Equifax has revealed that it is in the early stage of a multi-year, A$2 billion digital transformation, which it says represents the largest investment in the company’s history.
A member of the S&P 500 index, the company is a global information solutions provider which says it uses unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise help its clients make better decisions.
But the inherent risks in such a business were exposed in 2017 when it suffered a huge cybersecurity breach that saw 147 million records exposed, and ultimately led to intervention by the US Federal Trade Commission and a settlement with users potentially worth $US425M.
In a blog, the company says the work, though in its early stages, is already yielding results: “Our migration to the cloud and the modernisation of our processes, technology, and infrastructure is already providing powerful new data insights and added security to customers at record speed.
“When our large-scale renewal shifts to ongoing iteration, we will be well placed to deliver greater system reliability, speed, improved insights and user experiences. It’s ushering in a new era for Equifax.”
In the blog, the company acknowledges that until recently, it grappled with the typical technology challenges that all industries face including
- A labyrinth of IT systems and data exchanges built independently which, while robust, were difficult to sync together and upgrade.
- Technology which was powered by costly on-premise data centres.
- The price of innovation was steep, and the opportunity cost high.
According to Peter Tyrell, Chief Technology Officer A/NZ, “It became clear that the best way for us to achieve that goal was to do a complete cloud-native rebuild… really go all in.”
Rather than a lift and shift approach when it comes to applications in the cloud, Equifax’s migration is focused on delivering “cloud-native”.
By designing and coding all its applications for use in the cloud, the company hopes to maximise its potential while enabling continuous improvement.
“Being cloud-native enables Equifax to transform our entire business. Teams can deliver unique products and services that are only possible in a cloud environment. And we can connect, evolve and scale those products at an unprecedented pace,” according to the blog.
“A key advantage of the Equifax cloud-native transformation is that it removes technical barriers between data sets, allowing customers to combine data in new ways and unlock novel insights.”
Data silos that were previously disconnected are now all organised into a seamless, globally-distributed Data Fabric – with logical separation and governing rules ensuring airtight controls over privacy and compliance, it says.
The bottom line is lower costs and faster innovation, while allowing a strong focus on security.
“The end result will be that we’ll be able to deliver new products in weeks rather than months and years,” said Tyrell.
Equifax says its digital transformation also features virtual streaming of data and insights to help customers make real-time decisions, solve complex business, and deliver the insights they need in milliseconds.
“Our teams across Australia and New Zealand will have the ability to explore new, innovative ideas that wouldn’t have been possible before our transformation,” said Tyrell. “This architecture allows us to easily pivot, adapt, and innovate. We are building a new Equifax.”