Applied Systems discovers 4-5 days of working time per month with Tines

About Applied Systems 

Applied Systems, established in 1983, delivers software to help insurance agencies create an end-to-end digital experience. With their global nature, the security team must ensure they meet regulations across countries with highly sensitive information. 

Executive summary 

The Applied Systems security team reached a growth point where they needed to introduce automation to save time, add consistency to how they address threats, and improve the auditability of their work. They brought on Tines to achieve these goals. 

A single Tines Story saved the team 10 to 20 minutes per request, completing the process in just 30 seconds. Shane Lonneman, Director of Security Engineering at Applied Systems, talks through the challenge before the Story, the impact of automating this process, and their plans going forward with Tines. 

What's the challenge? 

Much like any team, the Applied Systems team gets an estimated 20-40 requests per day through Slack. They have to treat each of these as a priority and were spending 5-10 minutes to respond to them. Each of those interruptions pulled the team away from a task and distracted them from meaningful work. 

This impacted not only the security team's overall productivity but also the productivity of teams that rely on them, such as DevOps and development teams. 

“Our team used workflows in Slack where they were getting 20-40 requests per day. Each request would interrupt whichever task they were working on,” explains Shane, “You can imagine that builds up taking 10-20 minutes per request.”

Shane’s domain expertise is infrastructure, security, and automation, and new automation would enable the teams to move faster and get their work done better. The key evaluation criteria for Applied Systems and Shane were:

  • Auditability

  • Consistency

  • Time savings

Why Tines? 

With Tines, they found all three. Shane explains the impact of the Tines Story they built for a one-off project to create 140 organizations in Snyk. It was intended to be a quick initiative to  “not have to do the whole thing manually” because he knew it would be frustrating for his team. He later realized that his team could repurpose this Story and remove their need to create organizations at all in the future. 

“With a single Story that automates the access requests and integration between GitLab and Snyk, we turned a 10-20 minute process into a 30-second end-to-end automation.”

Shane Lonneman, Director of Security Engineering, reported after approximately six to seven weeks with the automation in place

Now, the team is focused on the results they are getting from Snyk and addressing those results. The cross-functional benefits here have greatly benefited Shane’s team and the broader business. As mentioned earlier, the Applied Systems Dev teams rely on the security team before deploying code. Now, those dev teams are working faster and meeting their timelines as a result of the security team having more time. This faster deployment time benefits the entire business and Applied Systems’ customers. 

“The ripple effect of Tines is super clear in this one example. And we’re already working on building more.” Shane continues, “There are other products we’re rolling out for the business where an integration doesn’t exist with our tech stack, and we’ll use Tines to onboard them in a similar way as we did with Snyk. This is the consistency we’re striving for. It enables us to scale these new systems, which wouldn’t have been easy without it.” 

The features that make much of this possible, in addition to the no-code and API-based architecture, were forms, groups, and send to Story. 

  • Forms remove the limitations of other systems and opened up communication channels between teams.

  • Action groups make it easier to create well-defined branches within a Story or ‘actions within an Action.’

  • Send to Story, similar to group Actions, enables consistency and scale for their team – especially as other security teams at Applied Systems adopt Tines.

What’s next? 

In addition to onboarding more products for the team, Shane is working with the broader security and IT teams at Applied Systems to demonstrate the value of Tines. Using the ‘send to Story’ capability, they are creating snippets that allow other colleagues to repurpose work and automated processes that Shane’s team builds. This, together with forms, is streamlining how they work across the security organization and their ability to expand to more use cases quickly.  

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