Stop Being a Servant to Your Legacy Systems – They are Eating Your Profits.
Claims management today requires a digital custom claims management system (CMS). These systems automate manual tasks by collecting and processing information, including policies, coverages, claims, claimants, and assessing claim circumstances. The software can also be programmed to make decisions, execute actions, and create a permanent record of the claim.
For adjusters, this means better workflow management and efficiency. Clients get faster claims settlements, which enhances relationships and creates loyalty. However, the key to a robust, efficient, scalable, successful, and cost-saving CMS is avoiding technical debt.
What is technical debt? Technical debt results from selecting a suboptimal solution that sacrifices the long-term quality of code and maintainability. It’s about compromises made in the quest for a quick solution over a future-ready one. When technical debt isn’t managed, it can limit your company’s ability to adapt, innovate, grow, and compete. In this article, we’ll discuss how to recognize technical debt, best practices for custom CMS development, and more.
Understanding and Avoiding Technical Debt Matters
Technical debt is like financial debt – much of it is due to poor planning. Defined, technical debt refers to a product or functionality that will require modification and perhaps a complete rework in the future. So, what creates technical debt, and why does it matter? Technical debt doesn’t just increase cost; it reduces productivity and stifles innovation, resulting in lower long-term revenue.
At its heart, technical debt is about taking shortcuts. Drivers include time constraints, a lack of knowledge, and legacy systems that have outgrown their usefulness. If you take a close look, you’ll be able to identify technical debt by observing the following:
- High maintenance and support costs. This is because specialized knowledge is needed to modify, add, or refine functionality in a legacy system.
- Difficulty managing compliance. Insurance can be a regulatory minefield. Legacy systems are often siloed, with no master data management capabilities.
- Poor security. If you haven’t been hacked, you’re fortunate. With no clear end-to-end visibility of the architecture, it is challenging to find the weak spots and repair them.
- Client and staff complaints. Are clients complaining about the slow resolution of the claims process? Is employee productivity (and morale) in the basement?
In a nutshell, technical debt is caused by inefficiencies that have been left unaddressed and have grown over time. For an agile business that requires security, accuracy, and compliance, technical debt is an obstacle to getting where you want to go, and need to be, to succeed.
The Solution for Technical Debt: A Custom CMS
A custom CMS solves the issue of technical debt by providing an all-inclusive, single-source-of-truth, automated, error-reducing, client-pleasing, and productivity-making system that’s scalable, easily maintained, and will serve you well into the future.
To get the most from your custom CMS project, you need to analyze your current system, establish clear objectives and requirements, and choose the right vendor. The vendor should use Agile development methodologies to deliver a state-of-the-art platform tailored to your firm’s unique needs and workflow.
Proper documentation is a critical part of this process – lack of proper documentation can lead to technical debt in the future because it will make it difficult for developers to do maintenance or update code. A lack of documentation in a legacy system is often partially to blame for technical debt.
It takes the right technology stack
Choosing the right technology stack is vital to prevent technical debt. Since you’re not a technology expert, it’s crucial to choose a software developer that understands your specific business and the insurance industry. You also want to choose a vendor that does a thorough assessment of your current technology, your workflow, the current problems, and the direction you want to take your business.
It’s important to know what’s working and what isn’t before you begin the process with your vendor so you can work together to create and implement a system that will have the most significant impact. Among the factors you want to consider for your new custom claims management system include scalability and flexibility.
When it comes to your developer, you’ll want to ask questions that give you insight into their quality process. The developer you select should emphasize:
- Code quality. It’s poor coding that got you into the mess to begin with. Code quality is important for security, and a hallmark of quality code is that it is easily read and understood by any developer, not just the code creator.
- Code reviews and pair programming. Pair programming, an Agile development technique, is when two developers act as a team using a single workstation. A driver at the keyboard writes code and a navigator, who focuses on the bigger, reviews the work product. This two eyes are better than one approach leads to faster issue resolution. It requires two collaborative developers in constant communication, who each have the requisite hard skills and soft skills.
- Comprehensive testing. Testing every step of the way is part of the Agile methodology. Comprehensive testing saves money, finds any security gaps, ensures a quality product, and gauges overall performance. Testing also discloses any bugs and gaps in functionality.
It takes a modular approach
There are many different approaches to software development. However, the modular approach enables development consistency, reduced development time, and increased flexibility. With the modular approach:
- Each module can be written without the developer having to know the code of other modules.
- Development time is faster because parts are split up between team members, and issues can be dealt with in chunks.
- Modules enable more flexibility in the overall software.
- Modules are reusable, reducing costs and cutting the time needed for future updates.
- Bugs occur less frequently and are easier to identify because they will be found within the module they originated from.
Improved security is one big bonus of a custom CMS and the modular approach. While bugs are a vulnerability, security misconfigurations, broken access controls, insecure deserialization, and broken or missing authentication also pose problems.
The solution? Constant testing identifies vulnerabilities so that developers can close them. Regular software updates prevent security issues, and a defined set of principles for security are best practices. Continuous monitoring optimizes both security and performance.
It’s vitally important to avoid technical debt if you want a successful, growing business with high productivity, enhanced security, lower costs, and higher profits.
It’s time to settle your technical debt. When you partner with Susco for a custom CMS and legacy system conversion, your firm becomes more powerful, efficient, productive, and secure. Susco leverages the latest technology and development methodologies to create custom software solutions that give your workflow a powerful boost, close operational gaps, and help you communicate effectively both internally and externally.
For more than a decade, our dedicated team of web and application developers has built custom solutions that perfectly align with business goals. Discover what we can do for you. Have questions? Just fill out our simple form or get in touch today so we can schedule your free one-hour assessment.