Core System Strategies for the Fintech Age: LEGACY MODERNIZATION IN INSURANCE INDUSTRY, Part 4

Create a vendor selection project & run comparison reports
Click to express your interest in this report
Indication of coverage against your requirements
A subscription is required to activate this feature. Contact us for more info.
Celent have reviewed this profile and believe it to be accurate.
18 September 2016
Eiichiro Yanagawa

This post series examines the current status and future directions of legacy modernization in Japan’s insurance industry.

It is based on a legacy modernization survey Celent conducted in 2015. The survey targeted insurers, financial institutions, and brokers. It was supplemented with additional information gathered in follow-up interviews.

The new two-part report is an extension of this work that narrows the focus to the insurance sector.

The Report Part 1 offers an overview of the state of modernization in the industry.

The Report Part 2 builds on this to offer policy prescriptions and suggestions for industry players.

KRQs: Our Key Research Questions are...

  1. Where are Japan’s insurers in terms of legacy system modernization?
  2. What does legacy system modernization mean to insurers and why do they do it?
  3. What does an insurer roadmap to modernization look like?

In Part1 - 3 of this post series, we’ve discussed the KRQ1 – 2.

From Part 4 of this post series builds on this by seeking to answer questions three.



First, we will address the relationship between digitization, innovation, and legacy modernization.

  • Celent advocates that companies revisit how they frame the legacy modernization challenge and stop thinking about it as a system unit or cost center issue.
  • Interviewees told us that it was not that core system business cases were not viable, but that business cases without ownership were not viable. Determining where costs should be allocated and breaking down the attendant benefits are important, but more important is reaffirming that today, success hinges on modernization of core systems and core system business processes for more than half of digital financial services.
  • Companies talk the talk and undertake digital projects, but these are often limited to the front office — that is to say, the contact point with the customer. At the same time, today’s digital consumer is increasingly comfortable with digital processes.

In Europe and the United States, digital native financial services have undertaken modernization of core business processes to such an extent that they will not consider adoption of a process that cannot be digitized. Here, we want to show a diagram that portrays the eight dimensions of digital financial services. Figure 6 draws attention to the importance of core systems of the middle and back office and operational processes, which collectively occupy more than half of the eight dimensions.

FIG4-1: Digital Financial Services


The level of digitization reflects the modernization level of core systems.

In other words, the digitization of customer behavior spurs a shift in the digital processes of financial services (such as STP, automation, and self-service), which in turn drives the modernization of legacy systems — a difficult challenge that many people would rather ignore.

It shows us the stages of digital adoption. It is premised upon a modern core system in the middle and back offices that seamlessly combines with front-end digital channels.

FIG4-2: Digital Transformation



In the insurance industry, a novel business model is appearing. Still in its early stages, this approach fuses peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance with the traditional insurance model, creating insurance based on small circles or small communities.

This insurance is based on a small inner circle that is akin to a “circle of friends.” This approach has deftly used social networks to find a foothold and niche that meets the needs of digital natives.

It has undergone two or three iterations, is optimizing cost, and growing a new customer base at an extremely rapid clip.

Here also technology is the key to agility.

FIG4-3: Digital Native Initiatives



In the insurance industry, IT needs have accelerated to an unprecedented pace in the third sector arena, which includes new service sectors such as medical and nursing care, involving the addition of new sales channels and novel underwriting assessment models using AI, the IoT, and robotics.

The securities industry is also experiencing change and heightened requirements in terms of variability and flexibility for core system and back office operations (such as securing availability, variability, and scalability related to processing, latency, and connectivity to accommodate varying transaction sizes).

SaaS and BPO are no longer the latest and greatest technologies. Instead they are only two of the available sourcing model choices to accommodate the level of involvement that financial institutions and their technology partners desire as well as their resource, cost, and risk parameters.

Like best execution and optimized trade market selection, these choices are subject to pressure from sponsors and shareholders. Selecting technology models that can accommodate varying transaction volume and frequency is becoming the norm, and relationships between financial institutions and technology vendors are changing from a more specialized model to a more utility-based model.

FIG4-4: Technology Sourcing Models


Related releases:

Legacy Modernization in Japan’s Insurance Industry, Part 1: Survey Analysis and Status Update

Legacy Modernization in Japan’s Insurance Industry, Part 2: Prescriptions and Proposals

To be continued – Click to read more


Insight details

Insight Format
Geographic Focus