A unique hybrid solution, tailor-made for UK providers

As we’ve shown in this blog series, the case for taking action to tackle the millstone challenge has never been more pressing than it is today. Crucially, too, the prize from modernisation extends far into the future (assuming core platform lifespans of up to 20 years). So, the sooner a change programme begins the greater the benefit.

Under enormous pressure to change, technology leaders in insurers have very naturally favoured all-out migrations to a modern, new platform. But we know these are unlikely to succeed. So, what’s the solution? 

We’ve developed an alternative hybrid approach which, far from presuming a particular solution from the outset, tailors a blend of modernisation and migration to each insurer’s specific investment and risk appetite.

It’s a pragmatic approach, structured into two clear phases. The first phase, ‘Application Portfolio Strategy’, is all about creating actionable deliverables tightly aligned to the business imperatives of each client. The second, ‘Portfolio Evolution’, focuses on delivering the planned benefits by executing the strategy defined during the first phase. 

We’ve refined this approach over many years, and its value has been proven through engagements with some of the world’s largest organisations. Overall, the emphasis is on speed, flexibility and laser focus on opportunities that are most likely to realise value.

This blog outlines the first phase, ‘Application Portfolio Strategy’. Through an iterative approach, we quickly assess the application portfolio’s current state, identify and validate recommendations, define a future state and develop and finalise a flexible roadmap for transition that can be adjusted as objectives and scope are refined.  

These Phase One activities can typically be completed over a 12-week timeframe, depending on the scope of the assessment and the level of detail required. To expedite progress, we carry out a detailed application analysis that combines support from our European and global networks with close collaboration with the client’s architects and SMEs. It’s an approach that’s geared to identifying precisely the right solution for each company, as rapidly as possible.

To identify optimisation opportunities, we always assess the application portfolio through a series of lenses, best summarised as:

  • Strategic alignment – is the application aligned to business and IT strategy? Does it provide competitive advantage etc?
  • Functional adequacy – is the application fully functional, does it meet current and future requirements, how flexible is it to adapt to future change etc
  • Application redundancy – does it overlap with another application’s functions, do multiple applications support the same process etc?
  • Technical adequacy – is the application scalable, extendable and flexible? Is it stable and reliable etc?
  • Financial fit – how does the overall TCO compare with the benefit delivered? Are there alternative/less expensive ways to deliver the application while reducing cost?
  • Technology risk – is the application aligned to technology/architecture standards? Are the technologies supported by their vendors…where does support end? 

By scrutinising the application portfolio in this way, we can be sure that the recommendations we make and the roadmap we create are fully integrated with the client’s tactical and strategic priorities. In other words, it’s the polar opposite of one-size-fits all. 

In the fifth and final blog in this series, I’ll summarise our approach for Phase 2, ‘Portfolio Evolution’, which focuses on delivering planned benefits through the strategy defined in Phase 1. I will also share Accenture’s newest Point of View on this topic, which goes into greater detail on the problem, the business case for change, and the solution we’ve developed for achieving it.

Thanks for reading.

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