Leaving a Legacy (System) behind in the Insurance Industry

The word “Legacy” can bring up painful memories to Business and Technical stakeholders in the Insurance Industry alike. To the uninitiated, legacy systems are technologies, computer systems or applications previously implemented to solve business issues from an earlier age. However, as time passes, customizations are made, the people who made them leave the organization and these systems as a whole are unable to keep up with the business requirements of the new age.  

Some of the pain points legacy systems cause include but are not limited to:
1.)    Insufficiently understood by analysts and programmers
2.)    Limited expertise to monitor and maintain these legacy systems
3.)    Multiple fragile dependencies within legacy systems due to layers of custom codes done by employees and vendors past
4.)    Restricted physical access
5.)    Undocumented implementation and usage
6.)    Difficult connectivity to other SaaS or on-premises applications due to lack of clearly defined/accessible/implemented APIs
7.)    Unclear migration path and dependency upon current vendors  

This leaves us with the following questions:
1.)    Can Insurance organizations really leave their Legacy systems behind?
2.)    Would it be cost effective to replace all these legacy systems?
3.)    If we are not replacing these systems, but want to modernize them, to what extent should this be done?


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