Configurable Systems and Open Architecture Accelerate Time-to-Market and nSimplify IT Projects
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 23, 2007 — Advancements in insurance software such as configurable systems and service-oriented architectures are enabling property and casualty insurers to roll out new technology faster and ease systems integration, according to panelists at Future Focus 2007, a two-day conference hosted by Computer Sciences Corporation.
More than 120 insurance and technology executives, industry analysts and media representatives attended the fifth annual conference, held Sept. 23-25 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
During a panel discussion on insurance technology, featured speaker Stephen Forte, principal research analyst with Gartner Inc., noted that vendor software is now functionally rich enough that insurance companies have reached a tipping point in deciding whether to move off their legacy platforms.
For example, software available today includes configuration tools that allow insurers to modify the system to their needs while still taking advantage of upgrades from the vendor.
The technology panel, moderated by Ara Trembly, senior technology editor
with National Underwriter magazine, also noted the ongoing explosion in middleware components. Insurers are using these components to externalize business processes into separate systems for functions such as rating, billing and claims. They are also beginning to use service-oriented architectures to ease the integration of these multiple systems.
“If a core system is functional and working well, most companies today aren’t going to rip it out and replace it,” said Carol Stafford, vice president of System z9 Sales for IBM. “Most of our customers focus on ways to use technology to get new products to market faster. If middleware will help do that, then that’s more than likely where they’re going to go.”
Panelist Chad Hersh, senior analyst with Celent LLC, noted that insurers have a much wider range of options, such as outsourcing, to accelerate information technology (IT) modernization projects.
“You can take a system like POINT IN and have it up and running in a BPO environment in 120 days,” said Hersh. “Can you imagine telling someone just five years ago that they could have a new policy administration system running in 120 days? We’re in a very different time now. Technology is finally catching up to the promises.”
At the conference, Ray August, president of CSC’s Property and Casualty Division, unveiled CSC’s newest initiative, Continuous Delivery, which gives insurers incremental updates to software as soon as they become available, rather than making them wait for the next full release.
“Continuous Delivery prevents obsolescence and saves insurance IT departments a significant amount of time and effort associated with upgrades,” August said. “Now insurers can benefit immediately from the latest innovations in CSC software.”
CSC’s Future Focus conference also explored a wide range of insurance topics, including government regulation, the potential impact of the 2008 U.S. presidential election, strategies to increase agent satisfaction, innovative claims processes, vendor relationship management and offshore outsourcing. For more information on Future Focus 2007, visit http://www.csc-fs.com/cscfuturefocus.
Computer Sciences Corporation is a leading global IT services company.
CSC’s mission is to provide customers in industry and government with solutions crafted to meet their specific challenges and enable them to profit from the advanced use of technology.
With approximately 87,000 employees, CSC provides innovative solutions for
customers around the world by applying leading technologies and CSC’s own advanced capabilities. These include systems design and integration; IT and business process outsourcing; applications software development; Web and application hosting; and management consulting. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., CSC reported revenue of $14.9 billion for the 12 months ended March 30, 2007. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.csc.com.