Supporting ever-changing business demands with generative AI solutions
Westfield Insurance + IBM
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Industry pressures drive new technology requirements

Westfield Insurance, a leading US-based property and casualty insurance company, relies on advanced technology to help it balance its business needs against industry challenges such as cost and competitive pressures, ever-changing regulations, economic uncertainties and its consumers’ heightened customer service expectations. To keep up with the changing demands, Westfield sought to integrate generative AI capabilities to support application development and onboarding of new talent for its COBOL/Assembler/JCL on its IBM® System z® environment and improve developer productivity while mitigating potential misreporting to the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), an industry policy and rating organization. The company sought guidance and expertise from its trusted advisor, IBM Consulting®.

80% time reduction for a developer to understand the application 30% time reduction for a developer to be able to explain and potentially document code
Discovering the code to speed app development

As part of their longtime partnership, IBM Consulting continues to help deliver meaningful innovation and accelerated business results together with key Westfield teams across managed services and other key strategic initiatives. A team of 16 Westfield application developers collaborated with IBM Consulting and IBM Client Engineering teams in an eight-week pilot project using IBM watsonx generative AI solutions. With IBM’s generative AI tools deployed on IBM Cloud®, Westfield simplified the explanation and documentation of code by understanding the code faster, resulting in reduced efforts in a click of a button compared to weeks of manual research and reporting. IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Z accelerated the understanding of the application by performing analysis, generating reports and identifying the impact of code changes.

This documentation has helped us speed up the process of making changes. New developers must work with an experienced developer, taking up to multiple days to analyze the code. By getting more in-depth, up-to-date documentation, we can speed up the onboarding of new developers. They can familiarize themselves with the program sooner. The more experienced developers can make better test cases and communicate what needs to be tested. Don Hurrle IT Infrastructure, Artificial Intelligence, and Agile Transformation Leader Westfield Insurance
Increasing developer productivity with an AI-based code assistant to accelerate application modernization

The pilot project demonstrated how watsonx solutions and especially watsonx Code Assistant for Z could improve overall developer productivity using IBM’s generative AI capabilities. During the pilot, the Westfield developer team saved 150 hours, a 30% decrease in time, while sifting through 47,000 lines of code. An additional 20 hours saved in application discovery analysis equated to an 80% time reduction. The team recognized cost savings in its change management processes. An assistant helping the developer to more quickly understand the application and its dependencies as well as streamline documentation could lead to faster onboarding of new developers needing an understanding of business-critical mainframe application. Additionally, the updated change management and process documentation help mitigate misreporting to ISO. With the IBM generative AI solution’s more efficient, time-saving capabilities, Westfield can continue to invest in its customer-centric focus while reducing costs and other competitive pressures.

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Learn more about application modernization at Westfield and what the company's doing to improve the developer experience.

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About Westfield Insurance

Westfield (link resides outside of ibm.com) was founded in 1848 by a small group of hard-working farmers who believed in the promise of the future and the power of the individual. Today, more than 175 years later, as a leading US-based property and casualty insurance company with more than USD 10 billion in generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP) assets, Westfield underwrites commercial, personal, surety and specialty lines of coverage through a network of over 1,000 leading independent agents and brokers. Westfield recently acquired Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 1200, establishing the company as a global franchise.

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Produced in the United States of America, April 2024.

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