blog Think core banking platforms last a long time? Check out the gray hairs and wrinkles on the positively ancient insurance IT system which CGU is still running. This thing is so old it should be code-named ‘Methuselah’. In fact, we’d be very curious to know precisely what platform CGU is running it on at this point. iTNews tells us (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Insurer CGU will look to replace its 32-year-old core policy maintenance system (PMS) in the coming year as it embarks on a new three-year growth plan. PMS was implemented in 1981 as an off-the-shelf package but has been modified significantly over the years.”
I really don’t think the term “off the shelf package” really had any relevance back in 1981 — at that point, surely, every platform in existence must have required some significant customisation to be able to fulfil its basic duties. Of course, PMS would have been a mainframe application, which is very likely partially the source of its extreme longevity. In every major financial institution in Australia, and many government departments, there are fairly up to date mainframes running ancient software which is still required for many purposes. Then the newer platforms are build on top of these archaic beasts and access and modify the underlying data when needed. According to those in the know, it’s a surprisingly efficient and cost-effective way to do things.
However, we’re sure CGU’s IT staff will be very happy to eventually lay PMS to rest for good. It can’t be easy maintaining a 32-year-old piece of software. We’re envisaging something like a dozen aged druids dancing in the moonlight around Stonehenge. Because when it comes to software that old, when things screw up, they can be very hard to fix.