By Heather Peacock, Executive Vice President, OneShield.
Question: What can insurers do to take the risk out of core administration systems?
Configurability is the key to taking significant risk out of core administration system implementations, but needless to say, there can be drawbacks if strong technology and design governance is not enforced on the project. Since the possibilities for configurability can be limitless, it is important to stop and consider what complete configurability can mean to your organization.
Additionally, it is equally important to consider the safeguards that must be put in place for the implementation and long-term maintenance of a highly-configurable system. And, while the power to make changes across the enterprise is certainly beneficial and crucial, insurers must additionally decide whether a centralized or decentralized maintenance team is the best approach.
As the market moves toward preference for a componentized suite from a single vendor, configurability provides hope of minimizing project risk through integration and interoperability, without reliance on expensive IT resources or outside consulting. In this process, verifying the components of a single vendor suite are truly integrated is critical.
For a system to be truly configurable, the components must share the same data model and should not require changes to the individual components throughout the product maintenance lifecycle. This is especially true for release management and backward compatibility of the individual components.
All too often, insurers find they need to be on a current version of each of the components if they want to upgrade one component. Is this important to insurers? Absolutely. All components need to work seamlessly together, and it is best if the system is accessing a single customer file across all components to reduce the risk and complexity of maintaining a single holistic view of your customer.
Unfortunately, keeping all components current is a costly and timely requirement that probably will not reflect project timelines and introduces unnecessary risks to product maintenance. So, what can you do to reduce risks when implementing a configurable system?
In considering how to proceed with a core administration system implementation project and what degree of configurability is right for any given company-specific situation, insurers must also make certain the system selected provides:
- Extensive pre-existing content, which speeds up implementations and lowers costs;
- High re-usability of meta data for sharing across products, territories and distribution channels;
- The ability to easily perform an impact analysis of changes to the modifications and the downstream effects;
- True customer-centricity across all components, without relying on a complex synchronization process that could introduce risk as the system evolves over time; and
- Robust and comprehensive release management tools for managing the meta data of the system across all environments.
By following the above criteria and implementing a strong technology and design governance approach, you will greatly improve your chances for project success.
About the Author
Heather Peacock is the executive vice president of client delivery and services for OneShield, Inc. She can be reached for further insights and comment via email at email@example.com.
OneShield delivers flexible, enterprise-class policy management, billing, rating, product configuration and business intelligence/analytic solutions to the global P&C/General Insurance industry. Based on an open, tool-based architecture, OneShield Dragon® provides companies with the ability to streamline product creation, management, underwriting and distribution. With Dragon, P&C/General insurers gain a competitive advantage that helps them improve operations and profitability while meeting increasing customer and market demands. OneShield Dragon® is a proven industry solution in production across a combined 43 commercial, personal and specialty lines of business. OneShield develops innovative technology to better serve the needs of the industry and more importantly, their customers. OneShield is headquartered in Marlborough, MA and has an office in Gurgaon, India. Visit OneShield.com to learn more.
SOURCE: Article provided by OneShield. Originally published by Property Casualty 360; republished with permission.