Old And New Techology: Coexistence Necessary
Legacy systems arent given their moniker because they offer the latest in technology and flexible platforms for quick life and annuity product development and deployment.
While “legacy” may be a nice, palatable word, lets face itisnt legacy just a nice way of saying old and outdated? Well, then again, your Granny may be old and outdated, too, but youre not ready to throw her on the trash heap in exchange for a new model.
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Just like your Granny, the legacy system maintains years and years of historical information and know-how. While you have no expectation that Granny is going to become hip to the current trends, you do need to occasionally use her wisdom and wealth of information to conduct daily life and make wise choices.
What does all this talk of Grannies have to do with insurance legacy systems? Well, just like your Granny, you can use the legacy system to tap into a wealth of information that can help you to identify new business opportunities and to administer old books of business.
However, while you cant just add new Grannies to the family tree, you can add new systems to your insurance technology arsenal to handle the emerging and rapidly changing challenges of todays complex business landscape, thus staying hip with the current insurance trends. In insurance technology you can have the best of both worldsa coexistence between the old and the new.
The industry is taking notice and is beginning to look at legacy systems as more than just an army of old war-horses. While you dont look to old technology as the platform for new products, there is a trend underway to look for a peaceful coexistence between the older generation and the technology new kids on the block.
Why the truce and the recent search for coexistence? Quite simply, the battle of old vs. new, legacy vs. current has been raging on for the last decade. Yet, with all the infighting, little has been accomplished other than an increasing backlog for new product development. With the market window for new life and annuity products shrinking and now estimated at less than two years, insurance executives can no longer continue to let the technologies battle it out for supremacy.
Its not a matter of whos right and whos wrong, but more of the right technology for the right application. Sounds like were just getting back to the basics of good technology decisions, but with more technology options to consider than ever before.
When it comes to legacy, or new technology, the most obvious and rarely debated decision is to develop, deliver and administer new life and annuity products on new technologies that naturally take advantage of component development and the Internet.
The short window of market opportunity, complexity of todays new products and the growing need for market-of-one offerings quite simply cant be served well with legacy systems. The older technology does not allow the rapid product development and code reusability that has become an absolute necessity to react quickly and stay in the competitive race. Nor can old technologies provide the flexibility to change product mix and characteristics on an as needed and continual basis. New product, new technologyno argument.