Wizards, Believers, and Friends: Examining Configuration and Development in Vendor Core Systems

by Craig Beattie, August 12, 2015
Industry Trends
Global

Abstract

Agility is the goal of most modern insurers. So how does one deliver speed of change most effectively? As with all things, there is no one right answer, but there are a few different styles of approaches to configuration and development.

In the report Wizards, Believers, and Friends: Examining Configuration and Development in Vendor Core Systems, Celent examines the insurance software vendor offerings and seeks to categorise the approaches into three different types. Celent then goes on to offer advice on finding the best match of change approach to an insurer’s needs.

There has long been an assumption that speed of change is a continuum with slow at one end and fast at the other. In truth there are many paths to executing change efficiently within IT systems — even within insurance core systems. Celent picks out three primary archetypes and provides a view for distinguishing vendors based on their approach.

For the insurer whose core system is supported by a partner, this report may offer some perspective on how change is achieved and where the insurer could push its supplier to improve. For software vendors and integrators, the perspectives on change approach and how each change might be best deployed will provoke a useful discussion.

“While most systems are hybrids of the three archetypes described in this report, understanding these archetypes will aid anyone trying to balance the right amount of control, risk, and speed to the problem at hand,” says Craig Beattie, a senior analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and author of the report. “If you are challenged with delivering greater speed and/or throughput of change in your insurance core systems, then understanding the underlying approach will set you in the right direction.”

The report is more than 20 pages and contains four figures.

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
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1

 

Key Research Questions

1

Why Discuss Change?

2

 

Insurance and Agility

2

 

The One Right Way Fallacy

2

 

The Three Change Archetypes

3

The Wizard Configurer

4

 

Recognising the Wizard Configurer

4

 

Challenges for the Wizard Configurer

5

 

Responding to the Challenges

6

 

The CIO and the Wizard Configurer

6

 

Examples of Wizard Configurers

6

The SOA Believer

8

 

Recognising the SOA Believer

8

 

Challenges for the SOA Believer

9

 

The SOA Believer and the CIO

10

 

Examples of the SOA Believer

10

The Developer’s Friend

11

 

Recognising the Developer’s Friend

11

 

Challenges for the Developer’s Friend

12

 

The Developer’s Friend and the CIO

12

 

Examples of the Developer’s Friend

12

Which Should You Choose?

13

 

Hybrid Systems and Using These Archetypes

13

 

Achieving Agility

13

 

If Not Which Is Best, What Should I Be Asking?

14

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

16

 

Support for Financial Institutions

16

 

Support for Vendors

16

Related Celent Research

17

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