- Most carriers doing upgrades do a point upgrade and generally, these are successful.
- All upgrades to modern systems in the survey group were successful, supporting the expectation that these platforms reduce the pain related to ongoing updates.
- The most frequently reported reason for taking an upgrade is “to gain new functionality” and the second most common driver is “current version no longer supported”.
- Only 10.7% of insurer respondents used their own employees without assistance from vendors or third party companies. The most common uses of vendor services for upgrades are for coding, configuration and testing.
- Most upgrade projects (64.3%) meet their delivery deadline.
- Some carriers actually came in below budget on their upgrade, but the vast majority, 60.7%, came in on budget.
As we all know, legacy IT systems are the major stumbling block to new initiatives from our business folk. And I was reminded once more this week how the business can ask some pretty crazy stuff from IT. Here in the UK, there is a new business called Whipcar, which is a crowd-sourced rental car model.
Reduced to it’s basics, you rent a car from a street near you through this intermediary website. The model is about leveraging spare capacity in the existing car market by renting the car out when it’s not needed. This works well in large metropolitan cities such as London when a car is seldom used on a daily basis. With Whipcar, you can “sweat your asset” for the periods when you don’t need the car. One of the principles is that you are likely to be more careful with your neighbours car than with some faceless global car rental company and so the rentee has little to worry about. But insurance is still a requirement.
So how does insurance work? As the car owner, you will already have a car insurance policy in place. Whipcar has negotiated an agreement with a London Market insurer to provide an overlay to that insurance policy whilst the car is being rented out. This is a unique product (variable time for the policy, insurered value variable, billing requirements variable) that would test any current policy admin application.So my challenge to you is this. You may be well down the path of legacy simplification or modernization, or you may be still considering how best to approach it. I would propose that in ascertaining if your target (or new) application stack is fit for purpose, the small case study of Whip-car is an interesting little use case scenario. Let us know how it goes.
If you listen carefully you will hear the crunching and churning of the cogs and wheels of Celent’s most ambitious bi-annual report – the policy administration report. It’s hard not to be overcome by superlatives when describing this research. This year, we’ll publish 7 reports, each likely to run well over 100 pages in length. Given their complexity and multiple moving parts, we run them as projects imposing deadlines upon all in our path. This year’s global reports will involve six senior analysts, one editor, and two junior staff who assist with the administration. Each report takes about four months from issuing of the RFI to the vendor to publication.
You may wonder what we do in those four months. We contact around 160 vendors, receive approximately 130 completed RFIs. And then the work begins. For each vendor, we schedule a follow-up call and a 1 hour demo. For each established solution, we schedule 2-3 customer references. Extrapolate that out and we’re talking over 90 hours of demos, 180 customer references, and enough emails to clog a high-speed ADSL connection!
The demo of each full-profiled system is a requirement we added in 2007. The vendor is given an hour to run through a very tight script focusing on usability and functionality for brokers, internal staff and IT. It’s tricky to know what to cover in this hour and just as challenging for the vendor to get their message across in this limited time. My colleague, Donald Light, had a terrific way of explaining to vendors how to approach this:- “I sometimes use the analogy that you (the vendor) has put us (the analysts) in the cockpit of a new commercial jet — your job is to show us the controls and instruments and explain how they will make flying the jet better — we do not take off and fly the plane.”
So what’s new this year? Four years ago, we introduced our ABCD grid — a visual representation vendor in four factors (technology, breadth, clients, and depth of services). This year, we’ve revised that methodology to better reflect capabilities in a more objective manner.
We’re also very excited to be producing PAS reports for Asia for the first time. We have in the past published a report on China but this time we will look broader across the region for both sectors. We expect several vendors from Europe and North America to appear in this report alongside some interesting local players.
So, if you head is spinning at this point, I invite you to sit back, and relax as Celent undertakes the critical the task of creating a navigation tool for the insurance core systems market. All things going well, expect to see the North American P&C and European GI reports to be published in May this year. Asia reports and the companion Life/Health/Annuities/Pensions will be published in summer.