Platform for Success: How to Maximize Legal Technology Solutions
Chris Fields | August 19, 2014
Property and casualty insurers have a multiplicity of concerns that require the attention of legal staff and services. These legal services are typically managed and performed within several distinct parts of a carrier’s organization: the corporate legal department, the claims organization, and, for some insurers, a staff counsel organization.
Each of these areas requires legal technology solutions in order to optimize effectiveness and efficiency. And just as many carriers have benefited from the implementation of a common platform for their core systems—such as policy administration, claims management, and billing—so do platform-based legal solutions offer a host of benefits.
Challenges of Point Solutions
The IT group charged with providing technology solutions will undoubtedly find that these various teams who manage and deliver legal services have unique technology requirements, as well as many common needs. The accumulation of an array of legal point solutions to serve these needs can translate to a high total cost of ownership (TCO) for these systems.
Each application will likely have unique administrative and security processes and interfaces, which significantly reduces the efficiency of IT administration and support. Furthermore, the ability to pass data from one system to another (in support of business process and reporting requirements) necessitates integrations that often require expensive specialized resources to develop and maintain.
A collection of legal point solutions also presents challenges for IT as an insurer’s business needs evolve over time. Customization of each point system to respond to these needs, as well as associated user training and ongoing support, can involve significant investments in resources and time. This investment is compounded when changes in one system must be propagated across multiple systems. In some cases, existing software may not accommodate the expanded needs, and yet another point solution must be developed or purchased—and maintained.
Advantages of Consolidating Systems
In contrast, deployment of a technology platform as the foundation for legal technology solutions enables IT to address the distinct needs of legal resources in corporate legal, claims, or staff counsel organizations, as well as achieve synergies where there are common requirements. At the same time, a technology platform can lower TCO, simplify IT maintenance and support, and facilitate extensions that support the insurer’s unique or emerging business needs.
First, a true technology platform provides a robust set of common resources that can be shared across applications. These include core components, such as security, a database, search, and workflow and rules engines. These components are required for any application and represent approximately 80 percent of the application infrastructure.
The availability of these shared platform-level resources optimizes system interoperability and simplifies reporting across systems. In addition, having a common administration tool and security model for all platform applications reduces complexity and improves IT efficiency.
Second, a true platform enables integration of existing in-house and third-party applications, facilitated by an open integration architecture. Integration enables a more seamless flow of data and processes between systems, for example, when a claim becomes litigated, an integration between the claims and litigation management applications ensures the easy transfer of case information to a legal resource.
Finally, a true technology platform provides robust toolkits to administer, configure, and extend the solution. Such toolkits enable IT staff to make configuration changes in-house, without requiring assistance from the platform vendor or a third-party consultant. They also permit IT to rapidly and cost-effectively develop custom applications and modules that leverage core components in order to meet unique business needs, or even extend the solution to meet an insurer’s needs in areas beyond legal.
For example, the functionality of the legal platform used by the claims department to manage litigated claims could be extended to support its claims quality audits. By capturing claims data from the claims management system, applying an algorithm to randomly select candidates for review, and adding audit-specific rules and workflows, a custom module could streamline this audit process. Or, a legal platform could be extended to support discovery processes, leveraging corporate legal’s matter and spend management system and third-party discovery tools, and adding interview workflows and questionnaires. Such a discovery module would improve visibility to needed information, simplify and automate tasks, and help to ensure compliance.
What to Look For
There are key points to look for when evaluating a technology platform for legal solutions. In order to reap the full benefits of a platform-based solution, it’s important to ensure that the platform satisfies the following requirements:
- Facilitates rapid application development with reusable UI components (e.g., buttons, drop-down boxes, etc.)
- Permits applications to be built on top of the platform and leverage the base platform infrastructure
- Provides a full-range of platform-level core components that are leveraged across applications, providing approximately 80 percent of each application’s capability
- Is designed specifically for building applications that plug into each other for optimal system interoperability and data sharing
- Offers a toolkit (SDK) that enables rapid client-side or partner application/module development
- Offers out-of-the-box legal applications
- Offers a toolkit that enables advanced client-side configuration changes through the UI
- Offers an open integration architecture that facilitates client-side development and maintenance of integrations with third-party applications
A technology platform that consolidates legal solutions for corporate legal, claims, and staff counsel can simplify IT administration, maintenance, and support for those solutions, improve efficiency, and ultimately reduce TCO. A technology platform with the right architecture, features, and toolset enables IT to readily respond and adapt to change, thus more effectively supporting the growing needs of the insurers’ legal functions, and in turn improving the effectiveness and efficiency of these teams.
(Chris Fields is Datacert’s Chief Technology Officer and directs research and development efforts for Datacert software solutions, including evaluation and integration of new technologies that deliver additional value to Datacert clients. Fields is one of the key inventors named on the patent for the Passport technology platform and led the development of other Datacert offerings.)
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Tower Selects EIS Group’s Insurance Platform to Drive Transformation
- NTUC Income Selects Majesco Distribution Management and Majesco Digital Solutions to Advance its Distribution Management Operation
- Emerson Reid Modernizes Its Business Processes With VUE Software
- Octo Telematics Powers CAA MyPace™ Pay-As-You-Go Program
- Announcing the Solartis Insure Microservice Hackathon
- DataCubes Completes Plug and Play Tech Accelerator Program
- Medical Mutual of Ohio Implements One Inc Digital Payments
- SUNZ Insurance in Production with Sapiens’ Workers’ Compensation CompSuite® Policy System
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA is pleased to present the 2014 Webinar Series. We have many topics for you to choose from and attendance is open to all ITA members. The webinar topics are current and exciting — ranging from predictive analytics to telematics and will focus on the direction insurance carriers need to follow for the future. All webinars are presented by insurance IT professionals along with some of the leading analysts and consultants in the field. There is no cost to attend an ITA webinar. For more information and to register for the webinar, click the “title” of the webinar below.
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
It has become a common refrain over the past few years to view the practice of enterprise architecture (EA) as something that time has passed by, much... READ MORE
One important trend in society over the past decade is our increasing ability to create and consume a seemingly unlimited amount of digital content... READ MORE
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE
Fraud detection has always been and will continue to be a critical component of claims management. Learning the lessons from current claims Straight... READ MORE
- Vendor Views