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Outdated Processes Embedded in Legacy Systems

Gerald Shields | February 24, 2015

How have outdated business processes affected a carrier’s ability to maintain and/or upgrade its systems?

In many cases, the outdated processes are embedded in the system and the business does not know all the details of the business process. It is difficult for the business to articulate the business process because the system has the business rules and nuances deep in the application code.

The legacy system is the process and is the business rules. This impedes the ability to upgrade or replace systems because of the risk and complexity of extracting the business rules; often the processes logic itself is not known.

As an example, in a recent design session a business person emphatically stated how the business process and rules were applied. In the same meeting, another business representative vehemently disagreed, and explained the business processes differently.

They were in a battle of experts. As a solution, I took the business scenario and validated it through the system. Both of the business experts were surprised at how vastly different reality was to what they “knew” to be true. 

Gerald Shields is IT practice director at The Nolan Company, a management consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry.

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