Celent Says

Top Tech Trends Among Asian Insurers

Wenli Yuan
Insurance Experts' Forum, June 21, 2010

During the first half of 2010, Celent interviewed selected Asian CIOs. The interviews covered business and IT priorities for 2010, as well as details around changes to budgets, spending priorities, and attitudes toward outsourcing and new technologies.

Asia is a diverse market. Some trends in one market may not apply to another market. However, there are a number of common trends in technology investment:

•    Increase investment in process automation to improve operational efficiency: Many Asian insurers employ a large team of back office staff because these insurers, at present, have a low automation level—they still use manual methods when processing business. CIOs understand that they must gradually automate many process to achieve operational efficiency, as well as reduce costs.
The IT initiatives we see planned as part of Asian insurers’ projects supporting automation are further investment in enterprise technologies such as BPM (business process management), BRM (business rules management) and document management.

•    Centralize IT operations: More than 85% of the Asian CIOs surveyed said they have their IT operation centralized; for global players, some are centralized in whole Asia with minimal on-country IT; some are centralized at country level.

•    General IT outsourcing is increasing: More than 45% of the Asian CIO survey participants said that they will keep their IT outsourcing in 2010 as the same of 2009; around 40% of insurers will increase their outsourcing.

•    Asian insurers are technology aware: In regard to IT architecture strategy, insurers plan to develop a SOA enterprisewide, or decouple front and back office with a middleware layer; very few will maintain existing architecture. Asian insurers are not yet actively using emerging technologies, but are considering using selected emerging technologies in non-critical business functions.

Celent’s new report “Asia Insurance—the year ahead: The CIO Perspective” was published last week, and discusses business themes such as growing the business, cost reduction, ease of doing business, meeting regulation requirements and time to market. THe report also discusses a number of IT initiatives in detail, including IT budgets and areas of increased investment—underwriting/policy admin, distribution and claims. In regard to enterprise IT strategy, the report looks at IT structure, architecture strategy, IT outsourcing, and emerging technologies such as AJAX, social networking, cloud computing and SaaS.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent.

Wenli Yuan is a senior analyst in Celent's Asia Research Group. Readers are encouraged to respond to Wenli using the “Add Your Comments” box below. She also can be reached at wyuan@celent.com.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

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