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End-of-Life Insurance Software Conversion Best Practices

Insurance IT modernization isn’t just the best way to stay ahead of the digital curve—it’s the only way. Explore what’s possible with end-of-life insurance system conversion best practices.

In life, two things are certain: death and taxes. Just as definite is all software becomes obsolete, either because an organization’s needs have changed or the underlying technology has become outdated.

Modernization is the only way forward when confronted with end-of-life (EOL) insurance claims management software. However, with the complexity and risks of transitioning from an EOL system to a new one, not all conversions succeed. The good news is that a solid, well-thought-out strategy is all you need for success.

Read on to learn about end-of-life insurance system conversion best practices and how to avoid the disruptions and inefficiencies caused by outdated and unsupported software.

Recognizing end-of-life signs in current software

Security upgrades, bug fixes, patches, and technical support are no longer available when software reaches its end of life. This creates various challenges that limit your company’s ability to compete. For example, the lack of security patches opens back doors to nefarious actors, resulting in frequent data breaches like the WannaCry ransomware attack.

Compatibility issues between the EOL software and other tools you use may also arise—either because of the obsolescence of the software’s code/architecture or because the software is not optimized for the latest hardware and software configurations. These incompatibility issues can strain your system’s memory and CPU, resulting in data loss, frequent errors, slower response times, and other technical challenges.

If you you’re investing significantly in maintenance, it could indicate that your software has reached the end of its life. End-of-life software tends to experience frequent breakdowns, demanding extensive and ongoing maintenance efforts. The cost of running old software is lofty. You may find that the software never reaches the desired quality levels, no matter how much money you throw at it.

Other common EOL software signs include:

  • Unexpected downtime, loss of reliability, and performance drops.
  • Challenges meeting industry standards and compliance regulations.
  • Difficulty iterating and innovating the product or troubleshooting/fixing bugs.

Persisting with EOL software can be highly counterproductive. It can seem like you’re always rushing to put out the next fire instead of focusing on critical business objectives. It’s best to upgrade to a modern system as soon as possible to avoid disruptions and maintain competitive advantage. 

Planning for the transition

Phasing out EOL software isn’t always easy, but an in-depth strategy can smoothen your transition. These tips will set you up for success:

Start with an inventory assessment

Take inventory of existing software to determine which assets you need to modernize and prioritize which are most crucial to your business. When deciding, pay attention to the software’s configurations, licensing information (e.g., license expiration dates), version numbers, compatibility, security, and performance. Also, consider the interdependencies and connections between data, devices, systems, and processes, before development starts.

Set clear objectives, timelines, and milestones

With a thorough inventory in hand, create a detailed end-to-end plan outlining key milestones and deliverables. Structure your plan by grouping related milestones, deliverables, and tasks in a natural sequence. This will help your team stay focused and organized as the project progresses because each stage dictates their workload and mindset.

Remember to set realistic timelines. It’s common practice to align implementation timelines with other organizational objectives, goals, and needs. While this is important, it shouldn’t be the sole driver to a go-live date. You should also factor in the time needed to complete the legacy system conversion, train staff, and assess workflows to ensure a smooth transition. 

It also pays to plan for more time than is needed for the rollout. Organizations often assume workflows will resume to normal levels in a few short weeks. The reality is that anticipated benefits and full adoption may take longer to realize. You should, therefore, keep the old software active and plan for continued support for at least a few months after the conversion.

Budget based on the scope of the transition

Estimate infrastructure, licensing, data transfer, personnel training, and other modernization costs and allocate finances accordingly. Also, include a contingency budget to account for changes in project scope or unforeseen expenses. This extra padding will help you navigate new challenges without jeopardizing the project’s success.

Assemble a cross-functional team for the conversion

The EOL software conversion will likely affect every corner of your business. Therefore, it’s wise to involve representatives from each business function in the transition process. These representatives will act as the bridge between the ground staff and the migration team to ensure that all relevant concerns, knowledge, and information are promptly shared when needed. They’ll also help you gain continued support for the project until it starts to realize a return on your investment.

Execution: end-of-life insurance system conversion best practices

Migrate data properly

Data management is critical in software conversion—the loss of it can spell disaster. That said, moving large data volumes, like the kind insurance adjusting firms handle, is never easy. These best practices can tilt you towards a successful migration:

  • Identify which data you can move safely and how to keep it secure, consistent, and accurate during the migration.
  • Organize and clean the data by removing irrelevant information, duplicates, or errors. 
  • Back up the data before migration starts using external drives, cloud storage, or other backup solutions.
  • Create a disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity in worst-case scenarios.
  • Move data in phases instead of using a single operation—while this approach takes longer, it’s more reliable.

Test the new system extensively before full-scale deployment

No matter how well you planned the development process or how constrained the timeline is, you should always perform testing before going live—preferably at each stage. Rigorous testing will help you find performance gaps early, identify unanticipated issues, and mitigate them before they become problematic.

Provide training and support for users to acclimatize to the new system

Don’t skimp on training. Provide users with adequate education and shoulder-to-shoulder support early to make the transition more manageable. Training should be workflow-based, helping users understand their work post-conversion. It can include tutorials, manuals, and FAQs that explain the functions and features of the software.

How Susco can help

Once your insurance software reaches its end of life, there’s no bulletproof way to run it. The potential compliance, compatibility, and security risks simply don’t justify the rewards. At this stage, the only solution is to modernize methodically, with best practices in mind. That’s where Susco comes in.

One of our goals is to help insurance adjusting firms stay competitive by replacing legacy systems with cutting-edge tools and technologies. With decades of combined experience in the InsureTech space, our experts understand how to deliver custom software solutions that work. What’s more, they stay by your side at every step of the conversion process and beyond.

Don’t wait until EOL software hurts your business to start prioritizing system conversion; modernize today with Susco. Start with a free one-hour consultation and move forward informed and in control. 

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