Core Insurance Systems Replacement — Make vs. Buy
Industry & client situation
Our client was a commercial lines carrier serving the liability insurance needs of a very unique market. The client had been quite successful over the past decade yet struggled with a make-shift underwriting and claims platform that was constantly being evolved. Core system development was so costly and cumbersome that anything that could be developed outside the core system was developed in one-off applications in a constant extension of patchwork applications. Recognizing the potential of next generation core policy administration and claims platforms, the client engaged Bridge to evaluate their needs and identify the appropriate software package and co-development partners. The company’s IT community held a number of differing positions on what would be required and which vendors would be best. Management held out a number of business objectives for a new technology platform:
- Accelerate the development of new products
- Increase new business production
- Decrease the cycle time on policy production
- Increase the efficiency of policy administration and claims functions
- Enhance the sharing of policy and claim data and related knowledge
- Reduce the turnaround time on system enhancements
- Eliminate (or at a minimum reduce) the dependency on vendors to make system enhancements
Bridge was charged with developing a technology strategy to address these objectives.
Bridge developed a tailored approach that reflected the needs of the client’s internal and external stakeholders. Our first set of recommendations, recognizing their desire to outsource platform maintenance, was to shift the organization from a “customization” to a “configuration” mindset. We had to satisfy the various stakeholders that an external product could satisfy their unique needs. Our approach consisted of the following key elements:
- Development of a business case to serve as the value map for all technology decisions
- Disaggregation of processes and requirements into technology components and assembly of components into preferred software configurations
- Avoidance of premature definition of detailed requirements and the tendency to bend technology to preferred work processes and methods at great cost
- Use of “most critical” uses cases to drive final software package selection
- Engagement of a broad set of organizational representatives to ensure the ultimate decision reflected the input of all functions and greased the skids for implementation
Based on the analysis of each of the client’s key functions and comprehensive reviews of available vendor offerings, Bridge recommended a technology that could be configured to the company’s needs. Following selection, we worked with the client to reengineer processes and detail use cases that could be used to reflect the company’s desired operating state and stress test the functionality of the technology. Once all were satisfied, contracts were prepared and signed and the client proceeded to implementation.
The new technology promises to liberate the organization from the risk associated with a homegrown and dated technology. They are now tethered to a world class vendor that is committed to maintaining a best in class solution. Furthermore, the organization is able to implement claims process reengineering recommendations that were dependent on nimble workflow and data analytics not available previously.