Transformation Success Is Built on Clear-Eyed Block Analysis

For life insurers, core system modernization isn't one-size-fits-all.

The Life, Annuities, and Benefits (LAB) industry is facing a pivotal moment. As consumer expectations shift and digital capabilities become increasingly essential, LAB carriers must embrace core system modernization to remain competitive. However, the path to successful transformation is not a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, it requires careful evaluation and strategic decision-making.

One of the key considerations for LAB carriers is the recognition that each block of business is unique and requires a tailored approach to modernization. By conducting a thorough analysis of factors such as strategic importance, profitability, and current technology state, insurers can determine the most appropriate strategy for each block. This may involve a greenfield implementation, a brownfield approach, a run-off, or a sell-off, depending on the specific circumstances and objectives.

For strategic blocks of business, a greenfield approach offers compelling benefits. Starting from scratch allows carriers to design and build systems that are optimized for future needs and expectations, leveraging the latest technologies and architectural patterns. This approach enables greater configurability, improved speed to market, and enhanced digital capabilities. However, it is crucial to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of service for existing customers, which can be achieved through a well-planned brownfield component.

In the case of nonstrategic blocks, LAB carriers should consider options such as run-off or sell-off. Outsourcing the management of these blocks to specialized business process outsourcing (BPO) vendors or divesting them to other carriers or reinsurers can help free up internal resources and increase operational efficiency. This strategic move allows insurers to focus their efforts on initiatives that truly differentiate them in the market and deliver value to their customers.

As LAB carriers embark on their modernization journey, they must also prioritize data integrity, product configurability, and transparency throughout the end-to-end life cycle. These elements are critical to gaining a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving market. Successful transformation requires not only investment in technology but also careful preparation, technical expertise, deep domain knowledge, and strict adherence to regulatory requirements.

To gain further insights into the strategies and recommendations for navigating core system modernization in the LAB industry, we invite you to explore our framework The Way Forward for LAB Carriers: Greenfield and Brownfield Operation to help LAB carriers chart a course towards success in an increasingly competitive landscape.