back to article Insurance giant Lloyd's hires DXC to migrate org off legacy mainframes to AWS cloud

Lloyd's, the world's largest insurance marketplace, has contracted DXC Technology to digitise its processes as part of a multi-year effort to move on from a largely paper-based, analogue way of working. The London insurance market accounts for 7.6 per cent of global commercial reinsurances, and comprises almost a quarter of …

  1. Colin Bull 1
    Alert

    Not fit for purpose

    Do they deserve to be still in business if they have had their heads buried in the sand for the last 30+ years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not fit for purpose

      Don't worry, with DXC handling the migration they will not be in business much longer

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Not fit for purpose

        Hope they get insured against DXC delays and cock-ups...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not fit for purpose

      Who? Lloyds or DXC?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mix and match

    Running things on someone else's hardware doesn't necessarily save you anything, the cloud provider will always want to make a profit from you.

    Automation is good but doesn't have anything to do with running things in a cloud.

    I'm sure there have been previous attempts to save money and improve efficiency, what happened to them? Why should it work this time? I'm pretty certain any previous failures had very little to do with technology and more to do with poor management.....

    Perhaps only a really wise person can see the benefits on offer this time and to everyone else Lloyd's will appear naked?

    1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: Mix and match

      > make a profit from you

      The number of times I have trawled through our Azure storage accounts looking for "forgotten" files etc.

      They (MS) charge loads for keeping forgotten files and they dont make it easy to find them. I wonder why :D

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DXC ? Hahahaha

    300-year-old institution to be dragged... backwards

    FTFY

  4. neilo

    Should have checked with Games Workshop

    Lloyds should have checked in with Games Workshop to see how well DXC was handling that migration

    https://www.theregister.com/2022/01/13/games_workshop_launches_05m_at/

    Side note: I migrated a company from Sage Line 100 to Axapta 3 using ODBC and Excel / VBA. Speaks to the quality of the consultants remaining at DXC they it gets botched this badly.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Should have checked with Games Workshop

      However Sage Line 100 (Best Software MAS 90) and Sage Line 500 (Tetra CS/3) are completly different in terms of data structure, what the actual product was programmed in and its usage.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Really?

    I thought Lloyds was a Bond joke! No, I really know but it seems they are headed down that road?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    terrible decision

    Outsourcing the mass re-architecting & re-platforming of an enterprise's critical IT assets is almost always a colossal failure. This is very very unlikely to end well for Lloyds.

  7. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    FAIL

    In 5 years time

    The mainframes will still be up, and the migration will still be "ongoing".

    In 8 years, it will get re-tendered. IBM will have a go.

  8. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Coat

    DXC & Lloyd's: What could possibly go wrong?

    DXC said it is going to "rearchitect" the entire IT system

    TFTFY

    1. badflorist

      Re: DXC & Lloyd's: What could possibly go wrong?

      "This is a significant step on the journey to digitise compromise the Lloyd's and London market,..."

      FTFY

  9. Tim99 Silver badge
    Trollface

    I wonder

    Do we think that they can get affordable insurance to cover this?

  10. Julian 8

    Knowing how antiquated the whole of the Lloyds market was with regards to IT back in the early 90's, this does not surprise me one little bit.

  11. Binraider Silver badge

    $DEITY help us. Lloyds resorting to IT installed by the lowest bidder will, I am sure most El Reg readers will guarantee ending in tears. And inevitable El Reg articles on system failures.

    I've known some very good staff employed by DXC (usually TUPE'd in- and out-) of successive IT contracts; but the wider organisation as a whole we were never enamoured by.

  12. Grunchy

    Companies are throwing out perfectly good old data centres so that they can fire staff and pay rent to Amazon instead. Also, Amazon shuts down completely at random at least 2x a year, for no good reason and no matter what harm to themselves and their customers.

    I actually don’t care one way or another, those old servers work fine in my basement doing nothing useful.

    1. keithpeter Silver badge
      Windows

      Insurer of last resort?

      @Grunchy and all

      Lloyds is an insurer of last resort in my understanding. If I have this right, when things go really pear shaped, they will cover the insurance companies that cover the risk. As such there is a need for resilience (the real kind not the kind management types talk about) in the face of unusual events.

      AWS is successful but has a record of being a point of failure that affects many services. It has been around for what, 16 years or so? I grew up in a coastal place that has a major storm that causes significant damage to buildings once per saros roughly (as a result of tidal patterns interacting with weather patterns in autumn and the ocean swell). Hummm

      OA has a paragraph that ends "...while automating manual processes.".

      As always, one wonders if these are the process that the senior managers think are used, or the processes that are actually used on the ground?

      Best of luck. One to watch because of the risk of systemic failure just at the point where you don't need it.

  13. johnnyblaze

    Predictions

    Here's a few predictions;

    Lloyds won't save any money moving to the cloud - it will actually cost them a lot more

    DXC will royally screw things up - and the project will take at least twice as long and cost twice as much as planned

    Eventually Lloyds will be operating from a platform they have no control over or say in, so prepare for the outage's

    Finger in the air prediction, DXC will mess up so badly, they'll be dropped 2 years into the project and taken to court. Lloyds will either have to find someone else, or revert back to their current system.

    1. dboyes

      Re: Predictions

      10 quid says you're right with all of these. The amount of kludge required to handle the transition is going to be so large as to force them to kill the project after tens of millions of pounds pissed away.

      There's a reason why mainframes continue to exist -- they work. Glossy magazine BS may work, but you're going to spend a lot more getting it to meet SLAs than you expected.

  14. Annihilator Silver badge

    "300-year-old institution to be dragged into the 21st century... probably just in time for the 22nd century"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DXC and Digital Transformation

    We've heard of that...

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: DXC and Digital Transformation

      Sadly while job hunting half the jobs I was applying for had former consultants involved demanding a track record in "digital transformation".

      As though mainframes aren't fucking digital. As though decades of experience building and designing full stack Internet based systems isn't fucking digital. As though automating literally hundreds of business processes saving personally many millions of pounds wasn't fucking digital.

      No, apparently the jobs are only open to people with experience in 'digital transformation'.

      My current job asked about that. I just told them straight that I don't understand what people are talking about when they go on about digital transformation, and I don't think they do either. Tell me the outcomes you'd like and we can discuss how to achieve those - through a mix of digital technologies and other approaches, as is most appropriate given cost, time, capability, start point and other constraints.

      Digital fucking transformation. Lloyds are fucked.

  16. elwe

    Fail from the start

    This has failure baked in from the very beginning. By contracting DXC to do a modernisation, senior management are showing they view this as a one off exercise, after which they can sit back for another 30 years. They aren't seeing good IT as core to their business, which is a huge mistake made by too many companies that go on to fail. Just look at Amazon. AWS isn't core to selling books, but they recognised that a large scale global cloud system is critical to their business. They invested heavily and then turned it into a major profit centre.

    When they get serious they need to hire a high quality IT team to do the modernisation, and keep them on to be constantly maintaining and improving their new system. This will probably cost more than the contract signed with DXC, especially if they do hire the right quality of staff, but in the long run it will be so much cheaper than all the contract extensions, cost over-runs etc.

    I am not a big fan of AWS, certainly not of using just one cloud instead of two or more. But I don't think that is the major issue here. I don't think their business is so time critical that a half day AWS outage here and there is out of the question. Lloyds scale means they easily could rent space from the likes of Equinix and do things themselves for less than their AWS bill will be. But they would probably want to take advantage of elastic scaling into a public cloud, and the extra investment in a hybrid model probably isn't worth it at this point, so I can understand (grudgingly) going with a single public cloud provider.

  17. Dante Alighieri
    Boffin

    Process Analysis

    My bet is that they don't iunderstand or know the processes they /actually/ use as opposed to vague system maps produced on parchment*

    and of course they already list over 5000 end users to integrate up front.

    *actually one of the few robust archive materials in existence with oak gall ink. (not a joke)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DXC? Is it really still alive?

    As a former DXC IT worker (not by choice, HPE sold us off), I can say for sure that DXC is a broken shell of a company. All the good people are gone, laid off or left on their own. The culture is so toxic I would rather work in an Amazon warehouse than work for DXC. I feel sorry for any company that hires DXC to do anything.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure "saving money" is part of the requirement here.

    From what I've seen, insurance companies are more interested in wasting money as it allows them to hike premiums, and therefore increase profits, without having to invest in improvement.

  20. TM™

    And here in lies the problem. If they'd said:

    "we'll pay them to migrate the simplest part of the simplest system to the cloud. We'll keep everything else running on the old stuff. Then if that works we'll give them some more money to do the next bit"

    Then I'd have hope. If only the above approach had a name that hadn't been totally destroyed through BS.

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