A commercial that's been airing a lot lately shows two men in a leaky fishing boat with the Aflac duck arriving just in time to plug its many holes. In many ways, IT systems are like leaky boats, and Aflac is doing a pretty good job of sealing the leaks in its own IT infrastructure.

When it comes to application and systems integration, “There’s no free lunch,” as Keith Brown, VP of enterprise applications and architecture at Aflac, puts it. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Brown in preparing the latest special report on enterprise architecture for Insurance Networking News, who spelled out the advantages his company is seeing as a result of its EA foundation.

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