PPS continues to drive digital transformation with Kubernetes authentication implementation
Over the past 18 months, PPS has demonstrated a strong appetite for digital innovation and transformation by rebuilding the legacy enterprise platform of its decades-old insurance company and swiftly moving it to the cloud. As a result, the company is already far more responsive to customers' needs, more competitive in the industry, and has boosted sales.
In 2019, the organisation is certainly not resting on its laurels: PPS is now among the first in the world to move its access management and authentication processes from an on-premises device using Docker to the cloud-based Kubernetes container orchestration system. Sitting at the heart of smooth business operations, these authentication processes are used not just for employees, but also for PPS members.
"This is a brand new initiative which is cutting-edge globally, and it is certainly the first implementation in South Africa," says Avsharn Bachoo, CTO at PPS. "As with other experiences over the past year, there were no existing examples to learn from, so we are proud to be innovation pioneers in this space, together with our partners Siatik, Google, and 2T Consulting, in collaboration with Godonga Technologies and IBM."
Traditionally, most companies use Docker, which enables organisations to bring traditional and cloud native applications built on Windows Server, Linux and mainframe into an automated and secure supply chain. However, proponents of Kubernetes, an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerised applications, claim its benefits are much more advanced.
"Kubernetes is an orchestrator, which allows you to have an auto-scalable environment. If one of your resources runs out, Kubernetes automatically provides them, unlike Docker, and you can't have any shutdowns. Secondly, Kubernetes is also 'self-healing': it checks the health of its components at all times, and will fix issues on its own without any human manual intervention," reports Bachoo. "There are cost savings in terms of human resources and interventions, but also in terms of licensing."
"There is currently no existing documentation on how to configure Kubernetes in this new way, so we're excited to have been part of this implementation," says Brett St Clair, CEO at Siatik. "We had to build up the containers, manage this with Kubernetes and then manage the whole environment in the containers to get it up and running. This required close collaboration between multiple parties."
In terms of advice for other companies looking to adopt Kubernetes, Bachoo emphasises that a prerequisite for the adopting company is to have a clear directive and a progressive approach to cloud. In addition, he says: "There are few people around with this kind of knowledge or experience, so be sure to choose the best people to support your transition."