From a policy administration perspective, it’s interesting to see how insurers participating in our Digital Innovation study viewed the barriers posed by legacy systems.  When it comes to digital innovation, we found a big gap between what insurers know should be done and what they are doing.

Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation
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This could be due to the difficulty in making a sufficiently compelling business case for innovation.  Or, it may also be due to the challenges posed by legacy systems, which respondents identify as the No. 1 obstacle to executing a digital strategy – with 49 percent saying that upgrading legacy systems was important to executing such a strategy.

Considering the perception of legacy systems as monolithic, cumbersome and hard to update, that should be no surprise.  The good news is that modular approaches, including standardized components, and other innovations such as cloud and software as a service (SaaS), are making it significantly easier to overcome the legacy system barriers.

These advances make it simpler for new competitors to get in the game, but they also remove some of the excuses that established players have had for not making the upgrades needed for keeping up with the pace of innovation.  Dealing with legacy issues is essential for addressing huge volumes of data, for supporting new channel strategies, and for speeding the progress of ideas from concept to market.

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