Part IV: Insurers Focus on Legacy Modernization

You might be thinking what option is left, or… is there a bowl of porridge that is “just right?” Although there are risks and rewards associated with the options we’ve already discussed, an option often overlooked is enterprise content management (ECM). A truly enterprise opportunity, ECM affords not just the IT staff and business users opportunities, but because of its ability to facilitate information exchange with insurance core systems, ECM can positively impact an entire organization.

When I initially speak with most insurance executives and they hear the phrase “document management” or read about ECM, the thought that immediately comes to mind is document imaging. While imaging is a component of ECM, to assume that is the sole purpose of ECM is limiting. Insurance organization can combine the data from legacy systems with the modern technology of ECM to reap great IT benefits. Because ECM facilitates and manages the flow of information to and from all authorized channels – legacy systems included – IT departments experience shorter development cycles, lower maintenance bills and reduced support calls, and they have the ability to automate repetitive manual processes. Compared to any alternative, these results are most quickly and easily achieved by combining legacy systems with ECM. Insurance organizations also benefit from a business perspective by pairing the modern technology of ECM with legacy systems.

With both IT and business gaining value from the legacy system-ECM solution combination, long-term alignment of the groups is also a benefit. We’ve witnessed groups work together with joint expectations, efficiencies and objectives at hand that in past were worlds apart. Unlike any other alternative, an ECM solution paired with a legacy system allows organizations to take control of their future and allows room for modifications in response to internal and external changes.

As you know, our industry is embracing change now more than ever before. Insurers are changing their processes and corresponding technology to remain competitive, while minimizing organizational risk. Utilizing ECM in tandem with existing legacy systems provides the best opportunity for insurers to harness the knowledge of their history while ensuring success for the future. Insurers should look for an ECM solution with a development interface designed to empower business users to solve problems across line of business applications. If accomplished, the insurer will have found a way to not only automate processes and ease immediate business pains, but guarantee future success.

Eric Willis

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