LähiTapiola’s large information systems are constantly being updated and developed, placing heavy demands on testing.
LähiTapiola offers everything from insurance and investment services, and car financing services for private customers to workspaces for businesses. The finance group’s non-life insurance premium revenue in the first half of 2019 was approximately 812 million euros and the operating result was 256 million euros. The company has 3,400 employees and 1.6 million customer-owners.
Information systems play a key role in securing the business of such a company. In the event of a power outage at the company’s headquarters in Tapiola, Espoo, powerful generators power the information systems to guarantee uninterrupted operation “The entire lifecycle of information systems, right from the bidding process and procurement to maintenance services have to be covered to ensure they function smoothly,” says Teemu Laukkanen, Service Director of IT services at LähiTapiola.
Prevention is key
Laukkanen handles a wide scope of work: from version control to new mobile services, and from small development to application quality assurance. There are currently over 80 development projects in the development portfolio.
“The most important thing in everything is preventive quality assurance, not putting out fires. Quality assurance starts with tendering, sourcing, and contracting, then proceeds to coding, project management, information security, testing, and finally production. The development of LähiTapiola’s service is guided by clear quality assurance operating models, which is followed by all the parties involved in development projects.
“The systems, technologies, and chosen tools must be long-lasting. The code should be easy to maintain, perform well, and be stable in production,” Laukkanen says.
Prioritizing quality and identifying risks
There is a constant need for quality assurance, continuity management, and application testing in the 250-plus applications in use. With every new release, you have to ensure that critical applications run smoothly despite the changes.
In a complex and ever-changing world, it is not possible to achieve 100 percent results in testing. “Our goal is to produce adequate quality, and we have succeeded in that.” When total perfection cannot be achieved, it is important to identify risks and know how to deal with problems when such a situation arises.
“For instance during service development, if we detect a potential security threat in the online service, we will conduct even more extensive security testing.”
Ensuring stability in a changing environment
The changing regulations of the financial sector bring its own set of demands to the operating environment, where information system development has to also keep up with customer needs and changes in the industry’s competitive landscape.
With services renewed on a weekly basis, test automation becomes crucial. Testing focuses on three areas: information security, performance, and regression tests to ensure the functionality of different systems in different operating conditions.
“Over the last couple of decades, we have created a clear model for ensuring the quality of our service development. We switched early to the shift-left testing model. Our partner is responsible for test automation from the early stages of application development, and we are only involved in acceptance testing, that is, testing the actual business process.”
Laukkanen reveals that every year around 2500 changes go into production, which reflects the amount of work it involves.
A trustworthy partnership
For LähiTapiola, working with Qentinel is like having a partnership that provides test automation expert service that is scalable with its changing needs.
“Qentinel helps us improve the quality of our business model and services by bringing in outside expertise. One essential reason we zeroed in on Qentinel was that we knew that they have the expertise to provide the right solutions for our needs.”
At LähiTapiola there has always been a need for a partner who has the ability to take overall responsibility for everything from test automation and practical testing to test management services and development of testing activities. Qentinel’s experts are a part of the LähiTapiola team.
“From the beginning, we wanted Qentinel’s experts to be one of us and follow our values, methods, and models. Their relationship has only grown stronger with trust. When a Qentinel Test Manager recognizes the need for additional resources for testing, it is immediately organized.
“Qentinel experts are keen to highlight how our operations can be developed to our advantage. They know our business and its needs and know how to push things forward accordingly,” Laukkanen says.