Implementing software into a complex insurance carrier environment can be risky and fraught with impediments that increase cost and timelines. Return On Intelligence, having managed software implementations on a global basis, asked ourselves the question: Are there any experiences or best practices that if employed can lower the risk of software implementation to ensure a rapid and cost effective implementation?
What we learned after looking at a wide sample of implementations suggests that a foundation for implementation success consists of experience in three categories:
- Insurance Knowledge. Broad and deep;
- Understanding the data. To be processed and its relationship to the business;
- Technical acumen. Not just with the software product alone, but the conversion and interfaces required.
In addition to these three categories, we found that focusing on a number of best practices increases the chances of a successful core systems implementation project:
- Organizational Readiness. Assessing the readiness levels of all participating parties as they relate to planning and timeframes, as well as the required participation of the recipient department or departments;
- Governance. Managing overall governance of the software implementation and adherence to agreed priorities;
- Accelerators. The proper choice and use of any “implementation accelerators” such as data conversion or testing tools.
Our conclusion is that when undertaking a core systems transformation, the focus on experience and best practices should be required considerations, and may in fact contribute to avoiding protracted and costly software implementations that endanger the progress of the carrier’s strategy at the least, and its profitability at the most.