COVID-19 has had a significant impact on businesses of all sizes across various industries. An action plan was launched at an early point by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, as part of which some of Norway’s largest financial institutions and public sector organisations were engaged to build an automatic compensation solution. The aim of the solution was to prevent unnecessary insolvencies and therefore to preserve workplaces during the coronavirus crisis. The scheme (kompensasjonsordning.no) was developed in the space of three weeks, and as part of the process Itera was chosen to provide advice on architecture, capacity planning, operations and monitoring for the cloud solution.
The main organisations behind kompensasjonsordning.no are Finance Norway, Bits, DNB, the Norwegian Tax Administration and the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency. Itera was engaged by Bits to develop and manage an operations solution in Microsoft Azure, as well as to provide expertise and advice in relation to the solution itself.
The process before, during and after the compensation scheme was developed has been agile, and this made it possible for what is a relatively sizeable solution to be put in place so quickly. The project would also not have been possible without the digitalisation that has been carried out in recent years in the finance industry and by public sector organisations.
The solution is monitored in Azure using various dashboards that provide overviews of the solution’s performance, condition and availability, as well as tools for automatically operating the solution in the cloud. If something unusual-looking arises, the relevant party is automatically notified.
A system for managing and following up incidents was also set up, as well as an option to escalate incidents via an always-available Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to Itera’s Service Desk. In the event of a large-scale fault, the incident would be further escalated to Microsoft, which would provide high-quality support in a very short space of time.
It is essential for schemes of this type to have a secure and stable operations solution. When the solution opened for organisations to apply for compensation, 6,000 applications were received over the first weekend – without any performance-related problems. It is estimated that the final figure will be between 100,000 and 140,000 applications. This means that the solution will have paid out NOK 20 billion per month.
Quick and scalable high-quality support is accordingly a significant asset for the solution as a whole.