We’re excited to announce the general availability of the Atlas Kubernetes Operator, the best way to use MongoDB with Kubernetes.
The Atlas Kubernetes Operator makes it easy to deploy, manage, and access MongoDB Atlas from your preferred Kubernetes distribution. When the operator is installed into your Kubernetes environment, it exposes Kubernetes custom resources to fully manage projects, deployments (clusters and serverless instances), network access (IP Access Lists and Private Endpoints), database users, backup, and more. For a full list of capabilities, check out the Atlas Operator documentation.
The Atlas Operator is designed to Kubernetes standards. It’s open source and built with the CNCF Operator Framework, so you can have confidence that it will work with your Kubernetes environment. The Operator supports any Certified Kubernetes Distribution and is OpenShift-certified.
With the Operator, you can easily manage your Atlas resources directly from Kubernetes, using the Kubernetes API. This means no switching between systems: you can manage your containerized applications and the data layer powering them from a single control plane. This also makes it easy to integrate Atlas into your Kubernetes-native CI/CD pipelines, automatically setting up and tearing down infrastructure as part of your deployment process.
Why Kubernetes and MongoDB Atlas? Atlas is a multi-cloud document database that provides the versatility you need to build sophisticated and resilient applications. It has built-in high availability, is easily scalable, and is flexible enough to support rapid iteration and shipping of new application features. This makes it a great fit for the modern development and deployment practices that containerization and Kubernetes support. It’s also incredibly simple to deploy multi-cloud clusters or move between clouds on Atlas — a good match for the portability that containers provide.
Digital Underwriting: A Digital Transformation Wave in Insurance
Underwriting processes are at the core of insurance companies, and their effectiveness is directly related to insurers’ profitability and success. Despite this fact, underwriting is often one of the most underserved parts of the insurance industry from a technology perspective. There may be sophisticated policy, customer, and claim administration systems, but underwriters often find themselves wrangling data from a variety of sources, into spreadsheets, in order to adequately evaluate the financial risks that new applicants and scenarios might bring, and translate them into appropriate pricing and coverage decisions. Due to the complexity and variety of information and sources required to be accessed and integrated, modernized underwriting platforms have often been a difficult objective to achieve for many insurers. The cost and time associated with building such systems, and the possibility of minimal short-term return on investment, have also made it difficult for leaders to secure funding and support within their organizations. These factors have required underwriters to persist manual processes, which, at best, are often highly inefficient. At worst, they do not sufficiently position an insurer to be competitive in the digitally disrupted future of insurance delivery. It does not have to be this way, however. This blog post highlights ways in which insurance companies can leverage new technology, and incorporate modern architecture paradigms into their information systems, in order to revolutionize their underwriting workflows. The underwriting revolution Technology is changing the way organizations operate and measure risk. New technological advancements in the IoT, Manufacturing, and Automotive space, just to mention a few, are driving insurers to develop new underwriting paradigms personalized to each individual, and adjusted based on real-time data. This is already a reality, with some insurers leveraging personal wearable technology to assess the fitness level of clients and adjust life and health insurance premiums accordingly. We are only at the beginning; let’s explore what this might look like in 2030. Imagine a scenario , where a professional, living in a major urban area, orders a self-driving car through his digital assistant to get to a meeting. The assistant is directly linked to the user’s insurer, which allows the insurer to automatically calculate the best possible route taking into account the time required, past accident history, and current traffic conditions so that the likelihood of car damage and accidents is minimized. If the user decides to drive him or herself that day or picks a different route, the mobility premium will be set to increase based on real-time variables of the journey. The user’s mobility insurance can be linked to other services, such as a life insurance policy, which can also be subject to increase depending on the commute’s risk factors. We don’t have to wait for 2030, for a scenario like this to come to fruition. Thanks to advances in IoT devices, mobile computing, and deep learning techniques mimicking the human brain's perception, reasoning, learning, and problem-solving, many of these capabilities can be made a reality here in 2022. While the insurance industry continues to innovate, the underwriting process is under constant evolution as a result. Certainly, in the scenario described above, the Underwriting decision-making process has shifted from a spreadsheet-based, manual one, to one that is fully automated, with AI/ML decision support. The insurers who can achieve this will retain and gain a significant competitive advantage over the next decade. Technology can help streamline new cases Underwriters are notoriously faced with administrative complexity when managing any new case, regardless of the risk profile or level. In the commercial insurance space, agents and brokers are generally used as a bridge between the insurer and the insured. Email exchanges amongst parties are common, which can often lack sufficient detail, and require the underwriter to chase missing data in order to successfully close the sale and acquisition of new business. Issues with data quality, or lack of certain key pieces of information, can be addressed by implementing automated claim procedures leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP), Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and rich text analysis to programmatically extract data from email and other forms of written communication, alert the agent in case of missing information, and even attempt to automatically enrich missing information in order to facilitate a close of the sale. What’s described above is only the beginning of what’s possible to achieve when we begin to think about what we can do to bolster and augment underwriting procedures within an insurer. Sanding off the rough edges by reducing manual procedures, and helping underwriters focus less on non-differentiating work, and more on high-value activities, can not only alleviate significant pain and frustration of the underwriter, but it can help grow the book of business, by offering more competitive pricing, products, and turn-around times. Triaging times can be drastically reduced Insurance providers seeking to grow their book of business, and expand the channels through which they sell, may have to deal with a surge of new coverage requests and changing risk scenarios. However, many insurers may be unprepared to handle such increases in new business intake volumes. Because of legacy systems, workflow, and resource bottlenecks, it’s possible that a significant uptick in new business could actually result in a negative outcome for the insurer, due to the inability to process it in a timely and efficient manner. Could you lose business to a competitor because it could not be underwritten in time? Augmenting traditional workflows with automation and Machine Learning algorithms can begin to address this challenge. How can you do more, without significantly burdening or expanding your underwriting team? Many insurers are beginning to automatically classify and route such increases in business demand, using AI/ML. A first step in the underwriting process, after initial intake and enrichment, is triaging, or deciding who can best underwrite the given request. Often, this is also a manual process, relying heavily on someone within the organization who knows how to best route the flow of work, based on the skills and experience of the underwriting staff. As with the ability to detect the need for, and enrich the initial submission intake, Machine Learning algorithms can also be leveraged to ease the burden, and reduce the human bottleneck of routing the intake work to the best suited underwriter. Risk assessment processes can be made more effective Once the intake of new cases has been automated and triaged, we need to think about how to streamline the risk assessment process. Does every single new business case need to be priced and adjusted by an actual underwriter? If we can triage and determine who should work on the new case, can we also then route some of the low-risk work to a fully-automated pricing and underwriting workflow? Can we begin to save the precious time of our underwriting staff for the higher-touch business and accounts that truly need their attention and expertise? Automated risk assessment has roots in rule-based expert systems dating back to the 1990s. These systems contained tens of thousands of hard-coded underwriting rules that could assess medical, occupational, and advocational risk. These systems became very complex over the years and still play an essential role in underwriting. ML algorithms can enhance the performance of these systems by fine-tuning underwriting rules and finding new patterns of risk information. The vast amount of data available to insurers can also be used to predict the risk of new cases and scenarios. Once the risk profile of a new case has been established, a pricing model can be applied to programmatically derive the policy cost and communicate it to the prospective client without involving the underwriting team, as imagined in the 2030 scenario we mentioned earlier in the article. Conclusion and follow-up There are plenty of digital transformation opportunities in the insurance industry. More specifically, focusing on underwriting will help new and existing players in the insurance industry gain a significant competitive advantage in the coming decade. Whether human-based or AI/ML augmented, underwriting decisions will be underpinned by an ever-growing variety and volume of complex data. In the next blog of the series, Riding the Transformation Wave with MongoDB , we’ll dive deeper into how MongoDB helps insurance innovators create, transform and disrupt the industry by unleashing the power of software and data. Stay tuned! Contact us to learn how MongoDB is helping insurance innovators create, transform, and disrupt the industry by unleashing the power of software and data.
How These MongoDB Employees Celebrated Juneteenth
On June 19, 1865, soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, announcing that the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Today, June 19 is celebrated as Juneteenth, a day of hope despite present-day uncertainty. It reminds us that at the end of every struggle there comes a time for a change if we persist and do not give up. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States, and MongoDB recognizes this by providing employees with the day off to celebrate and reflect. Members of MongoDB’s affinity group the Underrepresented People of Color share what they did to celebrate. Supporting Black Businesses Kayla Warner , Internal Communications Manager Some of the delicious food and the hands that prepared it, Chef Will Coleman (@chefwillcoleman). Every year, I have to get soul food on Juneteenth. It makes me feel the most connected to my culture (and it’s always great to support small Black businesses). I spent this Juneteenth at a friend’s restaurant pop-up. Being from the Southern United States, it’s not often that I get to have the comfort foods of home in New York. His pop-up had fried fish po’boys, smoked watermelon feta salad, crab deviled eggs, strawberry shortcake biscuits, and sweet tea (that was actually sweet). These dishes and flavors brought me back to backyard cookouts and fish fries all while in the middle of Bed-Stuy. Showing up for folks in my community and building community with them is deeply important to me. Some of my favorite memories in life are connected to food and fellowship, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create another memory with friends. Juneteenth for me is a time for the Black community to come together in corporal celebration. A day of pure celebration, to honor those who came before us, to reflect on our past and hold one another close as we face the future together. Moreover, I recognize that Juneteenth has recently come into the national conversation as a holiday. The history and importance of this celebration is still being learned by many across the country, and people are still navigating how to participate and acknowledge this day. While it may seem small, it means a lot to me that MongoDB not only held space for employees to share their Junteenth traditions and experiences but also a reminder that my whole self, including my Blackness and my Southern-ness, has a place and is respected and welcomed at MongoDB. Nia Brown , Workplace Coordinator My partner and I are enjoying our meal at Simone’s, Black-woman-owned Caribbean Restaurant in New York. This Juneteenth, while my partner and I were in Toronto, we looked up Black-owned restaurants to support. I was pleased to find there were many options. We support Black-owned businesses year round, but doing it on Juneteenth made it that much more poignant, knowing the Black dollar only lasts six hours in the Black community compared to 28 days in Asian communities, 19 days in Jewish communities, and 17 days in white communities. It’s important we educate ourselves and one another to help build up the Black community, especially on Juneteenth. Knowing the history of this holiday makes me now, more than ever, want to spread knowledge so that we are never left in the dark again. Spending Time With Family Lakuan Smith , Manager of Inclusion This Juneteenth weekend a few of my family members and I rented a house so that we could spend time together and share knowledge on the things we are doing in our lives to improve our physical, mental, and financial wellness. I chose to participate in these activities because one of my takeaways from Juneteenth is the importance of spreading knowledge and information to improve lives. I think about the news that was shared on June 19, 1865, and how important it was for those African Americans to receive the knowledge of freedom. I am also fortunate enough to spread knowledge beyond Juneteenth weekend as a manager of inclusion at MongoDB. My day-to-day consists of expanding perspectives and creating initiatives that improve the professional lives of under-represented communities. At MongoDB, I don't have to do it alone. With the help of company leadership and our affinity groups, things are changing for the better. Members of my family and I gathered together for a weekend get away and graduation party. Bryan Spears , Senior Technical Recruiter Posing with my dad, best friend, and his father after playing a round at Hanover Golf Course in NJ To celebrate Juneteenth, I hit the golf course with some family and friends. At a very young age, my dad got me into golf with my own set of clubs. As he has gotten older, it is becoming less frequent that my pops gets on the course with me, and it had been over five years since his last time swinging a club. To my surprise, but probably not his, my dad was still hitting the ball better than me at the age of 79. He might not swing the club with the same speed, but more often than not, he was hitting clean shots straight down the course! Overall, I really enjoyed being able to spend time with family and friends to celebrate Juneteenth. Thinking about all the things I was able to do with my loved ones really makes me grateful for the sacrifices made by our ancestors so that we could live in a more equal society. My dad was in his late teens and early 20s during the Civil Rights movement; he married my mom in 1969, just two years after the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all anti-miscegenation (racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships) laws the remaining in 16 U.S. states. Just being around him is like walking with history, and while I appreciate the freedom that we have today, there is still a lot of work to do in order to combat systemic racism and oppression in the U.S. and worldwide. My hope is that while we all enjoy these holidays with loved ones or use the day off to relax and rejuvenate, we also take some time to reflect and educate ourselves so we can continue to take action. Educating and Reflecting Courtney Turner , Campus Recruiter My Juneteenth weekend was spent reflecting on the past, embracing the present, and encouraging others to have a better understanding of the holiday and the injustices that we are still faced with today. I spoke virtually to a group of young African Americans about the struggle and process of getting to what we now call Juneteenth. I also spent time with my friends at an annual Juneteenth festival, enjoying their company and reflecting on what our community has accomplished and the work still ahead of us all. Spending time with friends and speaking to youth gave me the opportunity to appreciate my culture, enjoy fellowship with other African Americans, and most importantly, do my job educating others on black culture. My desire is that, as we educate ourselves about Juneteenth, we realize that being “free” or “equal” goes beyond signing an order or taking the day off. We can’t celebrate Juneteenth but not teach the history of it in our classes; we can’t celebrate but not encourage justice and equality for all. My desire is that we celebrate with a new understanding and purpose for the holiday. MongoDB is committed to building a culture of inclusion where employees of different origins, backgrounds, and experiences feel valued and heard. Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at MongoDB .