Implementing New Technology in an Organization That Purely Uses Legacy Systems

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1341 Words
Date:  2022-08-15

Summary of Key Issues

The primary issue is implementing new technology in an organization that purely uses legacy systems. The CEO and the CIO are having difficulties proving to the president and the CFO that the new information system will bring any benefits to the organization (Linda Peterson's property and casualty). The two groups have different objectives. The first group believes that the new system will improve operations and enhance service delivery but the latter seeks for immediate financial benefits. Therefore, there is a lack of alignment in the objectives, and that impedes the implementation of the new expert system.

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Technology implementation in any organization can face resistance if not properly tackled. The CIO needs to satisfy the needs of the relevant stakeholders before rolling out any new information system. In this context, the top management seeks for increased revenues while junior employees do not want a system that will replace them. On the other hand, the CEO and colleagues are the vision carriers, so they have a clear idea of the direction of the organization. Middleton Mutual is facing this particular problem, and it makes it difficult to implement the new expert system in the concerned department.

The other factor is poor leadership skills portrayed by the CEO Dennis Devereaux. He has failed to harness the support of the top management, let alone to engage the concerned department actively. The only way the project can succeed is by appealing to the interests of the concerned parties. Underwriters want a system that will make their work easier while the top management seeks for profits and revenues. If the CEO and the CIF can deliver on the objectives, then the project will be a success.

Typically, aligning technology with the organizational strategies is the recipe for improved efficiency, cost reductions, enhanced customer relationships, better service delivery, and the creation of new business solutions. Failure to align IT and strategy would make it difficult to measure information systems contribution to the entire business (Akteret al. 17).


What was the business goal?

Middleton Mutual's primary goal is to enhance profitability by investing in promising projects. Bill was concerned about the last quarter's results and is still worried about the future financial outcomes of the business. Because of this, there are higher chances that he would be willing to invest in any project that does not pay itself almost immediately.

Cost minimization is also a factor that was being considered. If the company is to invest in any new project, the primary focus is to lower operational costs, which would, as a result, improve profits.

Retain the existing experience in the organization. Roger Lerch, Lucy Townsend, and Henry Ballard, the most experienced underwriters will be leaving the company in a year's time. The need to retain their knowledge and experience in the expert system is vital since it would be difficult to replace them after their departure.

Enhance the firm's long-term competitiveness in the insurance market by investing in lucrative ventures.

To gain a technological lead in the underwriting market so that the business becomes more competitive in the insurance sector

Remain with a competent employee base even after the experienced ones have left to ensure the continuity of performance

What was the business strategy?

To reduce the errors associated with the process of underwriting, which enhances consumer confidence in the insurance company's services

Speed up the process of underwriting, which is usually tedious and costly for the agents and this in turn boost profitability

Become highly competitive in the insurance market by developing competitive packages and services for consumers

To attract more business to the company leading to higher revenues and profitability

To retain the underwriting rules in the entire organization even after the departure of the skilled employees

Invest in artificial intelligence and neural networks because most of the firms have not yet tried the technology, to create a competitive advantage in the entire market

What leadership strategies were employed?

Devereaux was applying the top-down leadership that is characterized by leaders imposing their ideas on the subordinates with less regard on how the latter feel about the given subject.

While Max Vargo, the CIO had a clear understanding of the importance of the system to Linda Peterson's property and casualty department, he had no skills to aid in harnessing the support of the relevant persons to ensure the project becomes a success.

Teamwork is essential to the success of any leadership. Nonetheless, that particular aspect was absent in the firm, which means that the project would be a fail.

The organizational leaders failed to satisfy the key decision-makers, which was their prerogative, on the key benefits of the new system. It indicated that their objectives were misaligned, a sign of poor leadership

The lack of proper communication between the CEO and the President as well as the junior staff signified gaps in the leadership of the organization; hence, a recipe for project failure.

Using backdoors to initiate rejected projects was always Dennis's strategy that meant that his objectives were rarely in line with his seniors'. His inability to influence colleagues even with promising projects signified that there were fissures in his style of leadership.

What were the Information Systems functions?

The system would reduce errors made by underwriters during their assessments, and this increases the accuracy of the results

It would ensure the consistency in the application of underwriting rules of the organization

Increase the speed of the underwriting process to attract businesses, and this would boost revenues

It would ensure that the policy rates depict the true risk

Spread the underwriting knowledge of a few experts to the entire organization

Reduce costs of labor because it performs many functions that would require several underwriters

What tools or techniques were used?

Through th subjective analysis of the competitors. Some insurance companies had already deployed the system, and it would be difficult to compete with them

An assessment between the automated and the legacy system indicated that the latter was costly and prone to errors than the former; hence the need for an expert system.

Experienced workers were leaving the organization and replacing them would be difficult. Therefore, having their knowledge of the system would be beneficial to the firm.

In the contemporary world, firms that embrace information technology thrive because they can reduce costs and optimize operations.

The need to improve service delivery was key to adopting the system

The firm was doing unwell financially so it was necessary to adopt new procedures that would increase revenues


Technology is an imperative element in the modern day business environment. However, if companies have to lower costs, improve profitability and enhance service delivery, they have to align technology with the organizational strategies (Reynolds 102). It becomes less difficult to quantify its overall benefits to the entire firm with proper alignment.

Bill Hayes and Hal Atkins might be the conservative, risk-averse, or profit-centered decision makers; but, Dennis's poor leadership skills contribute to their heavily to their rigid decisions. Therefore, to implement a new system effectively, CIOs need to view it from the perspective of the users and the sponsors. They will own up the project and implementation will be less challenging (Flessa 328).

Ideas for Further Concern

Will quantifying the benefits of the expert system have a positive impact on decision-making by the top management?

If Dennis would have actively engaged Peterson and her department from the beginning, would the outcome of the decision be different?

What would behold the future of Middleton Mutual if Hayes refuses to implement the system in the company?

Works Cited

Akter, Shahriar, et al. "How to improve firm performance using big data analytics capability and business strategy alignment?." International Journal of Production Economics182 (2016): 113-131.

Davenport, Thomas. The Case of the Soft Software Proposal. Harvard Business Review. (1989)

Flessa, Joseph J. "Principals as middle managers: School leadership during the implementation of primary class size reduction policy in Ontario." Leadership and Policy in Schools11.3 (2012): 325-343.

Reynolds, George W. Information technology for managers. Boston, MA: Course Technology, Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.

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Implementing New Technology in an Organization That Purely Uses Legacy Systems. (2022, Aug 15). Retrieved from

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