- New York Life, the largest mutual life insurance company in the U.S., is in the midst of ongoing modernization efforts that have included successfully implementing a cloud-based Salesforce CRM that delivers AI-powered insights to its agents, according to Alex Cook, senior VP and head of strategic capabilities for the company.
- The company’s core policy administration platforms remain mainframe-based, “many of them across different product lines that date back to the 1970s and 1980s,” Cook said in an interview with CIO Dive.
- New York Life is looking for ways to connect the data insights it shares with agents to other parts of the company and aims to migrate much of its core infrastructure to cloud.
After adopting a cloud-based CRM, New York Life’s tech leadership started looking for ways to expand its vision for data use and integration.
“That is the last big nut to crack,” Cook said. “A lot of focus over the last few years is on building out our API and management capabilities, and making sure that we’ve got a stronger basis to enable the interaction and integration of applications through data, particularly in the cloud.”
New York Life looked at how it could support its agents with AI and use targeted digital marketing in corporate lead generation. “Now we’re looking for ways to enable connection with other parts of the company, like our group benefits solutions business,” said Cook.
Insurance has its own unique challenges, but making the most of data and integrating new technologies with legacy systems are issues faced by any company committed to modernization. A majority of business technology leaders recognize that optimizing IT spend depends on providing better access to data and insights, according to an IDC report on unified observability.
Siloed data and overly specialized tools and applications constrain collaboration, hamper efficiency and cut into returns on modernization efforts. Over half the organizations surveyed employ six or more IT monitoring and management tools.
Three in five respondents said specialized tools and siloed data views hampered productivity.
Data-driven insights are great for business, but only if people use them. In most companies, the practical fix for observability issues is a combination of cloud-based SaaS subscriptions and on-prem software upgrades.
Half of survey respondents plan to invest in hybrid observability solutions in the next two years, integrating cloud and site-based software that facilitates more efficient data sharing and systems monitoring.
As companies push modernization in the hopes of seeing efficiency and productivity gains, difficulty in integrating new technologies can be a stumbling block. Security imperatives coupled with a tendency to silo data by department or function inhibits access, which can impede progress and cut into the ROI of IT investments.
Two in five respondents said their companies were investing in cloud while continuing to rely on legacy IT systems for core business functions, a strategy that promises future efficiency gains but that complicates visibility in the short term. Only 29% reported recent deployment of cloud-based SaaS observability solutions.