Insurance software transitions can be elusive without the right knowledge, tools, and expertise. Here’s how to modernize correctly:
Insurance system conversions are crucial for modernization and staying competitive, but they often come with risks like technical issues, budget overruns, inadequate training, and timeline delays. Such challenges can disrupt operations, strain resources, and even jeopardize your brand. So, it’s essential to properly plan your transition for success.
Read on to learn about common insurance software conversion challenges and discover actionable tips to overcome them.
Why insurance system conversions are critical
In a market that calls on insurers to digitize at scale and stay agile, your system can either foster or impede progress.
Legacy systems make meeting rapid digitization and changing customer demands extremely hard. For example, deploying a new claims management system (CMS) in a legacy environment is expensive and time-consuming. What’s more, once the new CMS is layered onto the legacy system, it will likely lack the flexibility to swiftly accommodate changes or modifications if the system doesn’t align with your or your customers’ preferences or needs. This rigidity can result in inefficiencies and hinder the ability to promptly respond to shifts in the market, making it challenging to stay competitive in the dynamic insurance services landscape.
In contrast, modern systems run in a less expensive cloud-based environment, reducing operating costs and required resources. These systems drive greater business impact through flexibility and agility maintaining access to existing data sources.
Deploying new capabilities, products, and features with interoperable applications makes digital transformation straightforward. The interoperability opens the door to harnessing the power of AI and ML for data processing efficiency and real-time decision-making. Your underlying data remains the same, but you get the adaptability and flexibility to plug-and-play new capabilities into your environment minimizing cost and operational disruption.
That said, success can be elusive in insurance system conversions.
Common failures in insurance software conversions
Insurance IT modernizations fail due to the following reasons:
Inadequate planning or unclear objectives
Companies are often so eager to embark on insurance software conversions that they take the plunge without clear objectives and adequate planning. Their digital transformation is top of mind, but there’s ambiguity on ambitions, business requirements, and how to measure success.
In addition, some companies don’t adequately anticipate potential technical, operational, organizational, and financial risks. Those risks could be tied to user demands, deployment plans, or macro variables beyond anyone’s control. Or they could relate to insurance software vendors who under deliver or over promise.
The lack of a clear approach to modernizing infrastructure ends in failure for companies that don’t plan appropriately. When challenges arise, aligning systems with critical business objectives becomes impossible.
Insufficient training or change management
Knowledge gaps are a major roadblock to insurance IT modernization. They usually occur when the original application developers retire, move to a different organization, or are no longer working on the same project. As a result, new training sessions are necessary.
Training staff to use new technology isn’t easy. Mastery may take days or weeks, especially when your current system is outdated and the new technology feels unfamiliar to your team. In addition, employees may have established routines and resist change, further derailing modernization efforts.
Technical issues or incompatibilities
Seamless integration of new technologies with elements of existing legacy infrastructure is essential for success. But it’s difficult to achieve.
Insurance software conversions usually fail when new applications aren’t compatible with the legacy system’s code. They can also fail when different databases, programming languages, or data formats corrupt data and prevent migration.
Budgetary overruns or timeline delays
Insurance software conversions often require large financial investments. Companies must set aside funds for hiring software vendors, employee training, software licenses, and infrastructure improvements.
These costs have the potential to escalate beyond initial projections. When this occurs, budgetary constraints restrict the speed and scope of modernization activities, preventing companies from tailoring their systems to the demands of the modern world.
Actionable strategies for a smooth transition
These tips will make your insurance software conversion successful:
Identify objectives and create a detailed project plan before development starts
Before modernizing, examine your current system’s flaws and strengths and acknowledge the processes and workflows in place. Clarify the business problems the new system will solve using input from key players—business analysts, software architects, and security personnel.
Once you clearly understand the desired outcomes, work backward to determine the best path forward. Consider what components to prioritize and how to translate those into an actionable plan. Be sure to also map out the workflow for implementation and establish metrics to gauge the success of the modernization effort.
Next, choose an agile and experienced insurance software vendor to deliver immediate value and translate your strategy into action. An effective vendor will smoothen the transition, eliminate slowdowns, and make it easy to adapt to new requirements.
Provide comprehensive staff training and foster a culture of adaptability
For an easy transition to modernized systems, provide support and training to end users. You should also communicate the changes and benefits associated with the modernization efforts and address any resistance or concerns from users.
Use efficient change management techniques like the ADKAR model, Bridges’ transition model, or Kotter’s 8-step change management process to help staff adjust to new workflows, technologies, and policies.
Validate the conversion with a pilot test
Before putting the chosen strategies and technologies into practice, start with a small-scale project to evaluate and validate them. If everything looks great, conduct phased implementation to identify and resolve issues early.
Set aside contingencies in budget and time to accommodate unforeseen challenges
To make the software conversion cost-effective, break down the monolithic legacy system into components. Then, hire a software vendor with full-stack expertise to help you build the desired combinations. Keep your budget flexible to accommodate unforeseen costs like onboarding new technologies and scaling the workforce. Remember also to factor time into your contingency plan.
Let Susco aid your modernization
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, insurance software conversions are crucial to competitiveness. However, they come with a myriad of challenges that, if not addressed properly, can lead to significant disruptions and even failure. So, it’s essential to stay proactive, informed, and adaptable during system conversion projects.
When you’re ready to make the switch, Susco can ease your migration. Book a free one-hour consultation to learn how we can help you meet evolving customer demands and thrive in the digital age.