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Legacy is not a dirty word

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Published on: 10th May 2021
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Most commercial insurance carriers have legacy systems that sit at the very heart of their business. These policy administration systems (PAS) are often painted as slow, cumbersome, inflexible platforms that are restrictive and a drag on innovation.

And yes, these core systems – and many insurers run more than one at a time – are expensive to buy and implement, are often based on old green-screen technology and about as agile as the Ever Given in the Suez Canal. But they are also the solid foundations of most carriers’ operations, enabling the running of day-to-day tasks, recording exactly what is on risk and managing the flow of revenue into, and out of, the business.

The PAS is, in other words, and despite its limitations, the rock that the business is built on, and not surprisingly most insurers are hesitant to dig out these foundations and put their trust in a whole new system that may potentially be built on shaky ground. It makes more sense to keep the established albeit clunky foundations and focus on building on top of them. In other words, build on the legacy rather than throw it all away for the latest model.

Why rip and replace isn’t the only option

Fortunately for those wrestling with how to move their business forward, the technology world has changed, and it is now possible to extend the life of legacy systems, thus avoiding their obsolescence, by focusing on integration rather than replacement.

In practical terms this means using the PAS for what it is best at – money management and integration with the finance system and extracting relevant data into a new system that sits over the top of it all. This enables the investment in the PAS to still bring value, ensures day to day financial management is not impacted but more importantly provides new agility and possibilities for carriers.

What this means for insurers is:

  • This extracted data, once freed from the restrictions of the PAS, can be reviewed, refreshed, and restructured.
  • They can then take a single view, no matter how many legacy systems are involved.
  • The integrated data can then open up a whole new world of possibilities including the option of plugging in, via APIs, new sources of data as and when they emerge, either internally generated or from third party sources.
  • They can launch new products in days and weeks, not months and years, as they are no longer reliant on the PAS functionality.

This new agility really is a game changer.

Integration first – the philosophy that drives Send’s Connected Workbench solution. By creating seamless workflows with legacy systems, insurers can make the best of what they have whilst opening up to the present. Once the data has been liberated and transformed, adapting to future demands and opportunities – such as with Lloyd’s Blueprint 2 – is not only possible, but fairly simple.

So don’t waste all the blood, sweat, tears and money that were invested in the PAS but embrace its limitations, and build a new future – now.

Author info: Matt McGrillis – CTO and co-founder at Send. To get in touch with Matt and find out more about Send, you can find him on LinkedIn.

 

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