The Challenges of Legacy Platforms for Distribution Management and Incentive Compensation in Insurance 


Tom Davis

Older legacy platforms pose various challenges for carriers and create barriers to adapting to competitive pressures, supporting strategic compensation, and improving the producer experience. Additionally, the financial impact of operating and maintaining legacy platforms, is significantly higher than modern cloud-based platforms which is further exacerbated by the lost revenue attributed to opportunity cost.   

  1. Inflexibility and Lack of Agility:
    Legacy platforms often lack the flexibility and agility needed to respond quickly to changing business requirements. This can impede innovation and hinder the organization’s ability to adapt to market dynamics.
  2. Outdated Technology:
    Legacy platforms are often built on outdated technologies, making it challenging to integrate with or support newer technologies and systems. This can lead to compatibility issues and limit the organization’s ability to leverage modern advancements.
  3. High Maintenance Costs:
    Maintaining and supporting older systems can be expensive. As technology evolves, finding skilled personnel who are familiar with legacy technologies becomes more difficult, and the cost of maintaining outdated platforms can be prohibitive.
  4. Limited Scalability:
    Legacy systems are typically not designed for easy scalability. As business needs grow, it becomes challenging to expand the capacity of these systems, leading to performance bottlenecks and reduced agility.
  5. Security Risks:
    Older systems may lack the robust security features and updates found in modern technology. This makes them more vulnerable to security breaches, data leaks, and compliance issues, posing a significant risk to the organization.
  6. Integration Challenges:
    Integrating legacy systems with newer applications or third-party services can be complex and time-consuming. Lack of standard interfaces and protocols can hinder seamless communication between legacy and modern systems.
  7. Vendor Dependency:
    Some legacy systems may be tied to specific vendors or technologies that are no longer supported or maintained. This dependency can pose a significant risk if the vendor discontinues support for the platform.
  8. Poor User Experience:
    Outdated user interfaces and workflows in legacy systems can result in a poor user experience. This not only affects internal productivity but can also impacts producer satisfaction and mindshare.
  9. Limited Access to Data:
    Legacy systems may store data in proprietary formats or databases that are challenging to access or migrate. This can hinder the organization’s ability to leverage data for analytics, reporting, and business intelligence.
  10. Compliance Issues:
    Legacy systems may struggle to meet modern compliance standards and regulations. This can result in legal and regulatory challenges, which is especially relevant in the insurance industry with stringent compliance, data protection and privacy requirements.
  11. Difficulty in Upgrades:
    Upgrading or modernizing legacy systems can be a complex and resource-intensive process. The fear of disrupting critical business processes often leads organizations to postpone upgrades, perpetuating the challenges associated with outdated technology. 

The combined effect of higher cost, increased risk, and limited capabilities should push all carriers to assess the long-term impact of maintaining legacy incentive compensation platforms versus the positives impacts of modernization.  

When status quo must go – the revenue centric business case.  Learn more about modern cloud-based incentive compensation platforms! 

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