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AmTrust Unleashes Agility With Low-Code for Professional Developers

40+ developers in OutSystems factory
6 applications delivered in 15 months
7 new apps in development
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AmTrust, a leading global property and casualty insurance company headquartered in the US, was seeking to bolster the agility of its IT department to respond to business changes faster and keep a competitive edge in the insurance industry.

Just 15 months into its OutSystems adoption, AmTrust launched six mission-critical applications, including claims, policy, and underwriting-related solutions. AmTrust’s 40 OutSystems developers are now continuously releasing new solutions across new lines and business segments and preparing to expand low-code development globally.

  • App Modernization
  • Customer Experience
  • Operational Efficiency
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“OutSystems has allowed us to go faster and deliver to our business partners those service capabilities they've always been asking for, but we just didn't have the time to do."

Ariel Gorelik EVP, CIO and Head of Operations, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

Finding the right balance between compliance and innovation

AmTrust Financial Services is a leading global property and casualty insurer. Through innovation and niche expertise, AmTrust delivers outstanding insurance and risk solutions worldwide, primarily to small businesses. Its workers’ compensation practice is the third largest in the United States.

"As we evaluated different products and vendors, OutSystems was the most friendly towards traditional developers allowing smooth transition and acceptance. How the platform is structured and allows unlimited customizations truly spoke to us.”

Voytek Janisz Senior Vice President of IT, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

Like every other insurer, AmTrust faces competing pressures, namely the need for fast-paced innovation to drive competitive differentiation while maintaining compliance in a highly-regulated industry.

To alleviate these pressures and cut its software development queue, AmTrust sought an alternative application development approach that would improve app dev efficiency and augment traditional development practices – without sacrificing security, compliance or reliability.

Voytek Janisz, Senior Vice-President of IT at AmTrust, explained: “We were conducting software development in the traditional way, with lots of changes on our hands. And we were looking to shorten our software delivery cycles without compromising quality and security. We wanted to enable rapid prototyping and collaboration with our business partners throughout the development process in a truly Agile fashion.”

That’s when AmTrust decided to search for a low-code platform.

To ensure it invested in a stable and recognized low-code solution, AmTrust started its evaluation journey by reading renowned analyst reports like Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Low-Code App Development Platforms to understand which vendors led the field. Quoting Voytek, “We wanted to make sure we were investing in a stable, recognized platform. Nowadays, everybody is advertising low-code capabilities, and we didn’t want to entangle ourselves with a startup company.”

AmTrust became an OutSystems customer in March 2022.

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Why AmTrust Chose OutSystems:
  • increase-professional-developer-productivity-icon Increase professional developer productivity
  • large-user-community-icon Improve IT/business collaboration
  • enterprise-grade-scalability-and-security-icon Enterprise-grade security

A low-code journey without development disruption

AmTrust chose OutSystems high-performance low-code platform due to its security features, namely its Sentry offer and no lock-in architecture, that prevented AmTrust from being held captive by proprietary technology.

In addition, the developer experience offered by the platform was a critical factor in the evaluation process. As a company accustomed to doing traditional development in-house, AmTrust wanted to invest in a platform that didn’t disrupt its IT team’s development processes.

“Many low-code platforms advertise as targeting citizen development. It was a concept that we were uncomfortable with at that time. We were looking at this from the perspective of adding a strategic platform for the IT organization rather than something that we would put directly in the hands of our business partners.”

Voytek Janisz Senior Vice President of IT, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

Voytek explained that with OutSystems, AmTrust’s IT team didn’t have to come up with a completely new process for developing software. “With OutSystems, we didn’t have to reinvent a new development process to develop solutions on a low-code platform; we’re able to blend it with our existing processes. And that was a big deal for us because it made the adoption of a new, low-code paradigm seamless.”

Since implementing OutSystems, AmTrust has successfully used the platform to address two critical sets of use cases:

  • Modernize front-ends that require rapid changes: AmTrust’s IT team is constantly receiving requests from business partners to improve the experience of their applications. To respond to these requests with agility, instead of redesigning the entire application, AmTrust uses OutSystems to modernize the end-user and front-end layer while keeping the custom back-end unchanged and stable.
  • Automate underserved yet important business processes: additionally, AmTrust is using OutSystems to automate workflows that are important to business operations but often had difficulty to rise to the top of the development priority list. These automation opportunities encompass vital business areas such as claims, policy management, and underwriting solutions.

In just 15 months, AmTrust’s IT department has already launched six new solutions for both internal and external use.

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“With OutSystems, we didn’t have to reinvent a new development process to develop solutions on a low-code platform; we’re able to blend it with our existing processes. And that was a big deal for us because it made the adoption of a new, low-code paradigm seamless.”

Voytek Janisz Senior Vice President of IT, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

Enhanced agility by bridging business and development

Since AmTrust adopted OutSystems, the platform has helped the insurance company advance its Agile adoption. The development speed has allowed the IT team to capture user feedback more frequently and respond to changes faster. More importantly, it has enabled AmTrust to bridge the gap between business and development.

“Being Agile is, to a large extent, about interactions and working closely with the business,” Voytek explained. “Often, the business stakeholders provide requirements that need clarifications. Developing something quickly—a clickable prototype if you like—and getting it in front of the business and asking, ‘Is this what you want' is super important. We get faster feedback and can act immediately upon it. Our business partners feel they are part of the process and more engaged with the development team.”

Now, every two weeks, AmTrust holds a review of its OutSystems projects, where global teams share progress, explore opportunities for reuse, and bring requirements straight to leadership and the business. As AmTrust's architecture of reusable components fills out, development is getting faster still.

Another benefit from using OutSystems pointed out by Voytek was the organization’s ability to keep its technical debt under control.

Before any release, the development team looks at the OutSystems AI Mentor Studio to ensure developers follow best practices and uses the “How to Fix” feature’s step-by-step instructions to optimize app performance. Additionally, as part of AmTrust’s OutSystems Center of Excellence (CoE), technical leads from the development teams get together periodically to discuss any potential challenges and remediate technical debt before it accumulates.

As for the development team, the feedback has been great. After initial hesitation, developers swiftly embraced OutSystems once they began developing.

“OutSystems has opened our eyes to how much of an advantage the modern low-code platform really is. From designing a companywide look and feel for applications in just a few days to finding Forge components that will read data off of a PDF, we have yet to find a use case where OutSystems did not deliver.”

Casey Hearn IT, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

Looking at the future, AmTrust plans to continue using OutSystems to deliver new custom solutions across multiple segments of its business and expand the adoption of its newly-deployed projects. The company is also preparing to expand the use of OutSystems to deliver solutions for its businesses outside the US.