Innovative Approach to Enterprise Modernization Getting it Right with Data

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1 Innovative Approach to Enterprise Modernization Getting it Right with Data Featuring as an example: Insurity Insurance Enterprise View An Author: Karen Furtado, Partner Published Date: March, 2013 This perspective is based on SMA s ongoing research on core systems and data capabilities in insurance. Insurity has purchased distribution rights. Page 1

2 Table of Contents About This Perspective This is a summary of SMA s ongoing research on core systems, data architecture, IT business drivers and decision influencers in insurance. Rethinking the Enterprise Modernization Paradigm 3 Business Capabilities 3 Technology Capabilities 4 Insurity and Insurance Enterprise View 6 Strategy Meets Action Commentary 8 About Strategy Meets Action 8 Insurity has purchased distribution rights for summary results of selected research and opinion. This is not paidfor research. Page 2

3 Rethinking the Enterprise Modernization Paradigm The traditional model or path for legacy system migration is changing in major ways. Insurers are already taking a componentized view of their enterprise architecture and are building and implementing applications in a reusable manner. What would happen if insurers could apply a componentized approach to data management? What if data could be managed in a way that allowed an insurer to reach the ultimate level of reuse? The result would be an important paradigm shift in enterprise modernization a fresh, innovative approach to the effective migration of core system solutions would be possible. And the good news? The industry is on the leading edge of just such a shift. The key is to look at data management from a holistic point of view. This view includes the consolidation of the data, which will assist tremendously with the migration to new core systems, as well the ability to provide the business user with the insights and information required. Implementation cycles for new core systems will be much shorter. The ability to componentize the data provides a buffer, or layer of insulation, that protects the business from disruptions to business processes and downstream systems. Componentized data brings future-state data into the picture, exploiting the ultimate power of reuse and making the best use of assets. In a fully componentized world, the combination of solution components and data components is making the modernization of systems much more innovative leading to real market advantage that drives growth and profit. Business Capabilities Insurance companies that want to compete successfully in the coming years will need to ensure that the data that is used in processing and servicing the business is consistent and can be made available to insurance professionals in the format and context that can best help them effectively accomplish the job. As shown in Figure 1, data is a key enabler for more sophisticated business capabilities. Figure 1. Business Value through Consistent Contextual Data Source: Strategy Meets Action 2013 Page 3

4 Insurers need a flexible and scalable technology environment. The ability to quickly increase productivity and improve effectiveness will help insurers gain competitive advantage. Consistent customer service Because customer service is such an important success factor in the insurance industry, there needs to be a consistent, sharable data source that is available to meets the needs of all customer service requirements, no matter where they come from or how they arrive the call center, IVR technology, direct access inquiries and transactions, or mobile. Insurance professionals, as well as intuitive systems, need to see a holistic account view, a full view of the customer and the relationships of policies and parties. Consolidated portfolio view Insurers depend on business intelligence, analytics tools, and applications to provide beneficial insights to help them manage the business and set the direction for future strategies and investments. There is no question that a comprehensive view, an assessment that extends across all lines of business, can help insurers make smarter decisions and wiser choices. To support the timely and consistent delivery of valuable insights, it needs to be easy to use a consolidated portfolio-level view of the data. Information must be made available in the context the user needs to fully understand and capitalize on the insights. This consolidated view creates the foundation for analytics throughout the enterprise. Business process alignment Essential to insurers is the ability to rationalize and utilize the same business processes for multiple purposes. This requires flexibility that will allow processes to be adapted to handle different line of business processing requirements and the underlying capability to manage them in the same manner. Underwriting, actuarial, and risk management Insurers need to remove the limitations imposed by traditional core application boundaries in order to facilitate the assessment of risk across the enterprise. Armed with consistent, standardized data that is presented in the context needed by each individual user or situation, underwriting and pricing precision can be significantly improved. Actuarial analysis becomes more accurate. Manual processes can be replaced with automated approaches that are augmented by consistent data that yields consistent results. Acquisitions management Strong and consistent data makes it simpler to assimilate the processing and servicing requirements of the business that comes with acquired companies. Integrated information enables insurance professionals to make sound financial decisions about the portfolio, and it provides the insight to optimize business processes and workloads. This integrated information makes it possible to streamline workflows, provide improved service, and maximize IT investments. Sophisticated business capabilities drive success and fuel innovation for advantage. In the future, the measure of competitive position will depend on an organization s ability to lead and innovate. Technology Capabilities To achieve the flexibility and scalability required for profitable growth, insurers must find ways to move away from the constraints of traditional legacy systems. Technology capabilities must give business users the power to quickly increase their productivity and improve their effectiveness to make better, more informed decisions. This requires moving the data to where it needs to be, and this will drive value. Reuse is the answer. Page 4

5 Data that is locked up in the confines of a legacy system is not the answer. To help insurers modernize, a holistic approach to data management is required one that eliminates the currently often-repeated cycle of mining data from disparate core systems. Today we have many throw-away interfaces that have been built to handle specific processes and situations. The integration of business processes with the data that is required to do the job right requires simplifying the whole data integration process. Insurers thinking must extend beyond just a data hub or a centralized data service to consistent, sharable, accessible information that can be used for outbound reporting, BI and analytics, and operational reporting, as well as core business processing and servicing. In an integrated data environment, all applications use a consistent data source. Information is provided to the user in a context that is meaningful. Data can easily be imported or exported. A consolidated, flexible, and integrated management of data and information creates a technical foundation for the modern enterprise. As depicted in Figure 2, componentized data enables flexible contextual views that are all based on consistency. Figure 2. The Component Driven Enterprise Source: Strategy Meets Action 2013 The traditional approach to managing data by individually integrating it with applications has many limitations because this method inhibits reuse. By componentizing the approach to data management, insurers are able to readily capitalize on ACORD XML standards for data transport. The ripple effect of application changes are reduced, providing long term benefits. The new approach to manipulating and using data makes it possible to future proof the data. A modern, componentized, enterprise architecture is flexible and robust. Componentization makes the management and use of both data and applications adaptable. It provides consistent, single-source data management and gives insurers real flexibility in application choices with data that can be accessed for all types of core system implementations: integrated suites, best of breed solutions, or enterprise solutions. Page 5

6 Insurity and Insurance Enterprise View Company Overview Insurity is one of the market leaders in providing enterprise software and services to the property and casualty insurance market, supporting all lines of business and all states for commercial, specialty, and personal lines of business. Headquartered in Hartford, CT, Insurity has over 500 insurance and technology professionals in offices across the country. Insurity works with insurers of all sizes including 15 of the top 20 insurers in the United States. With more than 25 years of service to the insurance industry, Insurity has gained extensive experience helping insurers find solutions to the most complex scenarios. Investments in modern and flexible solutions are helping insurers meet their key business challenges. Breadth of Functionality Insurity s Insurance Enterprise View (IEV) solution provides a single source of information for business administration, financial and regulatory reporting, management reporting, and business intelligence. As shown in Figure 3, IEV integrates the full insurance information life cycle including data repositories, management and operational reporting, business intelligence and analytics, interfaces, and manual data entry. Figure 3: Insurity Insurance Enterprise View Source: Insurity 2013 Page 6

7 IEV provides a reliable, consistent, and integrated view of data from different, separate systems across the enterprise. IEV consolidates data from policy, claims, billing, and reinsurance systems to provide insurance companies with integrated intelligence, better workflow management, and actionable insights for agile decision making. The Insurance Enterprise View solution offers sophisticated integration that benefits business and technology leaders. The holistic solution for both managing and reporting data and information provides insurers with actionable insights and improved intelligence. The use of Insurity s IEV offers many benefits for business leaders. With a unified view of data from disparate systems across the enterprise, data is readily available for better decision making and improved workflows. Integrated data provides a springboard for business intelligence implementations. IEV offers balancing, reconciliation, and error reporting features, as well as integrated reporting capabilities and a library of report templates all engineered specifically for P&C insurance. The benefits for technology leaders are significant. IEV provides a consolidated back office infrastructure that reduces maintenance costs and downtime. ACORD compliant interfaces provide faster integrations. Bureau-ready reporting extracts simplify statutory reporting. IEV includes an extensive library of transactional edits and accounting rules that improve data quality. The flexibility of the IEV architecture supports both big bang and incremental replacement strategies. The solution delivers the benefits of an integrated set of core applications with the ability to integrate several varying data sources. This capability gives technical resources control over the evolution of the core systems. Page 7

8 Strategy Meets Action Commentary The ability to effectively manage data is a key determinant of success in efforts to modernize the enterprise. A holistic solution for managing and reporting data and information delivers consistent, integrated insight that can improve operational and strategic decision making. Enterprise modernization is a significant challenge for most insurers. It is important that insurers take a hard look at how they can reduce risk and increase their rates of success. Taking an innovative and holistic approach to data is a strong starting point. Today, business intelligence and analytics are highly fragmented areas. There are an abundance of tools available; the trick is to figure out how to consolidate the data into consistently useable forms. Solutions such as Insurity s IEV bring the information together to deliver a consistent, well integrated data solution. Insurers that are deploying a point to point data migration from a legacy system to a new core system are creating yet another legacy issue. Data again becomes trapped in an application where only a single use of the data is possible. IEV provides for overall management of the data so it is available to all that need to access and use it whether that use is for a portal, a policy administration system, or an underwriting workstation. The data is available to all, in a contextual, consumable manner using interfaces that can live beyond today s world. This centralization of data delivers the power to future proof the data environment. IEV provides insurers with an innovative approach to enterprise modernization. This holistic solution for both managing and reporting data and information should be of interest to insurers that want the flexibility to obtain consistent, integrated information about how the business is performing and insight that will help improve operational and strategic decision making. About Strategy Meets Action Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action (SMA) blends unbiased research findings with expertise and experience to deliver business and technology insights, research, and advice to insurers and IT solution providers. By leveraging best practices from both the management consulting and research advisory disciplines, SMA s services are actionable, business-driven, and research-based where strategy meets action enabling companies to achieve business success. This is a summary of SMA s ongoing research on policy administration systems, data architecture, IT business drivers and decision influencers in insurance. Insurity has purchased distribution rights for summary results of selected research and opinion. Additional information on SMA can be found at SMA Partner Karen Furtado can be reached at or Page 8

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