From what I've been seeing in recent years, the insurance industry has been doing a pretty good job with service-oriented architecture. With a large legacy install base (Celent estimates that 52% of the systems in the insurance industry are still older systems) and a need for plenty of network interfaces (to pass data with agents and brokers, as well as consumers online), the industry is a natural candidate for service orientation.

However, these systems were originally designed for internal use by maybe a few hundred employees, and not built for relentless pounding by thousands of outside users. These systems need to be brought up to speed—literally—to handle transactions in a Web-based, service-oriented setting. Such was the experience with SafeAuto Insurance Co., as described by Rob Barry in a recent post on the company's SOA journey.

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