differentiates us from our competitors. We are on a constant lookout to improve our IT infrastructure to better support our employees in their job,” chief information officer Patrick Wong said at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur on February 11.

While the general assumption is that outsourcing a company’s non-core functions would produce better cost savings, this was not the case for Takaful Malaysia, he said.

“When you deal with [an] outsourcer, everything you talk to them is all about money. Any change request, you will be charged. Any request that is out of the scope of the contract, you will be charged.

“As a result, a lot of our time was spent on negotiating,” said Wong. “Also, we felt we could do a much better job inhouse as compared with having it outsourced.”

He said the cost savings the company achieved from going inhouse can now be used to help the company expand into other areas.

Takaful’s adoption of Microsoft System Center was mainly helped by system integrator Redynamics Asia System Management Sdn Bhd.

“We worked closely with the Takaful Malaysia’s IT team to find a solution that enables a more agile, efficient and robust IT infrastructure for the company, and managed to deploy it all within Takaful Malaysia’s timeframe and budget parameters,” said Redynamics managing principal consultant Raymond Chou.

The deployment included System Center Service Manager, which serves as the main service-management tool for incident and problem resolution. It logs and tracks employee requests and gives helpdesk personnel the information they need to prioritise requests as logically as possible, he added.

To automate standard requests, Takaful Malaysia deployed System Center Orchestrator, which uses workflows to assign tasks to available IT engineers.

To help the engineers monitor the health and performance of applications and servers, as well as to manage desktop and notebook configurations, it deployed Microsoft System Operations Manager and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. It also used System Center Endpoint Protection to secure the integrated platform.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Asia Pacific senior director (datacentre and cloud sales) Patterson Hicks said that there is tremendous growth potential for the Malaysian market if companies can effectively align their IT initiatives to their business needs.

“According to Gartner, IT spending is forecasted to grow by 10.2 per cent in 2014 to over US$21 billion (RM69.9 billion), outpacing the rest of Asia Pacific.

“At the same time, we have learned from IDC that less than 20 per cent of Malaysian businesses implement IT management that is aligned to their companies’ business needs.

“This makes Takaful Malaysia a thought-leading example for others to emulate and benefit from,” Hicks claimed. ― Digital News Asia

The article was first published here

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