Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

The Gains Are Worth the Headaches When Refreshing Legacy IT Systems

December 27, 2012

Replacing legacy IT systems is essential for business agility, and most businesses know it. But the cost and hassle of implementing infrastructure upgrades keeps many firms tottering on without the IT necessary to meet their business goals, according to a new study by research firm, Celent.

Roughly 58 percent of respondents cited business agility as the main benefit of core systems replacement, according to the study, which surveyed 141 insurers, more than a third of which have more than $1 billion in annual premium.

The benefits of increased underwriting efficiency through workflow, rapid product design and improved customer service are clear, according to Celent, but it says that many firms fail to act on this knowledge because it is a big job and the quantifiable monetary benefits are hard to accurately forecast.

“Why does Celent dedicate so much time to researching these engines? It is the misalignment of the abilities and the business aspirations that attracts our attention,” the report noted.

“Should the business need to drive on the autobahn at 200 mph, the engine should be ready to go that fast,” the report noted. “This flexibility is what is missing from most great engines in the insurer. As such, restrictions are placed on what the business is able to execute. Current engines may allow the insurer to speed up, but not too fast, and certainly not to execute any emergency braking.”

The biggest challenges of legacy systems, according to respondents, were inflexibility of applications, inflexibility of data models and difficulty of integrating with other systems.

But replacing legacy systems are not easy, and the report found that companies that undertake legacy upgrades struggle the most with having the right staff in the right areas to take on the challenge, deciding on the best approach for the legacy modernization program, and managing the impact on the organization.

IT departments need to improve the accuracy of their requirements definition, system configuration, data conversion and system integrator costs, noted the report, and the needs, costs and goals of system replacement must be more clearly communicated to senior management. Yet, many IT departments fail to treat this business case for upgrade as a living document, which hinders acceptance and adoption.

Managing the complexity of an IT change also hinders adoption, according to the report. The IT landscape has grown and so have many interfaces, interdependencies on systems and the technology stack, and using an outsourcing partner is often viewed as adding complexity. Yet, insurers are ready to leverage the strategic skills and expertise of third parties, noted the report.

Some suggestions that insurers might want to take to heart when upgrading legacy systems include making sure that legacy modernization is undertaken with backing by senior management, as any upgrade will have a significant impact on several areas of the business; breaking upgrades into manageable projects that last no longer than six to nine months, and having associated benefits with each project; and avoiding the creation of new systems that will quickly turn into the legacy systems of the future by leveraging a service-oriented architecture that allows for business logic to be developed once and used whenever required, with incremental replacement over time.

Celent also noted that outdated business rules and processes are often embedded in legacy systems, and partnering with a handful of system integrators with deep expertise and knowledge is an important factor for minimizing risk during an upgrade. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend
ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.





Edited by Peter Bernstein

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

Contact Center Solutions Week in Review: Interactive Intelligence, Aspect Software and Nice Systems

What an unusual week in the Contact Center Solutions Community. I never thought I would use the word "war" in an article for the community, but interestingly in different context I ended up using it not once but twice. [ Read More ]
11/22/2014

Aspect Software Declares War in Workforce Optimization Market

We may be closing in on the holiday season and a time of "good cheer," but reality is that competition in business is a 24/7/365 affair. And, depending on whether you are a competitor or possible customer, it looks like this holiday season thanks to a new initiative by customer experience solutions provider Aspect Software you are either looking at a possible lump of coal in you X-mas stocking or a valuable present. The reason is Aspect has dropped the gloves in the hotly contested Workforce Opt… [ Read More ]
11/21/2014

Ozonetel Integrates CloudAgent with Zoho CRM

A big part of improving the customer experience, regardless of whether you are an enterprise or a service provider, is breaking down the silos of customer information that exist inside an organization. Having a full view of the customer is important to customer lifecycle management and hence the overall customer experience. And, one of the big places to look for enhancing visibility into all things customer related is obviously tight integration with various capabilities with customer relationsh… [ Read More ]
11/21/2014

LiveVox Data Center to Bring Cloud Contact Center Capabilities to Canada

As financial results from various contact center and unified communications (UC) solutions providers continue to flow in for this quarter two things are becoming increasingly clear. First, is that those seeking to upgrade their customer experience capabilities are accelerating the adoption of the cloud and hybrid solutions as their preferred path. Second, is that North America continues to be the hotbed of this with not just the large U.S. market as a target of opportunity, but also the vibrant … [ Read More ]
11/21/2014
Subscribe here for your FREE Contact
Center Solutions
enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!