Executive Dinner Series: Managing Software Risk within the Insurance Industry

It is becoming more and more obvious that the software risks and complexity that face today’s legacy systems is a growing problem for many IT organizations. Are these legacy applications “Ever going to be replaced or retired?  Are they “Too Big to Fail”? Added concern around many of these applications involves their size and architectural interconnectivity whereby their failure would prove disastrous to the entire business. There are few industries where this is more evident than the insurance industry.  At our recent  IT Executive Dinner with stakeholders from the Insurance industry, conversations were centered around application modernization, legacy application rationalization, and the funding mechanisms Insurance IT organizations use to improve their application assets.

Trends From the Gartner Vendor Summit 2010

I’ve been surfing the booths at the Gartner Outsourcing & Vendor Management Summit in sunny, gorgeous Orlando (check out some pictures on Twitter).
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So what’s new? Nothing radical. But there seems to be a gradual evolution. The themes remain the same with a few twists. Here’s a quick summary of the trends I’ve noticed.
1)  A couple of years ago, every vendor was pushing their business process management services (BPO and BPM) to ensure that they were moving up the value chain. From my quick look around the booths, I would say that vendors today are coming to market with a more precise message. Some are touting BPM as their core competency while others are not.
2) Sourcing locations other than India! There are lots of country booths here — South Africa, Ireland, Canada, Uruguay, Brazil, Poland, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, and of course, China. Their primary message is more about financial stability and ease of doing business in those countries rather than any unique apps capabilities.
3) Vendor management is getting more sophisticated. Not just in the types of SLAs, but in incorporating the lessons and techniques from supply chain and finance on how to manage vendor risk. A number of analyst sessions are devoted to this topic.
So, that’s my quick take. If you were at the summit, drop me a line. If I missed a trend you’re seeing, let me know. Thanks!
Hope you win that iPad!