Four Ways Agile Methods Expand Business Capabilities

As an insurance professional, you understand the need for continuous access to client data in all its forms. You also know how important it is to modernize existing systems to expand your business capabilities. While undergoing expansion, you expect your software to harness new developments in data analytics while syncing with legacy data and maintaining regulatory compliance and security. How can all these expectations be met?

In this kind of rapidly shifting environment, agility is extremely beneficial. Agile methods are a means of achieving flexibility and growth you need, without undermining service.



How do agile methods work?

During the development process, small teams work in cycles, or iterations, that no more than three-weeks. After each three-week interval, the team meets to troubleshoot the product and receive feedback from stakeholders. This strategy results in rapid development of a fluid and optimized product.

When agile development methodologies began gaining mainstream acceptance, large organizations like Boeing, IBM and HP adopted agile software development methodologies as a way to rapidly deploy software. At the time, IBM’s Harish Grama, noted that not all enterprise-scale projects are suited for agile development, but told TechTarget that agile methods have been used to develop extensions for legacy products.

Here are four ways agile software development methods can expand your business capabilities by modernizing your legacy systems:

  1. Integrating pre-built and custom components.  Traditionally, when new software packages are adopted, enterprises spend time and resources aligning their legacy systems with software packages. This kind of implementation requires extensive customization and can lead to clunky delivery. Agile methods make it possible to integrate pre-built, or legacy systems, with custom components. This means that your software maintains consistency while new components are layered on top of the existing system.

Agile teams take into account current user patterns and behavior, data storage capabilities and workflow. The resulting product maintains user familiarity with the platform, which makes the learning curve less steep, all while expanding users’ access to a broader range of tools and technologies.

  1. Harnessing new data and analytic technologies is one reason why organizations seek to modernize their systems. Platforms that harness predictive analytics, heat maps and scores provide up-to-date information for users and clients. Additionally, predictive analytics are more powerful when they are backed with quality legacy data.

Rather than building an isolated app from the ground up, and without access to historical data, agile teams integrate legacy data into new systems so that predictive analyses are grounded in relevant data.

  1. Creating exceptional user experience.  Internal users of enterprise software applications have grown to expect their business apps to function as reliably and intuitively as their personal applications. Users are often frustrated when they cannot find what they need when they need it. In their frustration they may dismiss new technologies and expanded capabilities in favor of short cuts, even those that might compromise security.

Agile development strategies resolve these issues by involving key stakeholders in the development process. Additionally, agile teams include user experience experts who run testing, surveys and bridge the gap between what is possible (what the engineers can create) and what is practical (what dovetails with existing workflows).

During each iteration users are encouraged to troubleshoot the product so that it functions in real-world environments.

  1. Maintaining regulatory compliance. Agile methodologies were designed with fluidity in mind. In an ever-changing development landscape, agile teams are prepared to make updates as they are needed and to do so rapidly. Since agile teams meet frequently, they examine all aspects of a product and key in on data migration protocols throughout each phase. Through this process they ensure that legacy data storage is capable of meeting new regulations and migrates without any compromises.

Finally, when it comes to policy and agency management, as well as client data management, you need a platform that engages your internal users, provides security and can access legacy data. For more information on how to modernize your current system, please contact us.

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