Report Outlines Ways Insurers Can Navigate Software Systems Changes

July 17, 2014

Xuber, the insurance software business of Xchanging plc, has published a new report to help insurers reduce the risks inherent in commercial insurance software system implementations.

The most recent Xuber Special Report, “The Risk of Doing Nothing…is the Biggest Risk of All,” explores the ways insurers can reduce the inherent risks of system implementation in complex insurance, on time and within budget. The paper highlights lessons learned from failed system upgrades, the factors that contribute to successful migration and implementation processes, the importance of viewing data as a strategic asset that can provide better insight and decision making, and vendor selection tips for finding the right partner to support projects that align with business needs.

Commonly cited reasons for upgrading systems include enhanced decision making and business agility, increased operational efficiencies and faster time to market. However, commercial insurers can encounter setbacks and hurdles if they don’t hone in on the real business value that will be gained from system change, including the functional outputs of the new system. For example, executives, business leaders and end users may all have different requirements and priorities, making it important to continuously seek buy-in from all interested parties to keep a project aligned with business needs.

“Changes in the market and your business will occur during the course of the implementation process, and the migration won’t happen in a vacuum,” said Richard Clark, head of Business Development and Specialist Commercial at Xuber. “A project, as with your business, should be flexible; both are subject to other pressures and the key to ensuring progression is to build agility into your planning processes.”

Considering the numerous factors and parties involved in the decision making process, insurers need to understand expectations at the start of a project, including the time, resources and investment required for a successful project. Also, change is inevitable, requiring project leaders to adjust as the process unfolds to keep expectations realistic while balancing the tendency towards scope creep.

“A key point made in this report is that insurers need to understand where they are today, where they want to go and the art of what’s possible,” said Craig Robinson, head of Business Development, North America for Xuber. “When businesses define what success looks like and understand the best practices critical to achieving that success, then they are better equipped to create and follow a path that leads them where they want to go.”

Implementations require robust data migration strategies, including understanding the role data will play in a new system with a new set of available parameters. Enlisting the help of a data scientist who understands the data and business requirements can help identify and account for the complex data needs at the beginning of a system change, building this transition and complexity into the process.

“Insurers need to pick the right technology, one that is both configurable and flexible but robust enough to meet business needs,” added Robinson. “If you find an experienced service provider with a similar vision at the right price, they can add value to your implementation through collaboration. Together, you can leverage each other’s strengths to succeed.”

“The Risk of Doing Nothing…is the Biggest Risk of All” is now available for download from Xuber’s website.

Source: Xuber

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