Perhaps one of the last bastions of the “legacy era” of insurance systems is still within the core nervous system of carriers' operations: policy administration systems. Efforts to modernize these systems – meaning to make them interoperable with other applications and support Web-based standards – have been proceeding with fits and starts over the past decade, it's been a tough slog.

But change they must. Frank Petersmark, former CIO of Amerisure and current CIO advocate with X by 2, for one, has seen the challenge of managing aging policy administration systems firsthand. “Policy admin systems have been slow to change,” he agrees. “That's because insurance carriers have had to put a lot of customization into their policy admin platforms – to the point where often those systems aren’t even recognizable anymore from their original state. Carriers have also built big and hairy maintenance and support teams around these platforms.”

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