The Challenge of Legacy Modernisation, Part 1: A Data View

by Catherine Stagg-Macey, November 24, 2008


London, United Kingdom 25 November 2008

The Challenge of Legacy Modernisation, Part 1: A Data View

Over half of the insurers surveyed by Celent have made some progress in their legacy modernisation journey, while a quarter have made significant progress. The tide of change has arrived.

In a new report, The Challenge of Legacy Modernisation, Celent discusses the results of a detailed survey of almost one hundred insurers. The report looks at the current state of the IT environment, future plans, views on data migration, modernisation preferences, and vendor roles.

"Modern languages and systems have many benefits to the IT department," notes Catherine Stagg-Macey, senior analyst in Celent’s insurance practice and author of the report. She adds that ripping out every line of COBOL code was not the intention of a legacy modernisation program. "Legacy applications should be measured along criteria such as ease of integration, skill sets, vendor support and scalability. If the applications meet this criteria, the time for replacement has not yet arrived."

It is imperative that insurers address the legacy problem. How this is done is dependent on current IT environment, business pain points and the company's appetite for risk. The maturity of SOA and modern PAS solutions make it easier than ever to tackle the challenge of legacy. With careful design and planning, insures can avoid creating the next generation of legacy.

This report provides a summary of Celent’s survey results, examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and making the business case. It concludes with lessons learned from early movers.

The 26-page report contains 17 figures and one table. A table of contents is available online.

of Celent's Life/Health Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

London, United Kingdom 25 November 2008

The Challenge of Legacy Modernisation, Part 1: A Data View

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 4
Why Is Legacy IT a Problem? 6
What Is the Current State? 10
Approaches to Legacy Modernisation 14
Making the Business Case 18
The Challenge Ahead 21
Conclusion 23


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