An insurance platform is the mainstay of any insurer or broker. It beats at the heart of your business operations dealing with policy admin, billing and claims. As the backbone of your business there are several things to consider when choosing and migrating to a new platform.
“As CTO of JMR Software I’ve had the opportunity to perform many data migration projects and have experienced the ups and downs of migrating from a legacy system, whilst embracing the exciting new functionality of a modern alternative. I have noticed that the transitions from one to another can frequently be a painful process that uncovers many challenges.” says Dane Richards CTO of JMR Software
The challenges of maintaining existing insurance platforms
If you have a legacy system, you may find that it’s not as flexible as demanded by today’s business drivers and needs, particularly when you need to get new products to market. Although serving you well for many years, adding new products now may also lead to reaching an upper limit of your systems capability. Older systems running costs can also be high and are compounded by the slow erosion of knowledge, skills and lack of documentation making it increasingly difficult to maintain.
Legacy applications are now also raising more security concerns. In fact, a lot of targeted attacks today are being directed to the point of data capture. These are often areas in your processes where data being captured is a manual process and this opens one up to social engineering attacks. Be aware that attacks are constantly evolving and morphing to exploit any weak spots in your defences. Regular penetration testing is a good way to identify weak points, this will allow you to identify any areas that may need to be amended or requirement for added layers of security – this however adds to both cost and complexity!
Today there are plenty of challenges when capturing, processing, storing, analysing, and reporting on your data. The pertinent question is do you have accessibility to the right data and is it accurate? Your legacy systems reports may have been adequate when it was implemented, but does it meet your big data needs today and deal with current legislation requirements?
A case in point is ‘Rule 13’ that demands Insurers must have as near to real time access to up-to-date, accurate, reliable, secure and complete data including that of intermediary systems. Focused on ‘treating the customer fairly’ Rule 13 requires the insurer to be able to interrogate information on all policy, claims, communication and complaints data. Yet there is no standardised method or one solution for everyone and difficulties may exist where insurers need to take over the premium collection and payments to track the financial transactions. We are working with insurers today to expedite solutions to these challenges.
What to consider when implementing a new Policy Administration System
Choosing a Policy Administration System (PAS), which is likely to last you two decades or more, is something that needs careful consideration to ensure you implement a strong platform to establish the right backbone for your company.
Some of the challenges in future migrations can also be found in decisions made when implementing a new PAS. For example, you may want to change but are concerned about upsetting the status quo and its impact on key stakeholders, such as your brokers, who like working a certain way. All too often your business can end up ‘fighting the product’ in implementation. It may work in a certain way, but you adapt the solution to your way of working, which could inadvertently make the result unstable, but also store up problems for future migration.
“As technology rapidly advances, I believe that you need to create an open environment and embrace running multiple platforms, with rich APIs, and ensure you own your own data and know where it sits. You need to consider from the start how you can maintain a single source of the truth? How easy is it to access your data and if using a Cloud solution what data can you access?
Data migration dates are decided in advance, often with a fixed date which helps to focus the teams and their minds – not on competing with each other – but on achieving goals. You need to set goals based that are requirements led. Practice failures. At some point something is going to break so it’s better to break it fast.
Something I think is really important when moving to a new PAS is to implement it as if you are going to be migrating away tomorrow. What is product configuration?
How do you rate this product? When migrating from an old system these are questions that are asked, so ask them now when you are implementing the new platform And, finally, document everything – you won’t be sorry! ” says Dane