One of the biggest factors that prevents companies from upgrading an outdated software system, aside from denial, is — you guessed it — cost. As we all know, a software system upgrade is a pricey investment: new hardware, new licenses, time consumed, consultant fees, training time, etc.
But before stuffing the idea of a system upgrade back into your desk for another year, first, consider the serious benefits of upgrading to a new system. A new, efficient software system can substantially reduce administration time, improve productivity, and expedite workflow.
More and more insurers are investing in cloud-based vendor solutions to improve their claims processing efficiency. For those of you on the fence or already converted and running in this direction, we’ve outlined a few key points for you to keep in mind to reduce costs and maximize value when implementing a system upgrade. Because who doesn’t love that?
1. Switch to Cloud Technology
If you have not already done so, moving from legacy system to a cloud-based software solution can save you both time and money! Legacy systems are cumbersome and make it difficult to integrate data from various systems required to process claims. This lack of integration is inefficient and often results in large silos of data.
According to a Novarica resource, insurance carriers spend half of their IT funds running and maintaining current in-house systems, leaving little available to introduce new software offerings to modernize core claims operations.
2. Get Your Team United About the Change
Before looking for a system replacement, make sure to get your team on board with the plan to adopt a new system. If some members of your management team or wider team aren’t on board, or are blindsided with the news halfway through the implementation, it can be difficult to get their buy-in and support, which is critical for a successful implementation. Plus you may not have anyone to sit with at lunch.
3. Outline the Project
Before you start scouring the market for shiny new system replacements, first clearly define what isn’t working with your current one. Completing a full analysis of your existing systems will give you a detailed indication of where you are and where you want to be. With this information, you can better identify the features you are looking for and conduct your research with more information. Because we love bullet lists, consider the following:
- What about your current system are you looking to improve?
- Why do you want to improve this?
- How do you want to implement a change?
- How will you measure the results?
All steps should be broken into action items, and each item should be labeled in order or priority. Not all vendor or in-house software solutions will meet all of your needs, so prioritizing these items will ensure the most important items are included. Having a clear plan will save a huge amount of time and resources down the line.
4. Check the Out-of-the-Box Functionality
If you decide to invest in a vendor solution, remember– it is important to ensure they meet 90% of your needs — the needs you prioritized during your initial review — out of the box.
Before jumping in to add configurations and changes to the vendor solution to make it exactly how you want it, review the functionality that comes out of the box. The vendor will run through the functionality of the system using the best-practice process, which will enable you to assess the system based on what it’s designed to do.
That being said, let vendors know what you are looking for and listen to their advice and suggestions. If having a competitive edge is your concern, raise it with them and work with them to define what you can do within the confines of the system. Assessing a system by weighing its OOB functionality against your specific business needs can save a tremendous amount of time from trying to essential rebuild a system that was not, in fact, your best option.
5. Review Software Licenses Regularly
Cloud-based technology typically runs on an annual license basis. Make sure you have the right number, and level, of licenses. There is nothing more frustrating than having a handful of full-privilege licenses sitting inactive on your server (except for maybe a parking ticket on Christmas Eve). Licenses are usually available at a number of levels, and a view-only license, depending on the system, may be less costly than an administration all-access license.
Recycling unused licenses avoids unnecessary new license purchases. This requires strong process control but is well worth building into daily IT operational activities in order to ensure the best use of company resources.
Are you considering or in the process of implementing a claim system upgrade? Check out this guide, which outlines 3 key considerations to take into account.