IPS Built on AWS to Bring Better Pension Services to 2 Million Chileans
The Instituto de Previsión Social (IPS), or Social Security Institute, is responsible for bringing various social benefits to people in Chile. In January of 2022, following the approval of the Universal Guaranteed Pension (PGU), IPS needed a rapid process for its digital platform to simultaneously support consultations for about 2 million people—and be available to receive benefit applications. Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) was key to making this platform available to citizens in just 6 days and to meet user demands, as the number of requests increased by almost 900 percent.
In the first 4 days of February, we received more queries on our platform than there were throughout all of January—that would have been unthinkable without cloud services and elasticity."
Head of the IT division at IPS
Developing A New Digital Platform in Days
The implementation of the payment of the PGU, which provides up to 185,000 Chilean pesos per month to people who meet the requirements of the initiative, proved a great challenge to Chile's IPS. IPS presented the new benefit with the aim of improving pensions for adults 65 and over who are not among the richest 10 percent of the population—a group estimated at more than 2 million people.
Following the approval of the PGU, the IPS team needed a new digital platform that could support a massive consultation load while simultaneously reaching more than 2 million people and responding to requests from people not automatically enrolled into benefits.
Developing the new digital platform was challenging due to the extreme implementation urgency—the promulgation of the PGU was carried out by the Government of Chile on January 28, after congressional approval, with the expectation that the processes and systems for delivering PGU benefits would be in place as of February 1, when automatic payments began to thousands of people in the New Solidarity Pillar (NSP) designed to eliminate poverty in elderly adults.
Meeting Urgent Demand Using AWS
The urgency of the demand made it clear that using cloud technology was the best solution to have the mass query upload process and platform available in record time. The IPS team used several AWS solutions to implement the platform. From a technical perspective, IPS utilized Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (Amazon EKS) containers, a service that enables the management of workloads and services elastically. Additionally, it used Amazon CloudFront, for agile and secure content distribution, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for cloud database configuration, operation, and scaling, as well as various networking and monitoring components. To provide additional assistance, an engineer was on call during the most critical part of the project through AWS Enterprise Support OnRamp. IPS also worked hand in hand with Tivit consultants to implement the platform.
How Scaling On-Demand Improved Customer Experiences
“While we are used to having an online service available 24/7, we knew that demand was going to skyrocket from an average of 15,000 daily visits to about 40,000. In fact, on the first day we had 145,000 visits, and in the first 4 days of February we responded to more inquiries on our platform than there were throughout all of January, on all channels, both face-to-face and digital—that would have been unthinkable without cloud solutions and elasticity,” said Paul Cook, head of the IT division at IPS. “As for the benefit payments, these began in February for more than 1 million people with automatic access—because they had a Basic Solidarity Old-Age Pension or a Solidarity Old-Age Pension Contribution that was replaced by the PGU—and it is expected that the process will begin for more than 600,000 new beneficiaries in August.”
Building the solution on AWS allowed the infrastructure to have the necessary elasticity to respond adequately to the increase in requests and web access, automatically scaling as entries increase while avoiding most inconveniences due to the high demand.
Using AWS solutions made it possible to automate and streamline configuration, application, and administration tasks, resulting in users having a more satisfactory interaction with the platform.
About the IPS
The Social Security Institute (IPS) is a public service created on the basis of Article 53 of Law 20.255, which established a reform of the Social Security System in 2008, and is decentralized with its own legal team and assets. It functions under the province of the President of the Republic, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Undersecretary of Social Welfare. The purpose of this service is to administer the solidarity pension system and pension plans previously administered by the former INP, and constitutes a public service governed by Chile's Senior Public Management System. In addition, it is responsible for managing the ChileAtiende network that guides people on procedures and benefits of the state.
Benefits of AWS
- Implemented a new platform in 6 days
- Scaled on-demand to respond to a 900% increase in requests
- Delivered a better user experience to citizens
- Automated configuration and administration tasks
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises.
Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.
Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.
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