A Project Dilemma at Canadian Shield Insurance Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

INTRODUCTION

Assurance Centrale Inc is an insurance company that is based in Canada, providing insurance services by having three lines of products, respectively. The insurance products that have been offered are the insurance related to the personal property, insurance based on the automobile and lastly the insurance of commercial property. Other than that, it has made a high impact in the Canadian market by being the leader of the market. This can be seen by the total income that Assurance Centrale earned which is almost $87 million.

Furthermore, it has acquired five different subsidiaries that can serve the interests effectively in different geographical areas. Among many other subsidiaries that it bought almost ten years ago, one of them is known as the Canadian Shield Company. It was located in Edmonton, Alberta. The company that was acquired by Assurance Centrale is performing in the same industry sector in which it is operating.

It proved quite beneficial for the Assurance Centrale because after acquiring it, in return almost 20 years of experience has been achieved along with 600,000 clients in Alberta relatively. Currently, the ALPHA software is used by the Canadian Shield Company to provide clients with the desired services. By taking into account Assurance Centrale, it can be seen that it has 250 employees who are being employed in various divisions.

On the other hand, the Canadian Shield was initially involved in providing the insurance based on the hunting and fishing lodges however, now it is providing the same insurance services that have been provided by the parent company.

IDENTIFICATION OF KEY ISSUES

This case about the implementation of latest and update software at the organization deals with the different situations, which are arising due to the arrival of latest off the shelf software in the market. Hence, Seamus has to select between the three different softwares available and all of them are having different features. The softwares that are included in this case are Alpha system, Insurance software solution (ISS) and Advance Insurance System (AIS).

By taking into account the situation that is available in the case, it can be seen that there are several issues, which have to be resolved to avoid the company from facing further problems. The current software that the Canadian Shield Insurance Company is using is ALPHA system, and it is having an issue of high demand.

The servers of Alpha become slow during the day most of the times and because they are accessed by several users at one time. However, when it was implemented, initially it was considered to have the competitive edge in the market, but now there is a need to find another alternative that should prove helpful in fulfilling the services that re desired from the software.

Hence, Seamus by being a leader at the Canadian Shield, is the one among several other subsidiaries that Assurance Centrale. As a result, he was asked to develop an information system that would be able to replace the existing softwares that have been implemented by the regional offices of Assurance Centrale. Moreover, there were also compatibility issues with the existing software due to the lack in its potential ability to link with other systems.

There was also a conflict of interest whether to switch towards the new information system or not. Apart from that, the users were complaining about the level of user-friendliness of the Alpha system therefore, Seamus decided to present the idea about the development of information software solution (ISS). The reason behind this was both the parent and CS were lacking elements and they did not have advanced technology in place to overcome the key issues that have resulted.

Therefore, by having at least advanced technology, there are increased chances of these issues having a significant impact upon the company’s performance. The principles based on IT in terms of making an effective use of technology to bring an increase in the value of business are missing in the statement made by CS. By considering the key issues it can be seen that the corporate governance is lacking in CS and Assurance Centrale.

Despite this, the other major issue is sunk costs because in the past five years, it has spent a lot of expenditure to maintain the current software. Instead of having problems, it also has advantages. Initially, the main advantage of the ISS software was its ultimate focus on the customer relationship management and as a result, there was a potential to offer the underwriters with some benefits. However, later on due to several problems, Seamus thought to introduce new software. As a result, it would be able to achieve the desired results by implementing off the shelf software..........................

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