Richard Boutcher 11-Jul-2011 08:29:00 2 min read

The stages of a successful IT marriage

When you are looking for a system and a supplier, it may not be immediately obvious that you are in it for the long haul...

Market metrics tell us that the average life expectancy of a P&C or an assumed reinsurer’s system is 17 years – longer than the average marriage. Changing systems can be as difficult and painful as the experience of a failing relationship and that’s why the supplier and package selection process should be treated like a courtship – leading to a long, happy, successful marriage.

Let’s start with the easy bit - Flirting

Initially we flirt and get to know each other. It is really important that you choose a supplier that you like. Remember that software can be enhanced – relationships need to be nurtured. In this industry it is all about people – and getting on in the first place is key.

Then the Engagement

The system implementation is only the engagement stage of the relationship –this is where you learn to work together, gain confidence and rehearse for real life. You tell your friends and you prepare for the future.

Then the big day – the start of the marriage

This is when the partnership becomes real and the marriage starts. Team-building and working as a partnership are vital. Every marriage has challenges and at times the relationship will need sensitive handling and a determination to succeed based on mutual respect and trust.

Without sound preparation and strong relationships, life will be more difficult and breaking up is hard to do.

Finally, no jokes about parallel running please!