Acquisition and Integration IT Services

Understanding the IT Strategy and identifying ways to deliver it

OCS work with their insurance clients to understand ‘what they are trying to achieve’ and recommend ‘how they can do this’ by implementing change.  Typically, OCS are invited to review a set of existing systems and make recommendations to simplify the current solution and reduce future costs.  Every project is different, as are the proposals for change to meet the individual needs of the client.  The following 3 options are always considered together with all viable alternatives.

Retaining existing systems - Integrate

Changing systems can be both costly and risky and so retaining existing systems and integrating them fully within the current portfolio is a possibility.  The issues to consider include:

  • whether the hardware and software platform are consistent with the other systems
  • the level of expertise in-house to support and enhance the product
  • the reliability of the systems
  • the costs and risks of running these systems in the future
  • whether a third party (like OCS) could support the system rather than retaining the skills in-house.

Migrating to another system – Rationalise

Moving the systems onto an existing, proven in-house application, which can be supported as now, is another possibility.  This eliminates some systems and reduces the size of the systems portfolio.

The issues to consider include:

  • the capability of the target system to ‘grow’ to handle the extra capacity
  • determining, at a high level, how and when to transfer the data off the current systems
  • the costs of the data migration and ‘run-off’ of the old system
  • resourcing this change project, do you have the necessary expertise?
  • gaining ‘buy -in’ from the end user to migrate away from their current systems
  • project timescales and project risks.

Build (or Buy) a new system – Develop

Embarking on building a new system or buying in package software to replace one or more existing systems is another possibility.  This will typically eliminate some older technologies and introduce newer ones.

The issues to consider include:

  • all the issues identified in the Rationalise option above
  • the cost of buying and developing the new system
  • retraining the IT team with the new skills necessary to develop and support the new system.

How OCS can help

OCS Insurance offer a range of services to support and implement a client’s acquisition strategy.  The services are summarised below:   

 Acquisition Strategic Services

  • Formalise and Communicate Strategic Direction
  • Review Application Portfolio
    • Functional richness
    • Gap analysis
    • Data completeness
    • Technology reliance
    • People dependence
    • Cost identification
    • Risks associated
  • Recommend actions to address issues identified
  • Develop a detailed Plan (including timescales and dependencies) to implement the agreed actions.

 Application Integration Services

  • Determine impact of retaining additional systems
    • Technical architecture and infrastructure
    • System robustness
    • People capability to support and enhance
    • Cost implications
    • Risks associated
  • Define new Interfaces to existing systems portfolio
  • Train in-house team to support new systems
  • Define those services to be outsourced to a third party.

Application Rationalisation Services

  • Assess viability of existing systems to cope with increased capacity
  • Define Migration Strategy
    • Data to be transferred (what, how and when)
    • Data to remain (archive strategy)
    • Removing old systems (how and when)
    • Resources required (business and IT) to effect change
    • Cost of change
    • Risks associated with change
  • Develop comprehensive Migration Plan
  • Gain end-user agreement to approach, timescales, costs etc
  • Undertake Data Migration Projects
    • Project Management
    • Business Analysis
    • Data Analysis
    • Software Development (Design, Build and Test)
    • Implementation.

Application Development Services

  • Recommend appropriate Package Software options
  • Assess Package Software against functional requirements
  • Recommend a ‘Buy or Build’ approach
  • Undertake Development Projects
    • Project Management
    • Business Analysis
    • Data Analysis
    • Software Development (Design, Build and Test)
    • Implementation
  • Build Interfaces between systems
  • Test systems to ensure they are ‘fit for purpose’
  • Undertake Data Migration Projects (as above)
  • Train people in the new technologies
  • Provide Application Support Services.

The extent of the OCS involvement will vary by client.  Each of the above service offerings can be tailored to meet individual needs.  OCS are often described as ‘an extension of the IT team’ supplementing the in-house resource or undertaking discreet pieces of work which exploits their expertise.

For further details please contact us on +44 (0) 20 8731 4335 or email us below

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