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Strategic plan to modernize new business processing for a life insurer

The client

A leading US-based insurance company offers insurance products, investment products, and advisory services that address client needs for financial security and protection, capital accumulation, asset distribution, and estate preservation. This company and its affiliates have a huge customer base of policy owners and clients for financial advisory services. A large team of financial representatives services this customer base through the company network.

Business need

  • The new business (NB) department was struggling to cope with pressures to maintain competitive cost position, move to a dual campus environment as well as changes in SEC / NASD regulation governing investment products. The department was saddled with inflexible legacy systems that did not fully support business needs while being complex and costly to maintain.
  • The client wanted Infosys to help them articulate a clear business vision to modernize NB processing to address the pressures they were facing. The client also wanted a realistic implementation roadmap with phased investments that were justified by business benefits.

Challenges and requirements

The Infosys team had to face the following challenges:

  • The client's previous efforts to define strategy and execute initiatives had failed because of the quantum of investments as well as the lack of a viable business case.
  • The department leadership had a vision of how their business should look in the ideal state. However, there was no understanding within the department of what the implications of the vision were from an operational and technology standpoint as well as the way to get there.
  • The existing systems did not support the vision and the cost of replacing these systems was prohibitively expensive. There was a need to develop a phased investment plan that delivered benefits through each incremental phase.

Our role

Infosys led the strategic planning effort working closely with a core program management office (PMO) team and about 50 stakeholders over a seven-month period. We used our Business Transformation Methodology to execute the project covering business process, technology, and organizational change. The project was executed in three phases – assessment, envision, and implementation planning.

In the assessment phase, the Infosys team studied the existing processes and systems. During this phase, we also interviewed senior business executives to translate the business vision into desired business capabilities.

In the envision phase, we prioritized business capabilities on business value and ease of implementation and developed an operating model for NB in the medium term. The business processes and enterprise architecture to support this operating model were defined.

In the implementation planning phase, we identified quick wins and created a 3 – 5 year implementation roadmap. Business cases were created for first year projects based on a thorough understanding of the business and IT benefits and costs.

Benefits

The Infosys team worked collaboratively with over 50 client team members across business and IS to develop the vision and implementation roadmap. The benefits of this approach were:

  • Operational cost reduction of about six percent (US$5 million annually)
  • Reduction in the NB processing time for the application by eight to ten days
  • Consensus on a common vision and a realistic implementation roadmap across key business and IT executives
  • Breaking the investment required into smaller initiatives with independent business cases. This made it easier to secure corporate funding for initiatives
  • The setup of a program office with the participation of business and IT executives to ensure the realization of business benefits of the vision

Infosys continues to be involved in helping the client define business process improvements and implement technology solutions to realize the vision.

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