Enterprising Developments

Big Data Analytics: 'It's About the Relationships, Not the Math'

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, July 5, 2013

Big data analytics is very sophisticated, involving high-level statistical work. For that reason, the whole idea of big data is really scary to business executives. As a result, they don't work well or closely enough with data analysts and professionals (the “quants”) to get the results they need.

Tom Davenport, visiting Harvard professor and noted advocate of business analytical power, says the two sides need to start talking with one another. There's no reason why business leaders can't gain a better picture of the statistical reasoning that goes behind their analytical systems, and there's no reason why quants can't become more business savvy.

His latest book, "Keeping Up With The Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics," co-authored with Jinho Kim, makes a compelling case for bringing these two sides of the organization together for common cause. The future belongs to those businesses that effectively employ analytics to understand their markets, customers and operations.

Both sides have something to learn as Davenport and Kim illustrate. Business leaders, for example, should approach the relationship along the following lines:

• Give the analysts enough time and attention to ensure that they understand the problem from the business perspective, Davenport and Kim advise.

• Make available the time and attention of people within your organization “who can help analysts understand the details of the business situation.”

• Have a firm understanding of “the time and money necessary to build the solution, and jointly agree on this as a proposal.”

• Learn enough about the underlying math and statistics “to have a general idea of how the model works and when it might be invalid.”

• Don't be afraid to politely push back if you don’t understand something, and ask for a different or better explanation.

At the same time, analysts and quants need to make it easier for business decision makers through the following approaches recommended by Davenport and Kim:

• Have a good working understanding of the business overall, “and of the specific business process that the quantitative analysis will support.”

• Understand the “thinking style” of business decision makers, and the types of analyses and outputs that will influence their thinking.

• Be able to develop effective working relationships with key people in your organization.

• Use the “language of the business” to explain what benefits and improvements analytics can provide.

• Provide business decision-makers “with an accurate estimate of the time and cost to develop a model and related capabilities.”

• Be patient – if business decision makers don’t understand the project, or are skeptical of the predicted benefits, try again with different language.

• Have a structured process for eliciting the information and business rules they need to build their model.

• Help business decision-makers think about such broad aspects of the problem “as the framing of the decision involved, the stakeholders for it, and the organizational capabilities necessary to implement a new solution.”

• Develop new models and tool sets with a rapid prototyping approach, Davenport and Kim advise. “so business decision-makers will see something of substance very quickly and can provide feedback on it.”

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

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

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Shouldn't digital be part of everyone's job description by now?

Using Big Data Analytics as a 'Competitive Hammer'

An insurer upgrades its data architecture and finds a competitive advantage through faster insights.

Where are You Going to Store All That Big Data?

Five tips for developing an intelligent big data storage system.

Considering a Cross-Functional Move?

Whether it will get you closer to your career goal or you just need a change, there are six factors to examine before deciding to make a cross-functional move.

Policy Management Systems: Prepare for Tomorrow

When "modern era" computer systems were developed decades ago, many didn't realize that they would still be running insurers' business in the 21st Century. Developers hardly foresaw what was to come. To compete today, insurers have two options: patch or replace. Well there is a third … obsolescence.

What to Consider in a Multichannel World

The shift to digital means carriers must focus on sales and service portals, agency management and compensation systems.

How to Keep Agencies Operating Effectively During a CAT Event

The more an agency embraces technology and offsite/cloud storage of critical data, the better off they will fair.

The Great Disconnect: Back End Vs. Front End

Front-end systems and devices for customer engagement are getting more sophisticated, but back-end integration challenges are preventing insurers from taking advantage of them, survey shows.

The Most Liked, Shared Insurers on Social Media

A guide to get insurers up to speed in social spaces, which aren't going away any time soon.

Telematics: Not Your Father's Auto Insurance

Auto insurance today isn't as simple as it used to be "back "in the day". Technology has changed that paradigm, making it an all new high-tech ballgame! Telematics is here, it's real, it's growing, and you need to be ready for it.

Calm Under Fire

Being a leader means remaining calm during stressful times. But does it come naturally or do we need to learn and develop it?

The Product Configuration Dilemma

When insurers buy a new core system, they're not just buying the technology, they're buying an underlying model for how an insurer should operate.

Use Technology to Know Your Customers — But Not Too Well

Social media and digitization have made it easy to get closer to customers; the question is how to use that knowledge and access without becoming invasive.

Failing to Prepare, Preparing to Fail

Catastrophes are now a part of the New Normal. While there's nothing we can do to change the weather or other natural disasters, there are steps insurers can take to prepare themselves and their customers for what may come.

Five Steps to Establishing a Data Management Program to Support Self-Service

Here are some practical steps carriers can take toward instituting a management program to support customer self-service.

Insurers in the Software Business

Insurers in the Software Business: The line between software providers and consumers is Blurring

Compliance in Insurance: An Industry Within an Industry

The decision announced last week by the Financial Conduct Authority to conduct a market study of add-on financial products is raising one or two eyebrows within the industry.

A Call for More Adaptable Agency Management Systems

Years of heavy reliance on vendors to deliver agency systems integration means less responsiveness to customers.

Leader or Lemming: Which are you?

If you lead, they will follow, or so the saying goes. Leaders need exceptional qualities such as vision, knowledge, determination, and innovation and they need to lead by example. Through careful evaluation, innovative thinking and deliberation, a leader sets a course towards the future whether it is a well worn path or uncharted territory.

3 Strategies for Adapting to Tech-Savvy Consumers

The hyper-connected consumer of the next generation will expect a highly tailored customer experience, and it can't hurt to start anticipating these needs now.

Breaking Down the Core Capabilities of a Successful PAS Transformation

Delivering major technology projects in a timely, cost-effective manner is becoming table stakes for insurers.

3 Common Misconceptions About Innovation Among Insurers

Certain bits of common wisdom are falsely being presented as reasons for insurers to avoid an all-in commitment to innovation.

Why Cloud May Not Work for Some Data Centers

While big data operations based in the cloud are attractive, there is at least one voice out there urging executives to be wary of moving away from on-site data storage.

Does Social Media Bring Carriers and Agencies Together?

Or, do carriers' attempts to humanize themselves on social networks strain relations?

How to Make Carrier-Agent Communications More Efficient

Several recommendations for using advanced technologies to make communications simpler and more secure.

The Cost of a Data Breach Versus the Cost of More Security

Recent estimates put the average hit a business takes as the result of a data breach at more than $4 million.

Can’t Blaze a Trail? Move On

We can control ourselves, not our environment. We need to decide whether to stay and try to blaze a trail for change, or we can get out and find a more suitable environment.

Mega-Brokers Lockdown Reinsurance Sector

Where once underwriters called the tune, it is now the distributors who have leverage and are setting the ground rules.

Pushing for More Predictive Analytics, More Data Talent

Insurers are encountering two obstacles in employing more predictive analytics: a lack of both top-level support and appropriate skill sets.

Reach out and touch some … Software?

Some call it nostalgia. Others call it stuck in a bygone era. No matter which, we all have to come to terms with the fact that the world has changed due to technology and we all need to evolve or be lost in history.

4 Ways for P&C Insurers to Solve Customer Self-Service

A guide to the various options insurers have when attempting to tackle lacking data quality, inconsistent formats and fragmented sources.

Being Part of the Crowd

A recent study shows few female film and television characters holding science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. With the media perpetuating gender stereotypes, how can we expect there to be a natural shift toward more women in leadership?

A Major Data Migration from the Mainframe to Windows

A three-year move of 97 percent of a major insurer's applications and data is saving the company millions in the long-term.

Buying Insurance Apps in the U.S. Means Deciding Between Process and Content

Carriers seeking new solutions must dig deep into the IP supplied with modern insurance software to be sure they understand the commitment required to fully deploy these solutions.

Stop Talking, Start Doing

Most if not all of us were raised believing you say what you mean and you mean what you say. But somehow, this seems lost when it comes to technology implementations today. In survey after survey, and article after article we read that what companies want are Cloud, Mobile, SaaS, and BPaaS solutions. Legacy systems are problems. Technology leaders want to modernize and become agile. Well that’s what they say anyway.

Why Computer Languages are Still a Big Deal

There are many systems written in many languages, but with open-source languages getting all the attention in recent years, are there enough people to support them?

8 Reasons Women Don't Support Other Women

The first step in resolving a problem is identifying the problem. Make sure you aren’t using any of the reasons listed above as excuses to avoid developing women.

A Bright Future for Agent/Carrier Interfaces?

Agents and carriers are working steadily toward more efficient interactions, but to reach their goal, it will take a collaborative effort.

Fulfilling Big Data's Big Promises

While big data possesses transformative potential, investments alone won't elevate business, it takes close coordination and cooperation.

2014: Emerging Technologies Could Reach Critical Mass

A watershed year is shaping up for insurers and their use of technology, and IT/business relations are more important than ever.

Getting Personal: Customer-Driven Product Innovation

It is no secret, and it is supported by many recent industry studies - attracting and retaining customers is the primary or secondary priority for insurance companies. To do so, insurers need to provide product innovation and get customers excited about new product concepts, protection offers and superior service. Insurers can work with the customers to create the solution to meet their needs and make it about them. This is an opportunity for insurers to disrupt and capture market.

Got Big Data Plans? Get Ready to Deal With Data Storage

Storage continues to be the biggest chunk of the investment in virtualization projects, which includes both server and desktop initiatives.

The Challenges of Social Media: Being Everywhere, Being Interesting

The days of social media strategy meaning you open a Facebook page and staff it with someone young and bright are over.

The Future of Insurance: Innovation for Transformational Growth

Sometimes, the stars all seem to align and that light can bring things into sharp focus. This year's IASA conference focused on knowledge and innovation.

How Chubb's IT Unit Initiated Innovation

In order for ideas to freely flow within an insurer, an IT department may need to step in to enable that conversation.

Underwriting Evolution or Revolution?

Underwriting is helping insurers improve accuracy and cycle times, but third-party data could have a profound impact on the industry.

Where No Agent Has Gone Before

Insurers and agents need to build more agility into their relationships in order to deliver the type of customer experience that will be required in the future.

Telematics: Insurers Begin to Embrace the Internet of Things

Technology is fueling the shift from a reimbursement model to a prevention/loss-control one for P&C carriers.

Insurers – Who Owns the Data Anyway?

[IMGCAP(1)] Historically, insurers were more focused on the processes, especially with respect to agents. Until about eight years ago, if you asked an insurer who their customer was, the answer was, “Agents.” Improved ease of use projects were focused on agents’ ease of use with insurer systems. The policyholder was not even part of the equation. At the time, this made sense. Departments and LOBs were operated independently of one another, and their data was a…

4 Common Data Challenges Faced During Modernization

In this first of three blog posts, a hypothetical upgrade to improve customer interaction is described, and the typical challenges insurers face are illuminated.

7 Reasons for Virtualizing Data

When it comes time to migrate to a newer system, you shouldn’t have to worry about the fate of customer information.

Getting it Right: Underwriting Automation of the Future

While automated underwriting and insurance bundling is a likely future for the industry, AIG Casualty SVP Salvator Branca says there are several attendant concerns.

Insurers Raise Their Voices on Mobile Tech

Customer demand for interactive voice assistant (IVA) technology is on the rise and a couple of notable insurers are leading the way.

Business Insight to Shape the Future

Many people have written about the impact of the book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game" by Michael Lewis not only on the Oakland Athletics, but also on modern businesses across industry boundaries. This book, which was made into a top-grossing film starring Brad Pitt, highlighted the real impact of analytics in shaping the success of a baseball team but it has applications everywhere.

Insurers Take Part in a Social Discussion about Social Media

A fruitful group discussion on social media among ACORDLOMA attendees unveiled shared experiences and progress being made with social business.

Not So Different After All

A relative newcomer to the insurance industry, RGA Reinsurance CIO Mark Showers shares his perspective on how the insurers' concerns compare to other industries.

Is It Time to Move Desktops to the Cloud?

Insurers could clear up a lot of client management headaches in one fell swoop with desktop virtualization.

When Private Cloud is a Developer's Dream

Aetna provides an example of private cloud operations being more cost-effective and efficient.

The Best Way to Improve Business Processes

While fads for managing and improving business processes come and go with regularity, there is an underlying approach to successful processes that never changes.

Thundering Pace of Insurance Software Acquisitions Continues

Three items to watch in the wake of the latest big-name technology vendor acquisition.

The Future of Insurance: It’s About the Data

Returning home from the ACORD-LOMA Forum (ACORD-LOMA) last week, I was reminded of a time about 12 years ago when I wrote that data is the lifeblood of the insurance industry and a strategic asset that needed effective management. The recollection was prompted in part by the fact that during ACORD LOMA the topics of big data, business analytics and business intelligence, and the need for quality data, continued to be hot topics both in terms of insurer priorities and discussion points.

5 Basic Tools that Enable Lean IT

A new way of looking at technology and work, brought over from the manufacturing sector.

Mastering Your Data

It may sound like an oversimplification to say that Data Mastery (DM) is the ability of an insurer to gain mastery of their data, so perhaps it would be better to say that DM is the ability of an insurer to gain business insight from raw data.

The Future of Technology in the Workplace

Celent’s first U.K. CIO Roundtable lends a varied discussion on the future of IT operations as well as engaging suppliers of innovation.

10 Steps to Attaining PAS Transformation Success

Small- to mid-size insurers are investing in PAS transformations more than ever, but most of them have yet to experience the growth in core business and delivery capabilities that they're looking for.

Data Integration as a Repeatable Business Process

If you have been with a company that has acquired or merged with another, you have likely felt the pain that goes with merging systems and data sets — but does it need to be that difficult?

Is It Worth Moving 3,000 Mainframe Programs to a PC Environment?

How one insurance company re-created mainframe logic on a Windows/.NET server environment.

Which Data Insights Matter and Why

A series of measurements can greatly improve processes if you know what data to look for, and what to do with it once its found.

Who Connects With Insurers on Social Media? What's In It For Them?

The volume of customer service questions posted on Facebook (across all industries) has increased 26 percent in 6 months, with an average response time of 13.7 hours—consumers expect a response within 60 minutes.

Tackling Data Analytics Means Knowing What Questions to Ask

Four tips from a recent book that provide business executives with everything they need to know when working with analytics.

How Enterprise Architecture Prevents Creeping Costs, Integration Pitfalls

Enterprise architect extraordinaire James McGovern discusses best practices for migrating and improving policy administration systems.

Preparing for the Future Means Catering to Consumers

Recent studies are showing that consumers still prefer an agent's touch; here's a laundry list of things agents can do to keep those consumers happy.

Can Insurers Do it All?

At RIMS, intellectual, intangible and other non-standard property coverage are top of mind.

Claims Perspective: Texas and Boston Explosions

In terms of insured claims payouts, the fertilizer factory explosion likely will generate even larger dollar claims than the Boston bombings.

How to Prepare for Big Data Becoming Table Stakes

Data in health care can provide a good example for all insurers concerned about transitioning to a big data-centric business model.

The Importance of Bringing the Right Mindset to a Legacy Upgrade

Legacy systems upgrades were once mainly beneficial to IT operations, but now, they make or break a company's competitive advantage.

Frustration Sets in as Wait for Regulatory Rules Remains Indefinite

Insurers are unanimous in two things: They do not need SIFI oversight, and they are tired of waiting.

New Gadgets and What They Could Mean for Insurers

Gadget Show Live shows off the technologies that will be defining major advancements in the year to come.

The Geico Gecko Can Thank Big Data for His Job

Big data is becoming more and more responsible for insurance business initiatives, including advertising.

What's a Data Scientist? Where Can I Find One?

Trying to define a data scientist's duties can be tough and it can be even tougher to find someone with the proper skills to carry them out—here's some advice.

Q1 2013: The Beginning of Legal Entity Identifiers for Insurers

As the system gains acceptance, regulators expect major expansions to the use of LEIs in an effort to gain insight into the connectivity of financial systems.

The Benefits of Running IT Like a Business

How one insurer adopted 'ERP for IT' to build repeatable, business-savvy processes.

A New Data Mantra: Capture Everything

Most current data strategies weed out all data that doesn't point to a single end, but that may be selling the potential of your company's data way short.

Digital Darwinism Isn't as Scary as it Sounds

A new book breaks down a tech-savvy approach for insurers looking to decipher the habits of online consumers.

Are You Ready for Real-time Business?

Agents, carriers and vendors come together to discuss the importance of equipping every team member with real-time technology.

6 Ways to Implement a PAS—Without All the Pain

How to effectively deal with the insurance equivalent of enterprise resource planning: policy administration systems.

With SIFI Designations Due, Dual Regulation Could Become a Reality

Deloitte’s Howard Mills speaks on the FIO’s involvement and the regulatory precedent a SIFI designation would set in the industry.

A Social Media Paradigm Shift—Thinking Small to Grow

The phase where companies focus on accruing millions of followers and likes is ending; a focus on influence is what should replace it.

3 Steps to Big Data Success

Using a top-tier insurer as an example, analysts advise companies to start small and think big.

Mobile as a Source of Microinsurance Innovation

Insurers looking to tap into Latin American markets may be surprised to find high levels of mobile usage.

Looming Tech Skills Shortages Will Give Insurers a Run for Their Money

Insurers are going to have to double down on efforts to attract and retain technology talent, before they're absorbed elsewhere into the digital economy.

Are You Prepared for More Software M&A?

A new Novarica report predicts continued software provider M&A in 2013-'14. Is there a way for insurers to prepare?

I’m Not Your Customer of the Future—I Am Your Customer Today

A 30-year-old in the industry explains what he would like to see as the transformation of the way insurance is conducted continues.

Policy Admin Systems: Time is Not on Our Side

When it comes time to make a change in a policy admin system, a lot of planning, negotiating and hand-holding will be required.

Is BI Failing Businesses?

Critic claims that even though BI and analytics software is powerful, it is still out of reach for general business users.

Industry's Image Fix Must Come From the Top

After a couple weeks of online dialogue regarding the industry's image problems, a solution may be emerging.

6 Ways BI is Becoming Part of Everyday Business

The stage is set for Siri-like capabilities across all BI systems, as well as more automated decision-making.

What Can We Do About All This Social Stuff?

Agents and carriers are tripping over themselves, when they should be working together.

Mainframes and PCs Aren't Going Away Anytime Soon

Form factor and flexibility are what computer users want.

Realizing the ROI of Social Media

Adapting social practices in core systems operations may be insurers' best opportunity to leverage social networks.

Adapting to a Customer-Centric World

The move to new and unfamiliar markets is opening up insurers to risks about which they have virtually no data.

Even in the Digital Age, Personal Touch Still Matters

IBM study finds consumers more likely to buy from agents or intermediaries than websites.

Another Great Reason Why Big Data Analytics Matters

Catching instances of fraud is good, but the downstream effects can be even more impressive.

Does Anybody Know How to Fix the Industry's Image Problem?

Insurance is being considered an investment, which leads to consumers making poor decisions.

Complex Operating Models Stifle Competitive Advantage

It's easy to let operating model complexity build up, but identifying the symptoms and combating its effects can save enterprise profitability.

6 Steps to Effective Cloud Operations

The convenience and scalability the cloud offers is too great for insurers to ignore any longer.

5 Management Lessons from Steve Jobs

Despite some of Jobs' more extreme eccentricities, his management skills offer sound advice for insurers striving to be innovative.

Insurers Leading in Social Media Engagement May Surprise You

Big spenders may garner lots of likes on Facebook, but when it comes to social media interaction, smaller, specialized insurers lead the way.

Cloud Success Means Rethinking, Reorganizing the Enterprise

Like other paradigmatic technologies before it, cloud is just a tool that requires the right people working on it in the right environment to be effective.

IT Projects: Cutting Corners on Cost Hurts Success Rates

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner woes offer stark lessons for insurers overseeing IT projects.

Auto Insurers' Losses, Premiums are Certain to Drop—Eventually

Technology is poised to shake up the auto insurance marketplace; industry veterans discuss how and when that will happen.

Is This the Post-Digital Era?

These 8 pillars provide the competitive advantage every insurer is looking for in the post-digital era.

3 Common-Sense Ways to Attract Tech Talent

Top tech talent isn’t necessarily out of reach, you just need to know where they're hanging out and what challenges they're looking for.

Maintaining an Environment Employees Want to Work In

Being in the one of the world’s largest industries, insurers face many challenges yet still have an obligation to create a “best company to work for” culture.

Failing is the First Step Toward Innovation

Embracing failure and investing in initiatives without a concrete business case is the only way to become an innovative company.

Internal IT Should Compete with Public Cloud Services

Seven tips that will put your corporate IT services on par with the ease-of-use of Amazon or Salesforce.

The Era of Analytics—and the Job Opportunities Its Creating

Job descriptions for the business intelligence analysts that will pave your way to smarter, more efficient operations.

3 Steps to Innovative Agent-Consumer Communication

Customers still desire the human touch of agents—if it's provided in real time and on the platforms they prefer.

5 Areas of the Business Ripe for Predictive Analytics

The list of questions advanced or predictive analytics can answer within an enterprise is making for a strong business case within insurance organizations.

Social Media—Playtime is Over

The value of social media won't be measured by ROI, instead insurers need to start listening to the substance of their networks.

Retiring Your Mainframe? You May Want to Reconsider

Mainframes are more expensive up front, but may cost less over the long run.

8 Steps to Erasing Inertia Within Your Enterprise

Winning in the market with a data-driven culture is becoming the name of the game—here's how to do it.

The CEO View and What it Means for You

Tier 1 insurance CEOs agree that creativity and innovation is lacking in the industry, but there is a balance that needs to be made.

Freedom From Hardware, One Application at a Time

Software-defined data centers won't arrive all at once, but are on their way to gradually becoming a reality.

Why are There Still So Many Legacy Systems?

Investing time and capital in the latest flux capacitor is too risky for many organizations.

3 Keys to Successful IT Projects

Why avoiding the Big Bang approach and focusing on short-term goals is the best way to tackle IT projects.

Another View on the Future of Auto Insurance

Focusing on solely on-board technologies ignores a bevy of factors that will also affect auto insurance rates and operations.

Cloud, Big Data, Mobile: Not a Question of 'When' But 'How'

The coming year will see new modes of computing drill deeper than ever into the insurance enterprise.

Adopting Tenets of Art to Tackle the Business/IT Challenge

Insurance business and IT teams share common traits not unlike those of artists, but can they adopt an artist’s mindset to create innovative solutions to complex problems?

Secrets to Success in Enabling Analytics

How a branch of Blue Cross turned its entire organization on to data analytics.

3 Reasons the 'Traditional' Data Center is Going Away

2013 will be the year we start to see less of the big server and storage rooms.

Let’s Get Mobile

Agents and carriers can work together to develop mobile applications and interfaces to enable clients to stay in contact with their agent throughout the entire policy lifecycle, not just at the time of a claim.

New Year, New Tools to Service Insurance Customers

Which company will change the insurance purchasing model and transform the buying process by using a tool like a choice engine?

Insurance IT Spending at a Crossroads in 2013

Cloud, customer experience and analytics will dominate IT budgets in 2013, analysts predict.

Insurers Should Awaken to Claims Analytics Possibilities

Applying entity analytics to claims detection and prevention is a proven way to outsmart the fraudsters.

Consumers Trade Privacy for Enhanced Experience

Survey indicates insurers can no longer afford to believe that customers would rather send check payments to their insurers than go online.

Technology Propels AIG Back to Health

AIG's business and IT leaders worked closely together to return the carrier to profitability.

3 Key Questions that Keep BPM Productive

Avoiding a "BPM by Post-it note" strategy is necessary if initiatives are going to do what they're supposed to.

How to Achieve the Speed Needed to Deliver

In terms of implementation and internal processes, speed is what delivers market share and customer satisfaction.

CIOs, BYOD and the Complications that Arise after Christmas

Everybody wants tablets and smartphones in their stockings and under their trees this year. Guess what that means for CIOs in January?

Growing Business by Staying Relevant

A recent report from PwC outlines the four technology pillars to a forward-thinking 10-year business plan.

Insurers Help Lead the Way in Big Data

Telematics and four other big benefits of increasingly popular data-driven projects, outlined in a new report.

Insurers Need CDOs to Maintain a Modern Enterprise

Data is the new lifeblood of an enterprise, and to make up for years of ignoring it, insurers need to hire chief data officers.

Why the Customer Experience Matters

For being such a smart industry, the link between customer engagement and user experience appears to be stuck in a blind spot.

The Coming IT Hiring Boom in Healthcare

IT hiring booms tend to align with large-scale government mandates, and this year we saw the biggest of them all.

Insurers Experimenting with Customer Engagement Methods

Health insurers, in particular, are finding innovative ways to engage their customers, keep them healthy and build brand in the process.

Data Security is Most Vulnerable on the Inside

10 examples of how a company becomes increasingly at risk of suffering a data breach as data moves around the enterprise.

The Mainstreaming of Usage-based Insurance

UBI and insurance telematics are touted for their ability to save premium dollars, but wider adoption could also save lives and slow global climate change.

The Importance of Automating and Standardizing Interfaces

An E&S industry initiative is pushing for improved processes by way of automation—with which both agents and carriers win.

The Difference Between Digital and IT Strategies

Gartner analyst says IT strategies can only go so far in advancing the business—digital strategies are what take you where you want to be.

Is Blocking Employee Access to Social Media Solving Anything?

Social media represents the latest in a string of technologies that companies shy away from initially, only to eventually embrace it and realize its full potential.

Insurance: The First Social Business?

Insurers' agent networks provide a natural edge in social networking.

Cloud Strategy Decision-making: Evidence of Closer IT/Business Alignment?

A survey indicates cloud decisions are being made more and more by business managers rather than, or as well as, by IT.

A Big Thumbs-Down on Existing Claims Management Systems

More than eight out of 10 P&C executives say their current systems are not able to embrace new opportunities. The question is, what will replace them?

What Geeks Want: 8 Tips for Retaining IT Talent

Given the allure of tech startup culture and the increasing importance of IT in all aspects of the enterprise, hanging on to tech talent is more difficult—and more important—than ever.

Distribution Channels and Growth: Finding the Logical Mix

Of the myriad technologies that engage and empower the distribution network, it’s strategic, not transactional, management efforts that win the day.

Personal and Mobile Device Forecast for 2013

While 2012 offered a deluge of new devices and capabilities, the market, particularly for insurers and business users, is still up for grabs.

What Does the Future of Business Process Software Look Like?

How business process as a service and smart process applications will become the norm.

The Time Has Come: Why Insurers Need a Chief Data Officer

Business intelligence projects in the industry suffer an abysmal failure rate.

The Economy in 2013: Technology to the Rescue Again?

Analyst firm predicts a tough year ahead for any insurers not making magic happen between IT solutions and business needs.

How to Make Social Media Work For You

By applying two buzz words to each other—social media and alignment—insurers may be able to solve the enigmatic elements each holds.

Can Insurers Learn from the Winning Campaign's Data-driven Ground Game?

Many insurers see the value in leveraging data and predictive analytics to improve a variety of objectives and outcomes; for those still in doubt, read on.

5 Gartner Predictions that Have Implications for Insurance IT

The rise of Big Data means demand for new analytical and IT skills. Are insurers ready to compete with other industries for this talent?

Life Insurance: In Aisle Four, Next to the Sunscreen

With life insurance ownership at an all-time low, a top-tier insurer gets creative in an attempt to meet customer desires.

Going Green Isn’t Just About Paper

Project managers need to remember that moving to a paperless environment is about changing how people work, how they rely on information and how they access it.

8 Rules for Launching a Lasting Big Data Initiative

Advice from more than 1,100 executives on what it takes to satisfy business needs while taking advantage of in-house talent, big data resources.

Introducing Young Talent, Agents to the Industry

What young talent want to see out of the insurance industry in the next 12 months.

Private Cloud, Big Data Give Mainframe Shops New Life

New survey outlines the core roles mainframes are assuming within emerging private cloud and big data projects—as well as the challenges of this new role.

How to Make the Most of ORSA Stress Testing

There are several adjustments insurers can make in the wake of initial feedback from the NAIC regarding its pilot review of U.S. ORSA summary reports.

7 Steps to an Analytical Culture

Here's why selectivity, modeling, trust, IT support and education are essential to reaping big data's value.

Agoraphobia and Insurance Cloud Models: Don’t Be Afraid to Play Outside

Is the current tone of debates surrounding public-versus-private cloud options hurting potentially innovative efforts?

Enterprise Tablet Apps Add to Convenience for Producers

Will touchscreens offering rapid access to new enterprise apps become the norm for insurance carriers?

A 3-step Approach to Tackling Social Media

For insurers, maintaining a presence isn't enough; they need to start thinking about how they're approaching social media interactions in order to glean results.

An Exciting and Intimidating Future for Insurers

In the mobile business space, insurers must play by the rules consumers dictate.

Cloud Security is the Customer's Responsibility

Here's why cloud security liability should follow the model established by the scenarios of ultimate responsibility from car accidents.

2 Techniques that Ease the Pain of Replacing a Legacy Claims System

Claims system upgrades can be as frustrating to integrate with legacy systems as they are exciting to purchase.

3 Questions to Ask Before Writing Mobile Apps

Every insurer wants to join the app parade, but is it worth the trouble?

What Do People Want To Do On Life Insurance Websites?

Little conclusive research and evidence has insurers guessing as to what will keep customers happy with their websites.

3 Ways Social Networks Can Deliver Business Value

Despite the fact that social capabilities have been talked about for years, many companies struggle with enterprise integration.

Variable Annuity Hedging from an ERM Perspective

The global financial crisis and subsequent economic developments have brought to light critical weaknesses in existing hedge programs.

Cyber-Risk Mitigation: We Get it

Potential voluntary federal guidelines foretell a future that may require keeping a close eye on the balance between collaboration and control.

Survey Reveals Mainframe's Achilles Heel

The insurance industry runs on mainframes, but who will be running the mainframes?

The Benefits of Real-Time, Round-Trip Rating

Bridging data from the carrier's system to the agent system in real time removes several barriers to agent/carrier relations.

6 Big Data Best Practices

As insurers turn to big data for answers, Oracle offers up six tips for easy integration.

A Sexy New Role in Big Data

The rare yet emerging data scientist is a hybrid of data hacker, analyst, communicator and trusted adviser, making him a powerful asset to an insurance organization.

5 Steps to Harmonizing Marketing and Operations

Dissecting the consumer experience to find the most important touch points and evaluate brand harmony can say a lot about a brand's ability to garner loyalty.

Consolidation, Virtualization and Cloud Computing: The Future of Data Centers

The drive for greater IT efficiency is delivering green data centers as a byproduct.

Changing the Rules of Online Insurance

Online consumer research and aggregators are again changing the way insurers approach the market, how can insurers stay focused on the consumer experience?

BYOD Benefits Beyond Mobility

Amidst the security headaches, the technology that comes along with BYOD holds new possibilities for insurers.

IT: Ready for a Seat at the Table?

Faced with vetting the merits of existing and emerging technologies, IT is also being asked to recommend cost-saving ways of generating new business.

Insurance Industry Picks Up Social Business Slack

Recent studies place insurers in the middle of the pack in terms of social networking adoption, but are they getting enough out of it?

10 Ways to Prevent Data Breaches

Examples of insurance data breaches point to just how common they are, and what usually causes them—internal abuse and mistakes.

How Innovation is Derived from Counter-Intuitive Business Plans

Hear enough examples of companies employing technologies for reasons beyond serving the same old markets, and you begin to see some trends.

8 Lessons in M&A Survival

Margins, claims exposures, expense controls and investment returns are driving struggling carriers back into the M&A game.

The Edge in Insurance Analytics: Agents

There will continue to be gaps in analytic findings, to fill those gaps, insurers need to keep investing in the most powerful analytics system on the planet—their agent networks.

New Challenges Require a New Mindset for Insurance

Emerging technologies and the business changes they require upon implementation were the main topics of discussion at Celent's recent peer networking event.

Telematics: Growing Up In Public

As the technology has matured, so have the marketing messages supporting it.

Insurance Growth Tied to Data, Cloud

Data and cloud continue to pave the way to profitable initiatives such as telematics and customer management.

4 Commonsense Strategies for Data Testing

IT managers and data architects can take steps to make sure data applications get same level of testing as software.

Embrace Hackers’ Latest “Toy”

“Frankenstein”—a proposed self-camouflaging malware propagation system—represents a challenge and an opportunity for insurance IT and risk management professionals.

How Well Do Senior Executives Really Understand IT?

New survey finds corporate leaders lack 'digital literacy'; and this holds back growth.

Ask and You Shall Receive Disruption

At this year’s Celent’s Insurance Symposium-Creative Disruption: Technology and the Future of Insurance, three insurers will take to the stage to give us attendees “some” and “more” disruption from the past, present and future.

Agent Org Honors Carriers

Progressive, The Hartford among the companies honored recently by the Applied Systems Client Network for being on the cutting edge of agent-carrier communications and technologies.

Is Cloud Really Safer for Data Storage?

A recent survey points to a dramatic increase in confidence surrounding cloud storage, but a couple unique challenges persist. Here's how to mitigate them.

Insurers Lag in Data Testing

If your data quality is suffering, testing can optimize processes and ensure effectiveness.

Before Insurers Move to Cloud, They Need Service Orientation

Much of the difficult work of cloud has already been sorted out in SOA. Unfortunately, SOA is often misunderstood.

Breaching Big Data's Biggest Challenge: The Skills Gap

Insurers, more so than companies in other industries, are now data companies that need to adjust IT talent and operations as soon as possible.

When Leadership Gets Out of the Way

How do business and IT best accomplish the needs of their organization? We might take a lesson from a systems engineer.

The Push for Paperless Disaster Preparations

Disaster recovery and business continuity plans can lure companies into a false sense of security; there's only one way to make sure your business is prepared.

Changing the Insurance Outlook for Young Drivers

How a start-up telematics insurer is allowing U.K. insurers to look at young drivers completely differently.

Get ORSA Over the Finish Line

Delays in updating risk management only serve to damage credibility and open the door to unnecessary dangers.

Will Legacy Systems Outlive Our Ability to Run Them?

Blog: As IT talent retires, so does the system knowledge and business logic it carries with it.

Progressive and the Power of Social Networks

This week, the insurer found itself at the mercy of the Internet, leaving the industry to question its consumer-centric and social media strategies.

6 Steps to a More Successful Business Transformation

Although it happened nearly 20 years ago, business leaders can still use the lessons learned from Lou Gerstner's IBM overhaul.

A Second, and Third, Look at Cloud Security

While advances have been made, insurers need to remain vigilant when assessing the cloud security offered by providers.

Committing to Continuous Improvement with Analytics

IT needs to play a critical role when analytics is used pervasively throughout the enterprise, and business has an obligation to communicate expectations and trumpet its success.

Taking the Risk Out of Big IT

IT projects tend to become riskier as the size of the project increases, to combat this, insurers should consider "chunking."

Ambiguous Threats and Strategic Risk Management

One way to practically screen for potentially significant threats is to evaluate prospective ones against an insurer's exposure concentrations.

Some 'Cloudy' Job Descriptions

A new survey from CompTIA finds more than three out of five companies are adding new types of skillsets to their IT departments to keep up with growing cloud requirements.

Agents and Insurers, Face-to-Face

A bus tour brings agents and insurers together to discuss what each side can do to further the ambitions of the other.

Are Closed Blocks Life Insurers’ Nuclear Trash?

With the costs and risks of dealing with closed insurance blocks increasing over time, insurers need to begin planning ahead.

10 Questions to Ask Before Embarking on Cloud Computing

Uncertainties abound when cloud comes into the picture; while some questions may be situational, here are 10 that help assess where and how cloud will be useful.

What’s at the Heart of Business and IT Alignment?

Breaking down the barrier between IT and business mindsets needs to come from a mutual understanding of an organization's collective goals.

Why Cloud is Here to Stay

Insurers' measured moves to the cloud are building confidence in the platform as concerns move from security to risk management.

Cyber-Risk and the Insurance Industry's Double-Edged Responsibility

A recent survey found cyber attack to be among the world's top five threats, which means insurers have a big responsibility to help others, as well as themselves.

Insurance CEOs Recognize Shift to Analytics-Driven Culture

Study indicates outperforming organizations are twice as effective at accessing and drawing insights from data.

Social Media and Customer Service—A Personal Experience

Customer expectations are growing fast; social media can be the bridge from frustrated consumers to knowledgable representatives.

IT Modernization Takes More Than Technology

For the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association to modernize its mainframe, BPM is the key.

Cluster Heat Maps Could Help Insurers Make Sense of Big Data

This easy-to-interpret way of organizing data visually has taken off in other industries—insurance is starting to catch on.

12 Traits of the Tech Elite

Tech-savvy businesses are doing more and more to keep themselves ahead of the curve, but these 12 guidelines can help companies catch up.

Apple still does laptops, Microsoft does tablets and Google does iOS Apps

Tech giants taking turns this Summer outlining the next several years of advancements.

Are We Sloppy With Our Data?

A new report reminds us not only that data is the lifeblood of an enterprise, but also that companies are often incredibly inefficient at managing that data.

Can Your Reporting Strategy Meet New Challenges?

The right strategy can make your organization agile enough to keep up with Solvency II and FASB/IASB requirements and standards.

Is BYOD a Good Thing for Insurers?

Extreme approaches to BYOD belie its basic enterprise appeal.

Mining Your Data From the Outside In

Some suggestions for seeking growth and profitability by matching external data sources with existing internal sources.

Technology May Make Customers Happy, But Not Employees

A new study from Deloitte outlines what employees want, and it takes more than social media and new technology to deliver it.

Agency and Carrier Interfaces, Part III

The importance of agile mobile- and Web-based interfaces and why agents are fighting for protected agent-carrier communication paths.

Cutting Through the Confusion on Big Data

Despite excitement surrounding the topic, lack of expertise and understanding regarding big data analytics tools are holding back its potential.

FIO Moves Beyond Words

A cluttered regulatory environment leaves the FIO stepping on some toes, as dispute with USTR may be preventing the release of the FIO’s first report.

Can Marketers and Technologists Find Common Ground?

In a new survey, marketers agree that a better relationship with the technology department will enable them to do more and get better results with their programs.

Is Your Operation Ready for Mobile?

The many competitive advantages mobile can offer go to waste if you're using quick fixes to bring your back end up to speed.

Social CRM Market Begins to Crystalize

Vendors are beginning to prepare for the growing demand for enterprisewide social CRM.

Auto Insurers Online: Few Leaders, More Laggards

Insurers and consumers seem to disagree about what a website should focus on, and nowadays, the consumer is always right.

A Business Process Manifesto

Here's what BPM can and should mean to your organization.

Customers are the Disruptive Force in Insurance

With the advent of self-service and social media, customers now own company brands.

A Tale of Two Mobile Strategies

Implementing mobile can be an expedient process, but reaching mobile customers requires a completely distinct mindset from mobilizing field-service employees.

Predicting the Unpredictable

The Invisible Gorilla, New Coke and other phenomena can teach us to anticipate and embrace unexpected twists.

More Analytics Means More ROI

A new report outlines the incentives behind four stages of analytics implementation.

Codifying Software Development Can Lead to Disaster

Purchasing new software to solve your technical problems is only the first step; maintaining agile, situation-specific development processes is equally imperative.

Is the Elasticity of the Cloud for Everyone?

For insurers, evaluating elasticity requirements when looking into the cloud may lead them to hold back.

Agency and Carrier Interfaces, Part II

Automation must be focused around agent-carrier relations so agents can keep doing what they're supposed to be doing: selling policies.

Are We Getting 'Social' Fatigue?

In the next couple years, social projects with clear business objectives that allow for quantifiable ROI will be an unavoidable goal.

Surviving and Thriving in 7 Steps

Maintaining agile operations and a strong technology framework are at the core of successful organizations.

Do Insurers Really Need Data Scientists?

Demand is outweighing supply for data experts who can connect the dots behind big data usage, but where will a growing supply come from?

Quality Over Quantity and Social Media Engagement

Engagement is the flavor of the week, yet accruing likes and shares on your company's Facebook page may not mean anything unless you're targeting correctly.

Security-Savvy Execs Share Their Secrets

Recent survey recognizes that security extends well beyond IT among best-practice companies.

7 Characteristics of Successful Companies

Between leadership, marketing and operational tactics, certain approaches and mindsets are needed to avoid the pitfalls of the post-recession market.

Hit People Where They Want It: The Customer Experience

America’s first CIO Vivek Kundra offers lessons learned while working with enflamed costs and an IT budget of $80 billion.

Insurance CIOs Describe Their First Steps into Cloud

Cloud is on everyone's radar—but not yet in everyone's data center.

How Openness Can Drive IT Security

Instead of trying to bunker your systems, Deutsche Bank's head of IT security urges open, frank discussions as the best resolution to security issues.

Welcome to the Tech-Savvy Era of Consumerization

CIOs enter the spotlight as insurers look to navigate new market terrain controlled by consumer wants and needs.

STP and Product Development: Lessons Learned

The success of straight-through processing and product development upgrades relies heavily upon operations adjustments.

Breaching the Life Insurance Sales Gap

Potential consumers already believe they need more coverage, however, they need to be approached just the right way.

How Aflac Uses Good Enterprise Architecture to Grow Business

A well-grounded IT architectural approach provides the agility required to foster rapid growth.

Agency and Carrier Interfaces, Part I

The relationship between carriers and agents thrives on technological initiatives that simplify communicating and transferring information.

Where Cloud Does and Doesn’t Work

Applications, data security, hidden costs; here are the pros and cons of engaging or resisting a cloud migration.

The Price of Technological Progress

Technology is rapidly transforming human interaction into informal communications, how can the insurance industry react?

7 Ways to Make Enterprise Architecture Work for the Business

Cloud, mobility and analytics require a focused, enterprise approach—here's how to deliver.

Evaluating Enterprise Software, Part One

What information to seek out before purchasing an enterprise upgrade and how to find it.

How the Cloud Could Transform the Role of Health Insurers

Cloud storage and analytic capabilities could reassign the health insurance industry to the role of data intelligence intermediary.

Acquisition Integration, in Hindsight

Monitoring performance and financials before integration is completed can provide invaluable insights down the road.

Virtualization as a Disaster Recovery Strategy

For one insurance company, a hurricane inspired IT managers to build a better business continuity solution.

Planning for Generation Y

Customer engagement and why you need to start catering to the next wave of tech-savvy, demanding insurance consumers.

When Data Goes Against the Grain

Three measures of a customer’s worth using analytics that might lead you to question age-old business paradigms.

Six Business-Changing Ways to Use Big Data

These tools and methodologies, such as Hadoop and MapReduce, can help insurers unlock the real potential of Big Data.

Which Insurer is Best with Social Media and How Long is a Piece of String?

Social media's versatility makes it impossible to assess objectively, but there are many examples of companies employing different strategies very effectively.

The Fine Art of Nudging

Depending on how insurers utilize the nudge, it can either enhance or undermine customer service credentials.

How One Insurer Signed Off on Cloud Security

The carrier's first foray into the cloud came with security concerns that lead to more in-house control over compliance solutions.

Succeeding in the Enterprise Without Even Trying – Part 2

Apple's presence in the enterprise is expected to grow still more pervasive in 2012.

Technology in Agency Offices Boosts Profitability

It's easy to become servants to your technology—for agents, making technology work for you is key.

Federal BYOD Report Has Lessons for Insurance Industry

'Bring your own device' means more productivity and better service to customers, but are they secure enough?

E-Reputation Insurance and Trusting Social Data

Can insurers try to leverage social data to open up a new market? If so, would that affect the value of that data for claims/underwriting purposes?

IT Security Making Strides, But Don't Let Your Guard Down

Data security threats evolve even as organizations successfully lock down their systems.

A Return to Fundamentals

A more optimistic outlook among most industry executives should mean a reinvigorated focus on the fundamentals behind achieving operational excellence.

Insurance IT Spending Is Up, But Who Will Run It?

Insurance companies are committing to technology-led expansion, unfortunately, particularly for IT hiring efforts, so is every other type of company.

Will Health Insurers Be Rendered Extinct?

Thanks to this week’s Supreme Court oral arguments, insurers have an opportunity to rethink how they conduct business.

Cloud as a Job Creator

What IDC's recent projections of cloud job growth mean for insurers.

The Impending Insurance Architect Crisis

The trickle-down consequences of increased outsourcing and reduced developer footprints could be a severe lack of in-house talent.

How Allstate Crowdsourced a Vexing Data Problem

Is crowdsourcing a legitimate, sustainable method of solving business problems?

Visualizing Success

For dealing with the immense complexities behind regulatory and risk concerns, static data and spreadsheets may not cut it.

An IP Address for Every Device in the Galaxy

Upcoming IPv6 Launch Day means a permanent switchover. Are all your systems ready?

The Teaser Behind Telematics

Automakers’ recent move to incorporate smartphone hubs into production and the recent outcries against distracted driving could put insurers in precarious position.

Mainframe Skills Shortage Worsening

New CIO survey reveals growing concern over who will be able to run back-end systems.

A Migration of Major Importance

Why insurers are increasingly pressured to toss their hats into the policy admin ring.

Open Source Options Abound

UK government compiles exhaustive list of open source alternatives to major software needs.

How to Become a Cloud Business

With cloud, you may simply improve your IT operations, or you may disrupt the entire industry.

Augmented Reality and Auto Insurance—One Step Too Far?

Could Google's Android glasses push the limits of innovation in the insurance industry?

Become a Social Business In 18 Steps

Key considerations for building a truly social business, on the inside and outside.

9 Tech Trends Shaping the 'Post-Digital' Era

A convergence of tech forces are creating a “new norm” for insurance companies.

Using Data to Drive Decisions

Jeremy Lin and confirmation bias: How analytics are finding a sure-fire way to upend the status quo.

The Heartland Hullabaloo

Think tank Heartland Institute issues another hyperbolic statement, this time on leaked—and possibly fake—documents containing climate change information.

What Motivates Mobile?

LIMRA survey of 53 life insurers finds vast majority currently engaged in mobile activity directed at producers.

Tapping Facebook's Social Potential

How agents can use Facebook to reach out to policyholders when they need it most.

Why Enterprise Architecture Matters

As insurers' IT infrastructures become more complex, EA provides a roadmap for technology investment decisions.

5-Step Guide to Tackling Back Office Savings

Well-executed initiatives in the back office can deliver bottom-line savings, are you up to the task?

The Pros and Cons of the Cloud

In light of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's recent release of cloud guidelines, here are six good reasons to go to cloud and four reasons to be cautious.

CIO Stepping Stones to Success

Translating technology options into business opportunities the chief concern of CIOs looking to strike the perfect balance.

The Big Push for Big Data Skills

As analytics becomes a key competitive differentiator, the skills needed to manage stores of data are in high demand.

Invading Social Networks

Which U.S. P&C insurance company will be the first to use a social network as a platform to transact insurance?

The FIO Fizzle

As a deadline passes, the Federal Insurance Office’s report on modernizing insurance regulation remains a no-show.

More Regulatory Storms Brewing

Department of Housing and Urban Development proposal an example of why insurers need to engage evolving regulatory risks, rather than bunker down and weather the current storm.

Is Loss Control a Lost Art?

With all the tools and technologies at our disposal, isn’t it just good sense to hold clients’ contractually accountable for known risk management prevention efforts?

Nine Good Reasons for Considering Cloud

Business-minded as well as tech-savvy, this list points to the efficiencies and shortcuts that accompany the cloud.

Data Breaches a Wake-Up Call to Management

IT professionals reporting major data breaches outline the ways executives become more engaged and supportive of data security efforts in the aftermath.

An Introduction to Creative Disruption

While creative disruption can be a factor in insurers’ quest for business growth, getting disruptive requires—careful—thought and planning.

Will GPS Ruling Have Implications for Insurers?

The use of GPS technology by SIU teams may be moot when looking at how proactive improvements in the claims arena may make a bigger difference.

The Big Unanswered Social Media Question – Where’s the Money?

The aspirations of social media networks to glean larger profits from global user bases could intersect with insurers quest for expanded, universal outreach.

Can Insurers Benefit from Another Database in the Cloud?

Amazon's recently unveiled NoSQL offering promises to pack a lot of capabilities into the cloud, but does this mean anything to insurers?

Social Media's Part in Selling to the "New Consumer"

The new market demands a nuanced approach to reaching consumers, one that involves subtle tactics using today's networks of influence.

The Age of Data

Analytics is the becoming the technology du jour.

A Historical Discussion of Business Management

Business principles of management dating back 100 years still provide insights into fostering continuous growth and efficiency.

Succeeding in the Enterprise Without Even Trying

While others have spent millions and billions selling into the enterprise, Apple is almost as ubiquitous as Windows PCs in corporate offices without even trying to be.

Customer Service is Meant to Help, Not Hurt

Charging customers fees to conduct e-commerce is a bad idea and will create scrutiny and ill will; something insurance carriers always need to avoid.

An Infinity of Risks

Persistent economic, social and environmental risks are conflating to menace insurers.

The Impact of Social Technology on Young Adult Drivers

New studies confirm many teenagers and 20-somethings prefer keyboards to dashboards.

Is It Just Me? #1: Insurance Commercials

Are the majority of insurance commercials trying too hard, and missing the point of marketing as a result?

Gartner's Dire Warning to the Insurance Industry

The potential commoditization of insurance products means companies need to focus on self-service Web presences.

SEC Busts Broker Dealer Offering Securities on LinkedIn

Many positive ways to look at this proactive approach to preventing fraud conducted over social media sites.

Has the IT Hiring Boom Returned?

Insurance companies are now competing with start-ups and tech-savvy companies for a shrinking pool of IT talent.

The Social Media Trend for 2012 – the End of Social Media Groups?

Internal use and consumer outreach using social media will undoubtedly persist, but it may take marketers to push the format to flourishing heights.

The Year Ahead, According to Gartner

CIO stress, a Big Data mess and cloud trustworthiness: Five predictions for IT in 2012 and the years beyond.

The Year in Review: Caution Remains the Byword

Without previous levels of investment return, the industry's IT stance remained conservative.

2012: The Year We Finally Take Hold of Our Data

Cheaper, more powerful tools and a new breed of specialists will help insurers better understand their customers and markets in the year ahead.

Will "Process" Trump "Project" in PMO?

To properly address the pending changes in health insurance, organizations should have both project management and process management offices in place

Insurers Will (Cautiously) Invest in Technology in 2012

The industry continues to struggle with a bad economy and tough catastrophes, and technology will be asked to do more than ever, but at a reasonable price.

The Battle Over Automotive Connectivity Takes Shape

In the face of the NTSB's recommended ban, auto manufacturers are gung-ho about adding more connectivity in the car.

'BYOD' – Bring Your Own Device – Now the Norm

Off-the-shelf consumer devices present conveniences for IT staffs and employees alike, but the list of potential risks they present warrants concern.

A New Hope for Cloud Security

Insurers are skeptical about the cloud, but new developments could lend hope to a secure future.

Emerging Technologies in Insurance

The industry's struggle to assess and implement the right technologies at the right time.

Data Storage Continues to Attract IT Funding

As IT budgets begin to recover, storage and file recovery are hot items.

Payoffs From Cloud Computing Still Up in the Air

New survey shows savings from cloud computing are barely making a dent in corporate IT budgets. Is it time to rethink the approach?

The FIO Has A Full Plate

After its first public event, the magnitude of the task facing the Federal Insurance Office becomes apparent.

The Rising Cost of Property Repair

Keeping property repair rates down requires not only proper initial assessment, but occasional re-evaluations from an underwriting perspective as well.

Microsoft, GE Venture Should Aid Health Insurers

Potentially simpler interconnectivity and cheaper information dissemination processes could make insurers, and insureds' wallets, very happy.

Insurers and Their Struggle to Appease Web Customers

New survey puts insurance companies at the bottom of the list in terms of consumer-friendliness on the Web.

Thumbs Down to Gesture Recognition Technology

Risks continue to outweigh the benefits when it comes to implementing technologies of convenience behind the wheel.

Google Plus' Staying Power

Fledgling social network offers unique potential if search engine personalization comes to fruition.

The Seven-Second Rule, Revisited

Many companies still operate in the dark while unknown numbers of customers are turned away by websites suffering slow or tedious processes.

Want IT Job Security? Learn COBOL

Despite pressure to upgrade and leave legacy systems behind, COBOL has remained not only relevant, but common among IT systems within the industry.

Agile Manifesto Report Card

10 years after the original call for agile business philosophies, where are insurers prevailing and what do they have yet to learn?

Identifying Top Tasks Becomes Essential with Mobile Sites

Competition and customer expectations leave little room for error when it comes to website performance, and that pressure only increases with customers using mobile platforms.

Economic Uncertainty Puts IT in a No-Win Situation

With a bearish market persisting, IT is expected to deliver miracles without the luxury of economic hardship as an excuse.

The Low Interest Rate Conundrum

Life insurers need to craft mitigation strategies for a prolonged low-rate environment.

What, Exactly, is a 'Mainframe' These Days?

Where do you draw the line between distributed servers and mainframes? Is there even a line anymore?

What Does Horace Know Anyway?

Properly going through the steps leading up to an IT project, means that by the time actual work begins, the battle should be more than half over.

Lessons to be Learned from Massive Data Breach Lawsuit

Recent suit filed in Sacramento should serve as a reminder that when it comes securing data, there is no room for error.

Can Social Media Become A Boon to Health Care?

Some say social media can serve as a comfortable setting for learning and receiving encouragement from others suffering similar circumstances, but how can patients verify the information's integrity?

Mobile Devices, Tablets, Laptops, PCs – Is There Really a Difference?

The conveniences of small size outweigh certain impracticalities as tablets and smartphones enamor insurance executives and agents.

IT Effectiveness: Applying Business Analytics to IT Organizations

Here's a lesson on how to assess IT performance by connecting it with business results...

Top 18 Insurance IT Outsourcers Named... But What Kind of Market Awaits?

Outsourcing is still a multi-billion dollar industry, but the future is getting cloudy as the market braces for a transitional phase.

Will Smartphones be the Only Technology Needed by Claims Personnel?

As technology evolves, it may be that smartphone-toting field personnel are capable of doing their job anytime, anywhere.

Underrepresented? Maybe for Now

Women are leading the way in both technology and business.

The Great Glacial Evolution of Policy Admin Systems

Business necessity – or perceived lack thereof – holds back many modernization efforts.

Auto Voice Recognition Brings Challenges

Unabashed consumer desire and expectations are spurring the implementation of voice recognition into automobiles, yet questions regarding the technology's effectiveness and driver safety abound.

Malaise Forever

Insurers waiting for an end to the soft market will be waiting awhile.

Risk Technology Set to Take Off

Growth of spending on risk management tools projected to outpace the growth of overall IT spending, making it the hottest corner of the IT market.

Why are Women Underrepresented in High Tech?

Regardless of whether the IT industry's glass ceiling has been broken, entrepreneurs make for an industry of unprecedented opportunity for women.

Executive Leadership: The Next Generation

As future leaders are identified, groomed and mentored, it is important to know the traits that must be innate and those that can be developed.

Grading Insurers' Mobile Adaptation

Insurance executives downplay their service delivery and mobile capabilities so far, which is promising.

More—or Even Some—Disruption, Please

Insurers believe creative disruption has value, and they want their share.

Time Is Passing, Uncertainty Remains

Three lessons to learn from the ongoing global economic crisis.

In-House Standardization Often Paved with Customization

Carriers need to strike a balance between standardization and customization when writing policies and paying claims.

Drivers Welcome More Distractions

A new survey says drivers want more connectivity behind the wheel and that they think automated driving is not far off, but is that what we really want?

Calls for an IT-Marketing Alliance

As the industry becomes increasingly digitized, marketing and IT must inevitably learn to utilize the integral skill sets they can offer each other.

The Cloud: Jump in Now or Wait?

Cloud technology may solve storage problems, but only while creating security challenges.

It's Quality, Not Quantity, That Counts in Analytics

Using Wayne Gretzky as a model for effectively processing Big Data.

“Did I Just Tweet my Account Number?”

Monitoring the data made available via social media networks goes beyond internal oversight.

When Data Integration Isn't Enough

How one financial services outsourcer reduced the pains of taking on new customers.

The FIO, Congress and Shaping Industry Regulation

The FIO Director's testimony hints at the sustained power of state insurance regulators and the influence of the FIO report due in January.

The Risky Business of 'Doing More with Less'

Reducing expenses remains a key priority for insurers, but how much reduction is too much reduction?

Buying While Blindfolded

What procurement and vendor management functions should be doing for you, and a can't-miss guide on how to use them more effectively.

IT: Manage Thyself

Five things IT executives should do to enhance the profitability of their departments.

How Will We Price the Risks of Car Interface Technologies?

The glut of new interactive technologies for cars being tested presents several layers of challenges to those who must evaluate automotive risks.

ACORD's '2020' Initiative and Today's Integration Headaches

Delivering standards across changing technologies and platforms is a fast-moving target. What can we do to shore up our efforts?

Gaining Consumer Trust

As the insurance industry is perceived as increasingly untrustworthy, the candor of social media provides a bridge for the current communication gap between policyholders and agents.

Big Data, Big Questions

Everyone wants and needs to 'compete on analytics,' but who will assure the right data is being used?

The Latest Hacking Tool: The Smartphone

A new report says Smartphones can be used to record keyboard input, increasing the risk posed by such devices to the enterprise.

Speaking Out on the Insurance Industry’s Reputation

If there was ever a time to work extra at improving the industry's image, an unfortunate, natural disaster-prone 2011 may be it.

Creative Disruption - The Votes Are In

A survey of 90 insurers found customer service experience and product design contribute the highest amount of potential value to creative disruption.

Federal Recommendations Will Do Little to Stem Cyber-crime

Guidelines asking for disclosure of cyber-attacks aren’t backed by regulation or mandate, so why should an insurer willingly shoot itself in the foot?

Should a Machine Be Deciding Whether a Claim is Fraudulent?

With success in fraud detection, automated decision management could spread to low-level decisions in policy administration, underwriting and more.

Why Help Desk Outsourcing Is Not Worth It

A new study shows, surprisingly, that outsourcing internal help desk functions is declining, despite the cost savings.

Demonization of Insurance Hurts IT Recruiting

Getting a job is tough everywhere, but IT job seekers still put insurance at the bottom of their wish lists.

IT Concerns for Coming Year Shift from Budgets to Business Ops

New survey of CIO's 2012 priorities begs for a definition of "IT and business alignment."

Do You Really Need that Bus?

Reverse the hiring process with capacity management, a focus on internal productivity and a reduced emphasis on arbitrary goals.

Do Consumers Prefer Electronic or Physical Mail?

Insurers take note: The USPS suggests that customers appreciate the safety and security of paper statements sent via snail mail.

Why Insurers Will Miss Steve Jobs

Jobs' ability to simplify the complex created a consumer-driven culture that will force insurers to improve how they conduct business for years to come.

The Build vs. Buy Debate

Actually, there are four methods that are still to be considered by insurers when replacing a system...

Solid State vs. Magnetic Drives: Cost vs. Efficiency

There’s no question that solid state drives cost more than their magnetic counterparts, but do the costs still outweigh the benefits?

State of IT Security

IBM's annual X-Force report reveals the latest trends and abandoned tricks among IT security threats.

The Game Has Changed: Why Haven’t Insurance Companies Adjusted?

The insurance industry has come to call for rapid adaptation, yet core modernization methods remain antiquated within many carriers.

Balancing the Next Great Idea and Exceptional Execution

Everybody seems to constantly be on the lookout for the next big business breakthrough, but what if that big breakthrough is already right in front of you?

New Strategy Helps Spot Critical Software ‘Hangs’

A frozen screen is annoying, but when that screen is part of a mission-critical application, the consequences could be far-reaching; a new software tool offers hope.

New Sea Level Data Casts Doubt on Threat of Melting Ice

NASA says the overall sea level has declined over the past year, so what are insurers to think?

3-for-1: Increased Profits, Employee Retention, Service Quality

With precise tools to monitor performance out of the office, home-based service representatives are proving themselves a worthwhile investment.

IBM’s Watson Debuts in Health Insurance Sector, Can P&C Be Far Behind?

A natural-language supercomputer holds unlimited potential in unraveling uncertainties surrounding claims and conditions.

Carriers and Agents Not on Same Page With Social Media

An IVANS survey reveals why agents are so reluctant to look to social media for communications and customer service.

If Social Media is the Solution, What’s the Problem?

Word-of-mouth has always been powerful; social media is simply supercharging the process.

Why Telematics Will Move the Industry

Real-time, location-based intelligence is transforming the way auto insurers operate.

United States Not Among Nations with Lowest Malware Intrusion Risk

Proactive response is the key; government action is not the answer.

Is Big Data in the Eye of the Beholder?

What's different about today's 'Big Data' when compared to 'Big Data' in 2000 or 1990?

How Agile is Your Organization?

Agile may not be a new methodology anymore, but just because it's been around for a while does not mean it's being used optimally.

As Online Tracking of Consumer Behavior Gains Sophistication, Privacy Issues Arise

How far is too far when it comes to gathering and sharing information about potential customers?

Social Networking Provides 'Near Sensing' for Risk Analysis

GIS and social media converge to provide a 360-degree view of what's happening on the ground after disasters.

Terrorism Still Risky Business

TRIA may have survived budget cuts, but insurers are still struggling to manage terrorism risk.

How Much Do 'Legacy' Systems Hold Back Carriers' Business Opportunities?

Some surprises emerge as I rehash INN's Legacy Systems Study in light of attempting to update my auto insurance.

Systems Running Slowly? Take Out the Trash

Researchers say that old and useless files are taking up valuable space in our systems, space that data-intensive insurance enterprises can’t afford to lose.

Insurer Perspectives on Core System Modernization and Cloud Computing

Recent discussions on modernizing legacy systems and evolving with cloud computing in the insurance industry reveals transitions are happening quicker and more frequently.

Natural Disasters and the Strategic Role for Social Media

Hurricane Irene and the recent earthquake have made evident the importance of social media; the trick now is to maintain the connection to improve readiness.

Social Media's Arrival: Relevant, Impactful and Surprisingly Complex

Like walking a tight rope, with social media you cannot remain stagnant or ignore it, yet moving forward presents even more uncertainty as compliance enters the picture.

The Mainframe Remains a Viable Option for Insurance

While insurers are dealing with the limitations of “legacy” systems, newer mainframes are making headway by solving legacy problems.

Connecting With Your Customers in a Natural Disaster

Social media, text messaging, customer assistance and catastrophes: How Irene and the recent earthquake have taught us to communicate.

How Innovation Became Apple's Way

Steve Jobs' visionary personality often lead him to create against the grain, making it that much easier for him to reshape our personal and professional lives in profound ways.

Vertafore’s Move Helps Insurers Gain a Bigger Piece of a Smaller Pie

In a low-growth economy, technology consolidation enables insurers to increase the production of existing agents, expand into new channels and monitor performance of all sales activities.

Can an Entire Company Run on Open-Source Software?

There are seven sets of open-source applications that run everything from front offices to CRM.

Are You An Advocate For Creative Disruption?

Though the core systems technologies and services may have reached critical mass in terms of supporting creative disruption, there's always room to ask: What if...?

Want to be Greener? Replace Your Hardware

It seems the demands of virtual and cloud technologies may be overheating older insurance hardware systems, but will we replace them?

IT Steering Committees: Do They Have any Power?

A new study says most IT operations have and use steering committees, but do these committees have any real say in what goes on?

A New Recipe for Fraud: Caskets Filled with Cow Parts

Ghoulish? Sure, but how can the industry fight the real cause of insurance fraud?

It's All About the Customer Experience

Rethinking marketing resource allocation and service-delivery functions to serve customers in light of a continuously shifting buyer's journey.

What Exactly is a 'Data Center' These Days?

Data centers range from huge industrial complexes to shipping containers to smartphones.

Can Predictive Analytics Revolutionize Risk Management for Health Insurers?

Computer modeling has successfully predicted the geographical spread of West Nile virus; can other diseases be far behind?

Sustainable Compliance is Achievable, Thanks to Analytics

Using technology to stay ahead of the seemingly impossible compliance curve, and saving a few bucks in the process.

Why Carriers Care About Consumers' Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

Most insurers accept Facebook as a platform integral to their online strategies; indeed, one insurer reports that 30 percent of its Web traffic originates from Facebook.

New Economic Turbulence: What it Means for IT

Will new problems with credit ratings and international economies short-circuit growth in IT spending? Quite possibly.

Social CRM is Much More Than Social Media

Although the insurance industry can be found cautiously lagging behind social media trends, savvy companies can be found making the simple dynamic and social CRM their endgame.

Amid Cloud Security Concerns, Mother Nature Raises Her Ugly Head

Data security isn’t the only risk associated with cloud computing; physical security is also a challenge.

Changing the Priority of Social Media Tools

There are multiple examples of how social media data can impact operational results at insurance companies.

What's Really Holding Women Back?

Women's leadership has come a long way, but as long as women focus their energies on the problem, not the solution, they will continue to play a role in perpetuating a negative trend.

Auto Safety Device Claims to Read Minds

An experimental device is alleged to read a driver’s intention to brake, but its practicality and reliability is questionable.

Agile, Around for 10 Years, Finally Surfaces in the Enterprise

Under-utilized and misunderstood, the agile methodology, if handled correctly, helps deliver software and systems with greater speed. In today's hyper-competitive economy, this is essential.

Top 5 Issues to Consider When Choosing a Vendor

How will you ensure that the vendor you choose will stand the test of time and will truly become your strategic business partner versus just a technology provider?

Growth in IT Spending will Take Time to Reach Insurance Industry

A forecast increase in overall IT spending and in cloud computing funding will have to wait for insurer fears to subside.

Data-Sharing: Where the Insurance Industry Leads the Way

The insurance industry is seen as a prime example of how to handle data-sharing the right way; namely, collecting data on policyholders' driving habits in order to offer discounts for safe driving behaviors.

Consumers Want Health/Wellness Devices, But Safety and Privacy are Issues

An IBM study confirms consumer demand for technology, but hurdles remain.

10 Key Considerations to Help Prepare your Conversion Strategy

Converting to a new PAS is much like running a race. Preparation is critical, regardless of the distance.

Google Plus – Yet Another Point of View

Maybe Google Plus will do no more than shake up Facebook ... or will it fragment the audience, making each platform less valuable?

Cybersecurity Bill: Too Little, Too Late?

Congress is patting itself on the back for its new bill, but the fix is far less than is needed.

What's Next After Social Networking? Pulling All The Data Together

What's required is an enterprise tool that can capture and process social media conversations for management and maintenance by the carrier, not the social network service.

Weak Demand Drives Outsourcing Decline

Other factors, including a bottoming-out of the recession, likely have also played a role.

The Great Outsourcing Disruption

Outsourcing may be down a bit, but there's a compelling value proposition in the idea of looking to cloud providers to acquire bite-size chunks of services when needed, paying only for what is used, when it is used.

Small Potatoes are Harder to Peel

Deciding where to cut the budget is never easy, but insurers that focus on department metrics, communication with stakeholders, and a thorough review of work performed will be at an advantage.

Attacks on Implanted Medical Devices Could be a Problem for Insurers

The big worry in cybercrime is data or systems loss, but hacking into implanted devices may also be a cause for concern.

Slaying The Keyboard Dragon

The user experience is changing for the better, in both subtle and dramatic ways.

Is End Point Lockdown the Answer to Data Security?

Insurers have tough decisions to make in order to strike a balance between security and loss of productivity.

A Great Business Case for Better Analytics if There Ever Was One

Is there technology out there that can save insurers from mistakenly classifying luxury automobiles as farm vehicles?

Poised for Recovery: a Powerful Preparation

Insurers that employ value analysis will be on target to see cost-effective improvements that produce expense savings and position the organization for rapid, cost-effective growth.

A One-to-One Dialogue or Shouting to the Crowd -- Your Call

Is social media about transparency and creating a dialogue with customers, or is it a relatively inexpensive way (to date) to reach large numbers of potential customers? This is an important debate for all insurers.

Insurers Join Push for Cloud Data Standards

User organizations are banding together to establish baseline for cloud data interactions.

Survey Reveals Shift of IT Decision-making to CFOs

A power struggle is developing between CIOs and CFOs, and the loser will be our enterprises.

Social CRM: Buzzword or Something Far Deeper for Carriers?

Social CRM may ultimately lose its cachet, but until then, the insurance industry is just beginning to explore the possibilities this new dimension of data provides.

Industry’s ‘Dull’ Image May Actually Protect Against Some Breaches

Some say hacking has become a form of entertainment; if so, the insurance industry is likely safer than many.

Aligning Business and IT: The Keys to Synchronization

Winning management teams have adapted to new dynamics, achieving the jet squadron’s equivalent of focused synchronicity in translating shared plans to targeted results.

Hey Facebook and Google: Why I’m Liking it and Looking Forward to +1ing it

Social networks and their features are changing the way we interact with the world, each other and with insurers. The insurance industry will be forced to respond.

Are Operating Systems Still Relevant – Or Something That Gets in the Way?

The OS is something we're thinking less and less about, as we focus on higher parts of the stack.

Hey Facebook: I'm Not Liking It

Without talking to my "friends" directly, I have no way of knowing why they clicked on the Like button, rendering an analytical tool of questionable value even further devalued.

Collaboration: Are We Capable?

If we collectively suffer from a bad rap, it's because our industry lacks a community of leaders that can act as an organized front—a cohesive voice that can rebrand insurance as a prominent and respected force in financial services.

Insurance CIOs Want to Shake Up the Established Order: IBM Study

With a focus on growth rather than simple cost-cutting, insurance CIOs are trying to deeply change the mix of capabilities, knowledge and assets within their organizations.

IT Spending in Insurance: Good News and Bad News

Insurance is said to be leading a tepid revival in IT spending for 2011, but the overall picture is anything but encouraging.

USAA Top Place to Work in IT; Tops in Customer Service: Not a Coincidence

USAA's corporate culture fostered on the inside is reflected out to the market.

MDM: Erratic, Pervasive or Both?

Once master data management becomes a reality, companies that hope to truly leverage it will need a tool that marries different platforms, different architectures and different brands of MDM.

How are Insurers Going to Keep People Patching Mainframe Systems in a World of New IT Opportunities?

Insurers will be challenged is to make work on legacy systems as interesting and fulfilling as any social networking startup may be.

Behind the Curve: Slow Delivery of Consumer Mobile Apps

The insurance industry needs to emphasize mobile initiatives and begin to guide consumer expectations rather than sit back and watch.

More on Failed IT Projects: Readers Sound Off

My blog on “Why Do So Many IT Projects Fail” touched a nerve with readers who offered more possible reasons.

The Clash of The Insurance Technology Shows

It pains me to have regular conversations with industry participants of all persuasions where we all agree that there is room for two big industry shows a year, but not within weeks of each other.

Remote Body Monitoring: Will We Allow It?

New research is advancing the notion of remote healthcare monitoring, an obvious plus for health insurers, but social factors may inhibit adoption.

Toothpaste or Toilet Paper?

By comparison, insurers must decide which initiative(s) to fund out of many worthwhile projects; developing an objective decision-making model can both help you choose the best projects and build corporate buy-in.

Social Media - Insurers are from Mars and Agents are from Venus

When creating an “influence channel,” insurers and agents could really help each other: Insurers need social media fan recruitment, and agents need content.

Five Key Points That Should be Part of Every Social Media Policy

Insurers need to formulate sensible policies surrounding the use of social media.

The CIO Perspective and Adoption of Social Media by French Insurers

Still sorting out how they can leverage it, almost one-third of French insurers are considering investment in social networks, a clear sign demonstrating that value can be generated from data gathering from and customer interactions through this medium.

Why Do So Many IT Projects Fail?

Experts at the IASA Educational Conference and Business Show came up with lots of potential answers, but a solution continues to elude us.

Big Data, Cheap Storage

Without dirt-cheap storage, there would be no Big Data. And no cloud for that matter, either.

Change Management - The Lynchpin to a Successful PAS Transformation

Undergoing a PAS replacement affects nearly everyone in the organization, as well as agents and insureds. As a result, organizational change management is essential.

It's Not About Al, Ara

Scientists and the insurance industry are wise to ponder the potential impact of climate change.

More on Gore: Insight or Manipulation?

Another INN blogger had a different take on Al Gore’s speech at IASA, but in the end, Gore cannot escape the slick image he earned as a politician.

Reaping the Benefits of Parkinson's Law

How does the strategically-focused insurance organization avoid the anomaly of Parkinson’s Law, especially given the current economic environment?

Gore Says Adjust Actuarial Tables for ‘Climate Crisis’

At IASA, Gore could not resist diving into what he called the “climate crisis” and its alleged importance to the insurance industry.

Gore: Systems Define Our World

Former Vice President Al Gore touched on everything from Moore’s Law to Minnie Pearl while pondering the impact of technology on the insurance industry, during his keynote address at the 2011 Insurance and Accounting Systems Association conference in Nashville.

Halftime Between Spring Insurance Shows

Core systems renewal and improving the customer experience help optimism hold the lead over pessimism.

11 Steps to 'Save the Database, Save the World'

Organizations need to defend their data assets against internal threats, not only disaffected workers but also trusted administrators who hold the keys.

Cybercrooks Follow Money and Trends to Mobile Apps

Insurers contemplating integrating mobile platforms into their enterprises must take heed of this disturbing trend and make tough calls.

Life Insurance Payouts, Silos, and Data Management

Insurers fail to pay timely benefits because life and annuities business units’ motives for discovery of insureds’ demises differ and their separate blocks are administered on siloed platforms.

The Insurance Industry’s Far Out Future

At the ACORD Loma Insurance Systems Forum, speakers presented a compelling vision of how the mobility, the cloud and Big Data are set to reshape the industry.

Seven Key FAQs on SOA: How to be as Service Oriented as You Can Be

SOA has seen a resurgence, largely because most insurers are contemplating a move to cloud – public, private, or hybrid – and need the supporting infrastructure to make it viable.

Tech Vendor Partnerships: Why So Many, and Why Now?

Does this mean that our technology providers have emerged from the economic sweat lodge and are now gathered around the tribal fires chanting “Kumbaya” for your benefit? Probably not.

Are Insurers Ready for Renewed IT Skills Crunch?

To compete for skilled IT pros in this reviving economy, insurers will to market themselves as great places to work, and offer open, flexible working arrangements, likely with compensation tied to performance.

3 Keys to Creating an Innovation Culture

“Innovate or die” is a phrase often bandied about these days, and for insurance companies, it’s advice to take to heart.

Tech Will Take Insurance Where No Policy Has Gone Before

Japanese companies are selling “one-time” policies for risks that are interesting and surprising, thanks to wireless technology.

Familiar Themes and Challenges Emerge at 2011 ACORD LOMA Systems Forum

The annual insurance technology conference saw shifting trends, but issues from the past remain a challenge.

Social Media Adoption: Is it as Viral as we Think it is?

Adopting social media for business purposes is all the rage among journalists and analysts, but on the ground, it has yet to achieve traction in insurance.

Space, Power Squeeze will Force Data to the Cloud… Slowly

A data center industry survey sees operations migrating to the cloud as resources dwindle.

How Do You Back Up 50 Terabytes?

Cloud computing may help meet some the challenges that are arising from Big Data.

Data Loss Often Due to People Who Just Don’t Care

A recent article identifies the types of individuals who are likely to cause internal data security problems, but many such problems are caused by folks who put themselves first.

Telematics is Back ... and This Time, It’s Here to Stay

Niche brokers and insurers should view telematics as a market differentiator, and auto insurers should think of as a means to meet impending legislation.

Electronic Medical Records Face Multiple Challenges

Most everyone agrees they are needed, but the practicalities are the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

Overlooking Data Security

Shockingly, there is a stunning disconnect between consumers who are increasingly concerned about data breaches and the boards responsible for preventing them.

Mobile Technology’s Dual Edge

As the use of geolocation data from mobile devices draws consumer complaints and legislative scrutiny, insurers need to proceed with caution.

The Benefits of Social Media Dialogues Are Not All Talk

Even seemingly trivial discussions can help insurers identify brand advocates.

Developing a Distribution Strategy

Remember this when creating your strategy: It’s not about how you want to sell, it’s about how your customer wants to buy.

During a Catastrophe, it’s the Carrier’s Time to Shine

The recent storm surge affecting great swaths of the nation has placed the onus on carriers to demonstrate superior customer service with swift claims handling.

Despite Predictions, Agents Won't Go the Way of the Dinosaur

For at least the past decade, some have been predicting the extinction of agents, but there are many reasons why they will continue to thrive.

10 Keys to Mobilizing Your Policy Admin Implementation

A successful PAS refresh requires the collaboration of individuals representing the program management, business and IT functions.

The Insurance Innovators' Dilemma

Idea management systems are just one option for insurers looking to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

The Flood Insurance Follies

Financial and political hurdles continue to dog policymakers and serve to create a stalemate that will affect the program’s fate.

Social Media: Boon or Burden?

Insurers need a firm strategy when employing social networking channels.

4 Myths Surrounding Disability Income Insurance

Agents and advisers should be well versed in the facts and fallacies regarding disability income insurance.

Will Insurers Soon be Challenged to Manage Non-Customer Data?

The emerging social aspect to MDM makes insurers’ strategies around collecting and retaining data gleaned from social media engagements all the more important.

The Key to Successful Online Marketing: Getting People to Pay Attention

A new study demonstrates that most users are unable to focus on a single media channel for very long, so how do we get customers to stop and look?

Will Amazon Crash Shake Industry's Tenuous Confidence with Cloud Computing?

While cloud may have turned the IT world upside down, the basics of business continuity remain the same.

When is it Time to Replace Your PAS?

There are scores of companies out there ready to sell you a policy admin upgrade or total replacement, but deciding when to move is like trying to pick the Kentucky Derby winner.

Big Brother Really is Watching You

Apple says it will correct “flaws” that enable it to track iPhone users, but what impact will the privacy/location issue have on auto insurance?

Beyond Analysis

In this economic landscape, insurers are looking for solutions that assist measurable achievement of operational goals, and position the company well for profitable growth.

Vendor Troubles Must Be Taken in Context

Amazon's recent snafu resulting in outages among its EC2 customers' sites raises the question of how insurers should steel themselves for such a situation?

Social Networking Will Show Business Value as Usage Grows

Social media may still be thought of as a separate emerging technology by insurers, but soon it will be the norm.

Insurance: Are We a Commodity Yet?

Technology should enable complete automation of underwriting to the point where getting insured is a simple plug-and-play process, but will that happen?

‘Only' 4 Million Records Breached in 2010—That's Good News, By the Way

While the number of records breached dropped from 2009, the overall number of breaches rose to its highest-ever level.

Analyst Survey Brings Dual Relationships Into Question

An Innovation in Insurance survey confirms that carriers value the input and advice of analysts, but don’t always trust its objectivity.

The Writing is on the Walls … Literally

At USAA, the commitment to innovation is readily apparent.

Debunking Myths: What Are Seniors Doing Online?

People think seniors' online habits revolve entirely around looking at their grandkids' pics on Facebook, but they're surprisingly active when it comes to advocacy.

Don't Try to Go it Alone with Master Data Management

Good governance is the key to keeping MDM initiatives on track at Protective Life.

Linux Turns 20 (And They Said it Wouldn't Last)

Linux revolutionized the software distribution model to the point where we now also have open source databases, middleware, development tools and even business intelligence tools.

PC Shipments Are Off: But Why?

A reported decline in PC shipments in the first quarter is blamed on everything from the growth of the tablet market to the Japan tsunami, but perhaps there is a much simpler reason.

Court Grants ‘Permission’ to Stop Virus

Crazy as it sounds, the Department of Justice needed a court order to disrupt a botnet that has been operating for a decade.

Data, Data Everywhere and Not a Drop to Think

Insurers attempting to "boil the ocean" when developing a successful BI initiative will fail every time.

Insurers Can't Grow by Breaking Even

The industry, on the whole, is less profitable than it was 40 years ago. So how do we turn it around?

Research Confirms Benefits and Dangers Await in the Cloud

Cloud computing offers a variety of advantages, but security concerns will grow with the technology.

5 Steps for Insurers to Maximize Profitability

Through a combination of key technologies and partnering with the business, IT can help insurers achieve profitable growth.

You May be Doing a Great Job with Data Security—But What About Other Departments or Partners?

The Epsilon breach should make insurers question how their data is being protected once it’s outsourced.

Facebook Reveals its Server Secrets

Ultra-efficient server design will interest insurance technologists looking to trim energy usage in their data centers.

Looking for Social Media Advocates? Don't Ignore the Obvious

Carriers need to help their agents leverage social media to attract new clients.

Gadget-Driven: Vehicle Safety Meets Cool Technology

Insurers may be interested to learn about these 5 innovations in auto safety technology.

Security Breach at The Hartford is a Dire Warning

While the insurance industry has been relatively free of major security problems, a new breach at the Hartford is an ominous sign.

The Hippogryph—A Blend of Old Beasts to Help Insurers Fly

Insurers are finding that they must create a new role in their organization—one that merges IT discipline and business know-how.

Are Insurers Ready for “Lean IT”?

One insurer has already gone Lean, and is reaping the rewards.

Will Gates Succeed Buffett at Berkshire?

In wake of David Sokol’s exit, speculation mounts surrounding Buffet’s possible successor.

Epsilon Breach: If the Blast Didn’t Get You, the Fallout Will

A huge security breach yields only customer names and e-mail addresses, but that’s more than enough to cause significant problems.

One Size Fits All, or Does It?

Oftentimes, the one-size-fits-all mentality doesn’t hold true for insurers trying to implement best practices learned from other companies.

Why Won’t Insurers Spend to Defeat Fraud?

Experts say insurance fraud has grown in the current recession, but insurers seem unwilling to fund anti-fraud measures

3 Keys to Mastering Your MDM Approach

Master data management is insurers’ best recourse to unlock the siloed data often associated with multiple applications for each line of business.

10 Steps to Choosing a Policy Admin Vendor

It’s imperative that insurers’ business priorities and the competitive industry benchmarking process drive their selection of a PAS vendor.

Breaking Ground: Insurers Investing in Retirement Communities

A couple of Chinese insurers have found a creative way to extend the retirement business value chain.

Policy Systems: Crumbling Under Their Own Weight

There is no easy answer, but for many insurers, the necessity to upgrade is dire.

Electric Cars: Consumers are Ready, but are Insurers?

While not yet mainstream, electric cars are being mass-produced, and carriers need to get in the driver’s seat when it comes to insuring them on the roads.

Lots of Technology Going into New Health Insurance Mandates

Much like how SOX spurred IT spend at the beginning of the last decade, the federal health care reform law is sparking a similar trend.

When it Comes to Risk, It’s All in the Presentation

If perception of risk depends on how it’s described, we need to look closely at the descriptions before making risk-based insurance decisions.

What Does the Post-PC Era Mean for the Insurance Industry?

Given Apple's proclamation that its iPad 2 has sparked the "post-PC era," CIOs are worried that this new era will spur an arms race—upgrading to the best hardware available every two years.

Automakers, Electronics Firms Tout Connectivity, But Ignore Security and Safety

Car manufacturers and consumer electronics giants are working together on a connectivity standard, but seem to be ignoring vehicle and data security.

Mirror, Mirror: How Fair are My Business Analysis Competencies?

For many insurers, skill development in business analysis is often insufficient to maintain sustained performance at sufficient levels.

Just How Big is Big Data? It's All Relative

As experts express their opinions on the topic, the only consensus is that “Big Data” is a very fluid term.

Meet the New Boss

Insurers may openly welcome Obama’s pick for FIO chief, but risks remain in the rule-making process.

Auto Security Vulnerability Poses Problems for Insurers

OnStar and other remote services provide many benefits, but also open the door to theft and vandalism.

The Murky Legalities of Social Media

Aflac’s situation with comedian Gilbert Gottfried’s Twitter comments about the Japanese disaster has shown that insurers must develop well-defined and well-communicated social media usage policies.

The Power of Asking the Right Questions

Sometimes, leaders can get the most benefit from simply changing the approach used, the questions asked and the focus of attention.

A World of Trouble for Risk Managers

Economic, compliance and geopolitical risks are top of mind at ERM symposium.

Mobile Computing Changes "Heartbeat of Data for the Enterprise"

With mobile computing, employees in the field can access executive dashboards or alerts that impart streams of critical information.

Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami: Let the Blame Game Begin

As the reality of devastation and loss of life sink in, some seek to point the finger of blame at technology.

Mobile Telematics: Implications and Opportunities for Insurers

As part of a broader mobility strategy, telematics has the potential to fundamentally transform the customer/insurer relationship.

Prediction Meets Reality

French insurance CIOs divinations proving true; the nation's pending tax reforms could impact the life insurance industry for years to come.

Is Technology Really the Answer to Slow Insurance Market Growth?

A new report says the economy will continue to stall growth in insurance, and points to technology as the competitive differentiator, yet IT budgets are not increasing significantly.

It's Time to Think Bigger When it Comes to Cloud

Cloud computing can be an enabler of entrepreneurship and organizational transformation.

How Service-Oriented Are You? Take This Test

Working toward service-oriented architecture is a worthy goal—find out where your company ranks.

Al Gore Brings His Message to Insurance, but It’s Not About Climate Change

While the former U.S. vice president regularly rails against climate change, he has now found other topics on which to opine.

Improving Business Analysis from the Bottom Up

A practical development approach delivers skill and process enhancements as part of software development.

3 Steps to Achieving a Successful Acquisition

Being ready with the right execution framework, tools and organization structure is the key to a successful integration.

Watson: A Useful Tool for Insurance, But Not a Trusted Ally

IBM’s Watson-type systems were inspired by science fiction, but until they can understand context, they will be flawed.

You Get What You Pay For

P&C agents have their work cut out for them trying to get customers to understand why homeowners coverages cost what they do.

Cloudify a Mess, Get a Cloud Computing-Enabled Mess

If you have inefficient processes or a creaky, hidebound management culture, don't expect technology to smooth things over.

Driving a Car with Your Thoughts—Possible, But is it Practical?

Scientists have built a system that lets you steer with your thoughts, but insurers will have a tough time rating drivers.

More Employees or More Technology—What's the Best Path to Growth?

The arguments for each tack are compelling, but is the economy poised to help insurers reach their goals?

Designing a Policy Administration Transformation Roadmap

An incremental approach can help achieve business benefits during transformation.

Reaching the Most Mobile Customers of All

A truck insurer is king of the road when it comes to mobile app development.

Watson-Type Automation: How Do I Get It?

Advanced AI systems like those being developed by IBM sound great, but acquiring such systems is another matter.

Growth, Growth, Growth and Throw Out the Customer Service While You're At It!

As carriers chase down growth, policyholders are left with inflexible service and often brutal customer experience.

AI in Insurance? Elementary, My Dear Watson

IBM says its Watson computer can do more than defeat human Jeopardy champs; it can be a tool for better and faster insurance processes.

Cloud, Social and Mobile: Are Things Moving too Fast to be Secured?

Companies are concerned about application vulnerabilities, mobile device management.

An Insurance Technology Paradigm Shift

Three IT executives offer some telling evidence that they are forging a path for others who want to earn a spot at the business table.

Social Media Moguls as Financial Prospects? Risky, of Course

A report cites social media millionaires as potential wealth management clients, but the risk profile is not pretty.

Progressive Phones Home

The insurer announced that it's letting Florida policyholders sign up for a program that tracks their driving habits and adjusts their rates accordingly.

6 Techniques to Make Analytics Work for You

The speed, scale and accuracy with which you translate analytics into operational improvements can create major cost and competitive differentiators for your organization.

IBM Hits 100: Can You Imagine Your IT Vendor Being Around One-Tenth as Long?

As any good insurance exec knows, a company is only as good as its last customer service call. IBM knows this too—that's part of why it’s still here.

We Have Seen the Enemy, and He Works for Us

Insurance professionals who want to stop the unauthorized flow of data to criminal sources should start by looking within their own enterprises.

No Small Matter

Mobile devices are booming, but may never become the computing platform of choice for enterprises.

Legacy Systems Have More Lives than a Cat

Everyone seems to agree that legacy systems are a drag on insurance processes, but aren't today's new systems tomorrow's legacy platforms?

Can 'Smart Dust' Make for Smarter Insurance Systems?

The rise of ubiquitous and mobile computing is creating a range of new innovations, limited only by imaginations.

Cost of Cyber Crime Keeps Soaring: How Worried Should We Be?

The cyber barbarians are at insurers’ gates—is your data secure?

Medical Robotics a Thorny Problem for Insurers

Even robots can make mistakes, but when a human life is involved, who takes the blame?

Mobile Apps: Too Many Eggs in Too Many Baskets?

Mobile browsers, which are readily available and can be supported on any mobile device, may be a better option for insurance IT departments with overstretched resources.

CIOs: Beware—Attack of the Bosch Dishwasher!

Today’s CIO should be less a technologist, and more a business person who creates advantages and differentiators using technology

Mobile/Wireless Operators’ Security Postures ‘8 to 10 years Old’

Insurers and others who trust sensitive information to wireless transmissions are putting themselves at grave risk.

Claims Investigations Using Social Media

The first step for many claims investigators now is to scour social networking sites for information.

How Digital & Social Innovation Challenge the Insurer Business Model

Understanding how to leverage social media, winning customer loyalty through service and finding new innovations can make a world of difference for insurers.

Another View: Are Cloud and Mobile 'Fools Gold'?

While much ballyhooed and potentially important, insurers should first take a breath and think about where they fit into the big picture.

Government Tracking of Mobile Devices is a Double-Edged Sword

Tracking cell phone and other device locations may aid in fighting crime, but it could also violate privacy and hamper efforts to track vehicles for insurance purposes.

The FCIC Farce

After 18 months of study, presidential commission finds that everybody and nobody is responsible for the financial crisis.

Location Awareness: A Blessing or a Curse?

While it may be all fun and games for kids and consumers, the glut of location-aware services pose an increasing claims threat for insurers.

When Insurance Companies Become IT Businesses

Some insurers have recognized this large base of skills and assets, and found ways to leverage them.

The Evolving Arc of Analytics

SAS co-founder & CEO Jim Goodnight reflects on the promise and challenges surrounding business analytics technology.

The Costs of Hiding From Vendors

While many vendor calls to insurance execs aren't immediately valuable, maintaining an inward-facing world view and ignoring what's happening in the industry can be detrimental.

You Can’t Cure ‘Gullible’

A new report says smartphone users are more likely than PC users to fall victim to phishing and providing confidential information.

'The Social Network' Misses the Real Drama

While the movie portrays Facebook as a platform born of a grudge by a jilted, love-struck student, insurers are taking the site very seriously.

Governance Provides the 'Guardrails' that Guide Service Orientation

SOA is so pervasive, it impacts everybody in an organization from top to bottom.

Obama, Hu Play Nice on Intellectual Property

The presidents of the U.S. and China say the right things, but details, as usual, are sorely lacking.

The Business Case for PAS Replacement

10 things CIOs must take into account when justifying the need to transform core systems.

Social Media Meet Customer Service: Caveat Venditor

No longer is a simple customer transaction an event that is unlikely to damage a company’s reputation and brand.

Elementary, My Dear Watson: Can a Machine Win at Jeopardy?

A computer of Watson’s power would be a definite boon if available to insurers.

New Technology May Boost Efforts at Fraud Detection

Catalan system sifts through large volumes of data to find patterns of interest.

Why IT Matters, Especially When It Comes to Sales

Aflac’s CIO discusses how technology has made a significant difference for the company’s agents and employees.

Spam Finds New Life on Social Networking Sites

After what seemed like a lull over the holidays, spammers are back at it with renewed gusto, and social networking sites offer fertile ground for growth.

From Flying Cars to Solar Power: Transportation Innovations of 2010

Underwriters had their work cut out for them last year trying to figure out these vehicular advancements.

SOA Removes the Fog from Cloud

Cloud, technically speaking, may be a simple concept using existing technologies, but don't be fooled into thinking that's all it is.

New Hard Drive Survives Drops, Water and Shotgun Blasts

New ioSafe model may appeal for rugged insurance field operations.

Mobility is Great, But Desktops Will be Around for a Long Time to Come

Can you imagine conducting all of your day-to-day business on a smartphone? Yeah, didn’t think so…

The Definition of Insanity

Before your New Year’s resolutions begin to fall by the wayside, you should ask yourself the following questions.

Privacy vs. Exhibitionism: Why Social Media are Dangerous

How can insurers protect privacy when insureds place so little value on it?

Legacy Modernization Tops List of 2011 Challenges – With Good Reason

We know mainframes can take a pounding, but they also need to be responsive and Web-aware.

The Speed and Cost of Complexity

What’s hidden below the surface is what drives disproportionate cost in your organization.

It’s a Relationship Business

Despite the prevalence of the trusted adviser model, relationships are expensive and at low premium levels, not worth the investment.

Forecasting 2011: More Wireless, More Cybercrime, Less Privacy

In the year to come, popular sentiment will push wireless device growth in insurance/financial services, but increasing security problems will push back.

Insurance IT Loses a Bright Light

Judy Johnson, a much-heralded and beloved figure, passes away.

SOA: A ‘Mutual’ Approach to Technology

Those who view SOA as a "magic bullet" may consider taking a more realistic approach to its implementation.

The Fearless Forecast for 2011

How will insurance and financial services IT react to a recovering economy? The guru tells all.

An "Official" Guide to Writing Apps for the Mobile Web?

With much at stake, insurers may benefit from mobile web best practices being issued by an international standards body.

6 Predictions for the Year Ahead

One thing is certain: Technology will play the most prominent role in all efforts.

The 6 Signposts of Change Management

Paying attention to the signs and reacting properly will result in success.

The Year in Perspective: Peering Nervously From the Bunker

When it comes to IT, insurers kept their investment cards close to the vest in 2010.

‘SOA is Anything But Dead in Financial Services'

Despite popular opinions, many firms continue to take a smart approach to SOA.

8 Customer Experience Trends For 2011

Insurers may want to take heed of these trends and incorporate them into their own customer experience strategies.

IT Spending to Improve, But Not for Full-Time Personnel

Our industry needs a glimmer of hope in this dreary time.

More Responsive IT Key to AIG-Chartis' Recovery Plan

By streamlining and enhancing IT operations, Chartis already has recouped about $127 million in infrastructure savings.

As Social Media Sites Mature, New Privacy Concerns Emerge

Surprisingly little data combined with new technology can uncover connections between individuals that may hurt insurers and insureds.

How to Avoid Your Own 'WikiLeaks'

A culture of complacency hampers information security efforts, and as a result, sensitive corporate data is vulnerable to tampering and theft.

Reflections on Asian Insurance in 2010

Despite significant global economic struggles affecting all financial services firms, Asian insurers persevered to create innovative products and business practices.

'Paperless Office' Still a Dream, but 'Less-Paper' Office Finally Here

Improved searchability and knowledge sharing are just two of the benefits of the “less-paper” office.

3 Must-Have Web Technologies for Insurers

Courier services and pizza places already have websites with robust sales and services features; insurers should, too.

Online Security Enters a New and Scary Era

For those not on thin-client hookups, the message is clear: Know what applications are on your systems and how they work.

Make Vendors Fight for Your Business

Gone are the days when a single vendor—or even engaging two or three vendors—is a viable strategy.

Unemployment Numbers Especially Troubling for IT

Between anticipated insurer cutbacks and increased outsourcing of operations, the picture isn’t rosy for insurance IT folk.

Ready or Not, Mobile Apps the Norm

Could mobile apps be making insurance fun and friendly for the consumer?

Slow Progress on Electronic Medical Records Spells Higher Health Insurance Premiums

If it costs more to process medical records, someone will have to pay those costs--but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Mobile Users Buy Their Own Devices ... Is This a Bad Thing?

While insurers still have to pour money and resources into developing for different mobile platforms, end-users have alleviated much of the pain.

2011 Will Be the Year of Uncertainty

It's never been more important for insurers, especially in the UK, to talk to the business about how and where IT can contribute to cost containment and profitability.

The Weirdest Things Ever Insured (Part 2)

Celebrities aren't the only ones protecting "unusual" assets from potential risks.

The New Space Race: Who Can Build the Most Powerful Computer?

Nations are vying for the exascale computing crown, but are we prepared to handle the speeds at which our computers will function?

Can New Underwriting and Business Tools Lead to Mid-market Expansion?

Today’s new business and underwriting systems offer broad functionality for producers and underwriters, and with the right strategy, could lead to big wins for both down the road.

Aggregators: Online Insurance Sales as a Service

The Swiss government defines aggregators as brokers, leading to an interesting situation in which insurers pay them for use of their platforms.

Revenue Down, Claims Up, Expenses Flat—Oh My!

Carriers still challenged with aligning operating expenses with the "new normal" should pursue a transformational strategy rather than an incremental approach.

Economies of Scale for Clouds, Calculated

Private clouds still present the same maintenance and hardware costs that companies have been struggling with all along, say some industry analysts.

Vulnerability of Internet Data Spells Trouble for Insurers

Report of Internet traffic hijacking highlights danger.

The Weirdest Things Ever Insured (Part 1)

Celebrities have long been insuring their most valuable assets, but sometimes those assets can be a little over the top.

As IT Jobs Go Overseas, Role of IT Evolves

While IT grunt work may be outsourced, the need for talented managers and professionals who understand both business and technology sides remains.

Global Warming to Cause Colder Winters?

As climate researchers turn verbal somersaults to explain their findings, insurers will remain perplexed over future weather patterns.

Is Your IT as Good as You Think It Is?

Many insurers think their IT departments can do as good of a job—or better—on a project than a vendor, but they may not be right.

Picking the Right Mobile Horse

Many believe that the future for insurers is in the mobile Web.

Privacy and Political Pandering

The outcome of the current administration's efforts to clamp down on Internet privacy may create a positive spin for President Obama—and migraines for insurers simply trying to conduct business.

Learning to Put Innovation Online

Sometimes, all it takes is a little imagination … and some collaborative software to kick-start the process.

We Need A Breathalyzer For Stupidity

As studies confirm the promise and limits of traditional safe driving initiatives, technology may provide an answer.

Health Claims Database Moves Forward, Security Lags Behind

The feds say it will be a “secure” system, but definitions of security vary.

The Humble Checklist

Complexity, timeliness, effective teamwork, risk mitigation, cost management and delivery—all aided by using a checklist.

The New IT Mantra: Get as Close to the Customer as Possible

IT is now called upon to play a more proactive role to help insurers advance in a new globalized, hyper-competitive environment.

Obama Straddles the Fence on Outsourcing; Yet Lost U.S. Jobs a Reality

The President does his best to mollify India while dismissing the idea of lost jobs at home as “an old stereotype.”

Is Social Media a Game Changer?

Many in the insurance world are still slow to recognize social media as a viable tool and an effective way to reach the customer.

Seven Steps for Taking the Risk Out of IT

Although depended upon for virtually every aspect of the business, IT still has issues that are shrouded in uncertainty.

Will Election Results Roil the Regulatory Landscape?

Republican plans to overturn Dodd-Frank and Health Care Reform are long shots; the real action may be elsewhere.

Mobile Devices, Social Networking Prime Hacker Targets

A new report sees wireless devices and social networking applications as enticing targets for cyber-criminals.

What You Don’t Know About Veterans Benefits Can Hurt Your Clients

Like many other areas of specialized knowledge, this information can be invaluable and will position you as a value-added practitioner.

Common Sense Management Will Help Avoid Many Software Glitches

Insurers can take simple steps that ultimately return far more than what they initially cost.

Software Bugs’ Effects Magnified as Systems Take Over Businesses

For years we have accepted that software glitches are inevitable, but we can’t afford to allow that to continue.

Maybe IT Should Stand for 'Innovation Team'

As an innovation inabler, IT needs to be able to turn things around faster than ever, and at the same time, let the business guide the process.

Wireless in the Enterprise Raises Thorny Questions

Though the devices may be inevitable, whose devices will be the standard?

Nationwide's Secret for Shared Services

The insurer enables five different business lines to tap into common data services supported by a data warehouse.

It's That Time of Year Again...

The dreaded budgeting process is well underway (hopefully), and without scenario-planning tools to help with projections, the task can be difficult.

Is the NFIP Doomed?

The recent extension does little to address the long-term viability of financially hobbled flood insurance program.

Revenge of the Thin Client?

Driven by visions of future savings, some enterprises are flirting with the idea of thin clients, but users will not be so easily parted from their desktop PCs and laptops.

Bancassurance Taking Off as Distribution Channel

While many Asian consumers are staring to purchase policies from banks, the majority still prefer the personal touch of agents.

Big Iron is Hot

One of the reasons mainframes are so popular again is their ability to scale to the growing requirements of cloud computing.

Information Should be Managed Like Money

Given its value, it must be treated with the same sense of security and accountability as money.

Toothless Laws, Slimy Spammers Are Trouble for Legitimate Business

Facebook is suing some spammers, but will it really do any good?

Is the Death of the Insurance CIO Around the Corner?

With the inexorable move toward the commoditization of IT, CIOs' duties may eventually float off into the cloud.

5 Steps to a Seamless Linkage Between Business & IT

While the business and IT linkage still is not perfect, it has come a long way.

Next-Gen BI and Analytics: A Lot of Promise, a Lot of Politics Ahead

While insurers have the technology to do amazing things, they must not let organizational issues hinder them from putting it to good use.

Interest in Clean Technology Dims Among Venture Capitalists

Software is still a hot area for VC investment, but green technologies seem less appealing.

Security and Accountability Concerns Create a Market for Information Governance Products

Legal requirements drive tech product development and data management policies.

Analytics for All: Why Data Democracy Makes Business Sense

Putting analytics in the hands of decision-makers up and down the line helps affect positive and profitable changes for the business as situations change.

The Good and the Bad of Today’s “New Normals”

Despite the economy's negative effect on insurers' IT strategies, there are a few "new normal" factors in play that may provide balance.

3 Keys to Growth and Distribution Management

Analysts from around the globe discuss regional insights that could aid U.S. insurers.

The Ultimate Competitive Differentiator

P&C insurers still aren’t taking advantage of customer data that already exists within their organizations.

Outsourcing Gains Popularity, But Where is it Best Applied?

If you’re wondering what to do with your IT outsourcing budget while the recession rages on, start by cleaning up your data and processes.

Insurance Industry Scores Woefully Low in Social Media Rankings

Insurers ranked No. 42 out of the top 50 industries in regard to their social media savvy, just ahead of debt collectors and hair salons, but way behind banks, which were ranked No. 3 in a report.

Tech CEOs Weigh In on Federal Budget Deficit

High-powered tech execs have ideas, some of which are actually good.

3 Unevenly Sized Buckets for IT Spending

Innovation, growing the business and keeping the lights on are crucial for insurance IT shops.

Social Networking, Meet Underwriting

Given the emergence of social networks, insurers should consider how the data they provide on individuals is being used—both in their companies and by others.

Stuxnet Poses Potentially Disastrous Problems for Insurers

Vicious computer worm’s intended or unintended victims may include large, highly insured industrial facilities.

Pinning Down Success

Experts offer competing visions on what it takes to make insurance companies thrive.

Why the Insurance Industry Needs a Dog

A puppy may be just the thing to turn the tide of negative public perception.

Welcome to The "Great Inflection"

An outgrowth of "The Great Recession," The Great Inflection may lay the groundwork for new, more innovative ways to do business over the coming decade.

Can P&C Agents Cross-sell Life Products?

Most P&C agents’ attempts to sell life products fail, but there are workable solutions to the dilemma.

BlackBerry's Security vs. Apple’s Appstore—Will PlayBook vs. iPad split IT and Business?

While BlackBerry may be late to the game, insurance IT shops prefer its security features to Apple's.

Recession's Aftershocks Continue

Despite pronouncements that the recession has ended, we're still not back yet to business as usual.

Fostering Employee Creativity

Companies that figure out how to manage for creativity will have a crucial advantage in the ever-increasing competition for talent.

Pronouncements of Recession’s End Rival Disney’s Fantasies for Believability

An economist group might think the downturn is over, but reality tells a different tale.

New Healthcare Law Requires “Massive” New IT Investments

We may just be emerging from a recession, but these IT shops will soon be facing tough challenges in not only standing up new systems, but finding the talent to do it.

Driving Behavior Database Raises Questions of Causation

ISO plans to develop a behavior database to aid underwriting decisions, but it’s important to remember that correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

Facts You Never Thought You Needed to Know About Printing ... But Really Should

Almost 80% of insurers are willing to outsource printing and mailing, but there are other, less drastic ways, to save money.

The “Great Recession” is Over: Now What?

Insurers should look at six key areas going forward to develop a competitive advantage.

Like Doctors, Enterprise Architects Should Do No Harm

Enterprise architects should follow a similar mantra to the Hippocratic Oath, and strive not to leave a system in worse shape than before they started.

The Human Costs of Outsourcing

Outsourcing jobs may or may not be a sensible financial decision, but either way, both the outsourced individual and the company pay the price.

Giving Talent Recruiting a LIFT in a Hyper-Competitive Economy

An effective social media approach to HR and recruiting may be the LIFT needed to get through what will soon be challenging times for insurers.

Insurers Feel the Mobile Pressure

At CSC’s Future Focus, the buzz was around consumers, agents and mobility—all topics insurers can’t ignore.

Acquisition Helps Position IBM for Further Growth in Insurance

Risk management software company is a natural fit with Big Blue’s insurance offerings

The Price of Good Data

Insurers could realize a 105% return on equity as a result of a 10% improvement in data quality and mobility.

Interconnecting With Your Customers

All these technological changes are reshaping customer expectations. What’s a carrier to do?

Late Reporting of Breach Draws Penalty—Insurers, Take Note

A noted Children’s Hospital is appealing a $250,000 fine for not reporting a data breach, but this should be a huge red flag for insurers.

Quantifying the Promise of End User Maintenance

Finding examples in other parts of the company can contribute a focused and meaningful perspective.

IT Leads the New Corporate Renaissance

Technologies such as business analytics are opening up new possibilities for coaxing businesses out of their comfortable boxes.

The Justice System is a Cybercriminal’s Best Friend

When perpetrators of major cyber-crimes get a mere slap on the hand, we all lose.

We're Doing a Lot More With Less: Is This Sustainable?

While the long-term answer is likely no, many companies presently will be able to succeed without hiring new workers inside or outside of IT.

Skinning the Life Legacy Cat

Data migration issues have long held life insurers back from replacing their legacy systems.

Doing More with Less: It's Not Just for Insurers

With the economy continuing to suck wind, vendors, too, need to find ways to get more value out of what they produce.

8 Symptoms of Insurers' Social Schizophrenia

Insurers may want to ensure they're not guilty of providing a vastly different quality of customer service via social media versus other channels.

Align This! Why it's Hard to Sell IT Projects to the Business

Expert believes it’s more about communication and less about alignment.

Competence Counts

A new study and some Congressional testimony reinforce the difference a CEO’s abilities have on company performance.

Slowing PC Market Could Reflect Changes in Device Preference

A new report says PC shipments will diminish over the rest of this year due to a sluggish economy, but maybe people are just tired of large boxes.

Making a Highly Social Industry Even More Social

Hyper-social product development and innovation are the next frontier for insurance companies.

The Surprisingly Fascinating History of (U.S.) Car Insurance

Car insurance has been on the market since 1897—six years after the first recorded car accident.

2 Keys to Optimizing Web Portals

Insurers should ensure that the Web portals being used to simplify transactions with agents and customers don't make things harder on them.

Wanted Dead or Alive: Software Bugs

Bounties on defects make a lot of fiscal sense.

Work, 2020-Style: Will the Insurance Industry be Ready for It?

How do increased automation and the advent of “swarms” fit in an industry that seriously values its personal interactions and relationships?

The Years Ahead

If U.S. and European governments don’t address their chronic deficit and debt problems soon, we may see a major nation’s economy fail in the next five years.

Indian Insurers Successfully Tapping Middle Class

Effective distribution management strategies result in 65% adoption rate among growing demographic.

The History of Insurance: AD Edition

Tracing the history of insurance through the ages, the practice of transferring risk in exchange for money really began to take hold between the 14th and 17th centuries.

Web 2.0 Security: Time to do More than Fight Technology with Technology

Perhaps the answer is to take user-empowered networking and secure it with user empowerment.

Who Knew What, When Did They Know It, and Why Didn’t They Tell Us?

Academics and security vendors say they uncovered Windows vulnerabilities months ago; what did Microsoft know?

When Leadership Isn't a Threat

To ensure effective change within an organization, C-level executives need to cultivate leaders at the business unit level.

The History of Insurance: BC Edition

From the ancient Chinese to the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, the insurance industry can trace its history back to the beginnings of our civilization.

Master Data Isn't Available at the Turn of a Switch

A key benefit of having a common MDM repository is enhanced customer support and increased customer loyalty.

Solid State Drives Do More With Less

New drives are smaller than a postage stamp with no moving parts.

50 Ways to Leave Your Legacy

There are many avenues open for insurers to either migrate or modernize legacy systems to bring them up to code.

The Learning Experience

What have we learned in the past 18 months? In an industry where confidence, stability and trust are critical, we must strive to do better.

Technology is Not the Enemy

The government of India may shut down BlackBerry and other messaging services for security reasons, but is wireless technology really the problem?

Governments Will Keep IT Departments Busy for a Long Time to Come

Compliance only seems to be stepping up, as governments require more information and accountability from enterprises.

Thinking “Inside the Box” for More Data Center Horsepower

Containerized data centers may be a viable option for insurers that want to keep their servers in-house, while keeping their purse strings tight.

Is Bancassurance the Flavor of the Month?

Still slow to catch on in the United States, bancassurance is quickly becoming a major distribution channel in Asian markets.

Self-encrypting Drives Will Bolster Security, Compliance, but Questions Remain

Toshiba drives offer auto-erasing of sensitive data on shutdown, but their limits have yet to be tested.

Does Insurance Need a Big Brother?

In this time of economic uncertainty, should auto insurers align themselves with Big Brother approaches to catching the uninsured?

Zero-Fatality Cars: Very Safe, But Probably Not Much Fun to Drive

Technology may some day enable cars to sense danger and avoid it, but how will this affect auto insurance?

Moving Transactions to the Cloud? How to be Ready

Employing business transaction management practices is a good starting place.

3 Mind-shifts Required in Retirement Space

Understanding your customers and their traits is only the first step.

Google Wave’s Flop Hints at Limits of Social Networking

The innovative app took social networking to new levels, but failed to make it relevant to the humans who tried it.

SOA or Cloud? You be the Judge

Definitions and interpretations aside, an effective SOA deployment can lay the groundwork for cloud formations.

Putting "Benefit" Back in Cost-Benefit Analysis

Grinding out a meaningful cost-benefit analysis is nothing new, but it is the only way to be certain that the varied benefits to your organization outweigh the costs.

Recruiting Talent to an Industry with a Black Eye

The negative public perception of the industry only compounds insurers’ challenges to hiring new employees.

As Enterprises Snooze, Data Attacks Focus on Financial Services

An apparent shift in criminals’ strategies toward poorly protected banking services should spark concern, but does it?

2 Measures that Should be Part of Every Data Security Effort

Many insurers are now securing their databases by "data masking," which removes confidential data elements and replaces them with usable, fictitious data.

Don’t Mess With the Military

License revocations and opprobrium are the inevitable results of those who are seen as having taken advantage of service members or their families.

Can Lindsay Lohan—or the Insurance Industry—be Saved?

Who thought the entertainment industry might be in a position to liberate insurers from an unrelenting bad rap?

5 Concerns Altering the Distribution Channel Landscape

Insurers must devise a plan to communicate with aggregators, properly utilize agents and create an effective multi-channel management strategy.

“Electronic Water Coolers” May Smooth Insurers' Process Deployments

Social networking and BPM could create a new approach to collaboration across organizations.

IT Spending Emphasizes Safe Bets, Short-term Gains

Enterprise managers are keeping their cards close to the vest as they wait for the economy to show more definite signs of recovery.

The Whipcar Use Case for Policy Admin Systems

The business often asks crazy things of IT, but sometimes that craziness can lead to creativity.

Rating Agencies Revolt?

The first ripples from regulatory reform are already being felt.

The Client Side: Are Mobile Devices Capable of Heavy Lifting?

Some think mobile devices are the rising stars while PCs are legacy toast. But is that true for insurers?

As the Worm Turns, Firms May Lose Their Best IT Workers

Survey data reveal that IT employees are more confident about a number of things—including finding employment elsewhere.

It’s a Small World, After All

The concerns of Japanese insurers are very similar to those of their North American counterparts.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

Investments can be made in one area, but if other related areas are forgotten, the initial investment's benefits may be less than expected.

Management Development: Easy as ABC

Many business and IT initiatives fail because decision-making responsibilities are given to under-skilled or under-talented managers who wind up making bad decisions.

Do You Really Want to be “Customer Centric?”

Giving customers what they want seems like a no-brainer, but where do we draw the line between service and servitude?

No More IT-as-Usual in This New Economy

Effective deployment of information technology will be a difference-maker for insurers.

App Store Coming to an Insurance Company Near You?

Imagine the benefit of agents logging in and accessing application processing or customer verification services, or internal departments helping with claims processing or adjusters in the field.

Social Media So Hot, Ben & Jerry’s E-mail Marketing Melts

To reach consumers, the confectioner, like many insurers lately, is eschewing traditional e-mail marketing in favor of social media.

The Truth Will Set You Free—Except Where Money is Involved

Black Hat was set to expose Chinese cyber-attack capabilities until big-money agencies stepped in to silence them.

Plymouth Rock's Analytical Culture

The insurer believes an analytics-based strategy is the future of customer relationships.

Coalescing in the Clouds

Insurers watch and wait as Microsoft looks to standardize cloud services around its Azure platform.

Why Analysts are Still Bullish on SOA

No prior IT architecture initiative has had an impact as positive or broad-reaching as SOA.

Bonehead Ideas Chapter 2: Cars That Enable the Blind to Drive

Researchers and TV shows have already proven that it’s possible, but is it advisable?

5 Key Elements to Tackling Innovation

When was the last time your company rolled out an innovation? Are you playing catch-up?

3 Steps to Good Data

Effective data management and data quality are no longer “nice to have” options.

Internet Behind the Wheel: A Looming Disaster

Consumers want it, but will we survive it—and how do we insure it?

Predicting the Future Role of Actuaries in Insurance

An increase in qualified actuarial resources, and a need to move actuaries into more strategic activities, will offer insurers opportunities that were previously unavailable.

Where Will We Find the Next Generation of Insurance IT Professionals?

Universities have taken up the challenge of grooming willing replacements for needy insurers.

We've Actually Been Talking About Social Media Long Before it was Called "Social Media"

However, we now have new means and methodologies to add to our toolboxes.

Enterprises Bullish on Storage But Cautious on Cloud

The economy, it seems, is forcing us to make choices.

Insurers Emerge Unscathed from Financial Reform

In the face of public anger, and legislators anxious to produce a fix, the insurance industry was able to influence the course of financial reform legislation largely to its liking.

Insurer Portals Will Live or Die Based on How Much Consumers Trust Them

Study shows consumers want responsiveness, but clearly they also don’t trust portals when it comes to more difficult issues.

7 Steps to Lean IT

Insurers are finally starting to stand up and take notice of Lean IT, which has been a staple in the manufacturing world for years.

Measuring the Value of Your Websites

Insurers should look at how many websites they're running, what they cost and if any of those services could be merged onto cheaper platforms.

Feds Overreach Their Capabilities in the National Trusted Identities Program

The federal government wants to build a place where everyone feels safe online, but are they instead creating a tempting target for cybercriminals and other enemies?

Good Candidate for Cloud: Anything That Can be Automated

While it doesn’t make sense for insurers to hand over critical systems to third-parties, there are many other processes that can be handed over without worry.

Study Documents No Recovery in IT Spending

While some hopeful signs are anticipated, economic recovery is still not a reality in terms of IT budget levels.

Architectural Wonders

Even the best-aligned insurers face IT departments not quite getting what the users want, and users not understanding how IT operates.

Regulations Raise IT Hackles

A new tax on British insurance purchases creates a challenge for insurer IT departments to respond in a timely fashion.

Doing What You Said You Would Do

The best way for insurers to differentiate themselves from their competitors is to deliver on this simple promise.

Social Media: Are We Talking About it Because There’s Nothing Else to Talk About?

Pundits and analysts are having a field day with social media for insurance, but is it really that big of a deal?

Top Tech Trends Among Asian Insurers

Asian insurance CIOs tend to be very tech-aware, and are actively pursuing process automation.

7 Simple Steps to Becoming an Analytic Organization

Not treating data quality as an IT issue and taking critical enterprise info out of employees' heads are two of the keys.

When Planning is Impossible, What’s the Plan?

The economic recovery horses are at the starting gate, but when will the race begin, and when do we plunk down our bets?

Nationwide Takes Multi-Prong Strategy to Greener Operations

Insurer says achieving efficient, green data centers need not be expensive or overwhelming.

Data Security: There Really is a Monster Under the Bed

Cyber-security is a rapidly growing problem, but you’d never know it by the response in our industry.

From Big-Iron Weekends to Apps on Demand: Disaster Recovery Morphs into Cloud

Risk management is only the first of many apps and functions that can be delivered via cloud-based services to insurers.

Strong Medicine for a Broken Health Care Delivery System

A more integrated and holistic approach to the delivery of health care is crucial.

IASA Rolls Out Increases in Attendees and Exhibitors—But Why?

The economy still stinks, but the IASA Educational Conference and Business Show came up smelling like a rose.

4 Tips to Get Beyond One-stage Thinking

Most bad business policies involve similar one-stage thinking—the type of thinking that never considers the question: “And then what happens?”

Why Aren’t Insurers Better at Adopting BI?

An industry analyst survey says BI systems efforts aren’t cutting it in the insurance industry.

Two Areas Where Cloud is Gaining Traction in Insurance

Messaging and collaboration, and infrastructure have even the largest of carriers reaching for the cloud.

Branding is Passe, Here's What's More Important

A good reputation will prevail over all, especially in the insurance marketplace.

Business Users: Can We Trust Them with IT Tools?

Vendors are making insurance software tools easier for business users, but how much technology can we leave in the hands of non-techies?

The Power of Three Smart People

Breaking business process problems down into components to be digested by groups of three people can save insurers significant amounts of time.

ACORD LOMA Starts on Road to Recovery

Exhibitors acknowledge improvements, but daunting challenges remain.

8 Biggest Trends in Customer Experience

What insurers can do to enhance their customer experience in the years ahead.

Simple Low-Cost Steps to Greener Operations

For those who see converting to a green facility as daunting or expensive, Aflac has five words: it's okay to start small.

What Keeps CEOs Up At Night?

Seriously engaging and understanding the customer is of dire importance.

Insurance Industry Defended, Then Dissed at ACORD LOMA

A surprising reprimand of national politicians and a less surprising disregard for the industry highlighted the conference’s first day.

Should You Care About Fairness?

One of the keys to good employee management, and ensuring fairness, for insurers is open, effective communication.

Warming Your Business Up to Cloud—One Byte at a Time

Without cloud, insurers risk obsolescence as their competitors may win on cost and efficiency alone.

Regulatory Row Affects Indian Insurance Market

As a result, the government ponders creation of a Financial Stability and Development Council to lay down clear guidelines for the financial market.

LifeLock-type Services are a Natural for Insurers

We provide insurance for those whose identities are stolen, so why not add preventive services?

Green Day for the Insurance Industry

As part of its green strategy, Allstate is pursuing “aggressive virtualization,” which dramatically cut the amount of servers and storage needed to support present and future operations.

Facebook, Meet the Regulators…

Facebook remains an intriguing channel and marketing tool for insurers, and this debate with regulators underlines just how important it could be.

U.K.’s ID Card Struggle Mirrors Privacy Battle in U.S.

The question of how to handle security identification is a thorny one.

What Will Move to the Cloud, What Will Wait

Insurers must ask themselves ‘What?’, ‘When?’ and ‘Why?’ while defining their cloud adoption strategy.

How to Ride—Not Fight—the Social Media Wave

The boundary between where social networking for an employer stops, and personal networking begins keeps getting fuzzier and fuzzier.

The Best Cyber-Defense May be a Strong Offense

The new Cyber Command appointment confirms the notion that we really are engaged in cyber-war.

Increase Accessibility and Process

As insurers expand accessibility for the customer and distribution systems, streamlining supporting processes becomes even more important.

Going Green: Does it Makes Sense in Today’s Economy?

Everyone wants to appear to be a good global citizen, but the bottom line still dominates decisions.

6 Points to Consider in Any Cloud Business Proposal

Expert believes cloud, for insurers, is “the next phase in the logical evolution in the delivery of IT services.”

Business Process Management Finally Graduates from Acronym Stage

BPM was front and center at this year's IBM Impact conference, which may be a first for IT-leaning audiences. The fusion has finally arrived.

Where Do We Put Our Precious IT Dollars Now?

IT budgets aren’t growing, but critical needs are still critical. How do we know when to take the economic recovery seriously?

Taking the Next Step: Producer Relationship Management

Given the importance of distribution management to P&C, life and annuity insurers in 2009, carriers should go one step further with PRM.

Where to Store Data? Security is the Key

There are many ways to store data, but mitigating risk must be priority No. 1.

Looking at SOA? SafeAuto Sees the Benefits

For insurers like SafeAuto that heavily rely on online consumer engagement, robust application uptime and performance means the difference been competitive edge and sure trouble.

Do You Accidentally Have a New Social Media Presence? Do You Want One?

Insurers should keep apprised of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook's latest developments, as they could have profound effects on the business.

To Block or Not to Block (Social Media Sites): That is the Question

Social media outlets are hot marketing tools—and dangerous security risks. What’s an insurer to do?

Surprise: Smaller Firms More Capable of Monitoring Suspicious Transactions

Perhaps this isn't surprising, as smaller firms have a lot more to lose if they have fraudulent accounts in their midst.

Can Google Save Us From Bad Interfaces?

If the insurance industry truly designed technology to meet user needs and expectations, it could avoid a lot of pain and effort by leveraging existing user behaviors.

4 Keys to Self-Service Adoption

Insurers’ self-service strategies should be about bringing together process management and customer experience management.

If Looks Could Kill: New Technology Would be an Insurer's Nightmare

Steering a car with one’s eyes seems like a neat idea ... until you look the wrong way.

Private Cloud, Public Cloud: Bringing Together the Best of Both Worlds

Narragansett Bay Insurance’s CIO offers tips for insurers on how to best leverage the cloud while minimizing risks.

SAP Move Strengthens Insurance Industry Profile

Planned acquisition of compliance specialist firm will pay dividends in an industry sharply focused on complying.

Don't Write Off the Mainframe as a “Legacy” System

While mainframes are still both viable and valuable, perhaps the key to this semantic pretzel is that the needs of the business must come first, and executives shouldn’t rush to adopt new systems simply because they're the latest-and-greatest new tech.

6 Ways to Reduce the Risks of Cloud Computing

Starting slowly and establishing best practices from the outset are two keys to mitigating cloud computing's risks.

Flawed Online Privacy Study Obscures Age Differences

A university study implies that young people are just as concerned as baby boomers about online privacy, but the details tell a different story.

Online Self-Service Adoption Hampered by Consumers’ Tech Fears

Letting customers do the work for themselves obviously saves money for insurers, but why don’t more customers do it?

Can Social Networking Aid Underwriting?

Insurers will increasingly use public, shared data to make informed pricing decisions, which begs the question: How will underwriters use this new information?

“After the Crisis: Now What?”

An IBM report recommends aggressive adoption of tools and platforms that foster collaboration between employee groups as a key to maximizing growth in this recovering economy.

It's Time To Get Your Hands Dirty

As insurers emerge from the economic downturn, opportunities for growth may not follow traditional patterns, nor are things likely to improve as quickly as before.

Meerkats and Insurance Brands

If Tiger Woods' image can have such a profound effect on Gatorade and Nike's bottom lines, can characters in insurers' ad campaigns do the same?

Outsourcing Providers Must Answer to a Higher Standard

Recent security breaches have focused attention on Indian outsourcers at a time when they can least afford it.

A Good Place to Start Cloud (If You're Going to Start It)

Messaging and e-mail are the best starting points for insurers, experts say.

Fight for "Open Internet" Rooted in Debate Over Capitalism v. Government Control

A federal court says the FCC has no authority to regulate broadband Internet providers, but a free-market will still create opportunities.

IT Disaster Scenarios: Time to Revive the Spirit of Y2K?

Expert says insurers should mandate risk management exercises be a part of every IT project.

Cloud Isn't Always the Best Option for Insurers—Here's Why

Expert says one of the most common misconceptions is the belief that cloud computing is a cheaper technology to be implemented and deployed.

Cyberwar: Is the Sky Falling or Are We Just Paranoid?

Two senators warn of impending disaster, but some seem to think the threat is overblown.

What Does Unified Communications Mean?

Unified communications is the integration of various communication media with business process management and workflow.

Online Customer Service Can’t Compete with the Human Kind

It’s no surprise that customers don’t relate well to the machinations of our customer-facing software.

Pulling Out of the Crisis, Companies Turn their Attention to Customers

The challenge for insurers, experts say, is to stay focused on the customer, but without additional funding to do so.

About Density and Penetration of Life Insurance in Europe

An unbalanced UK economy and uneven success across Europe utilizing a bancassurance model have hindered life insurers overall success.

Now That Health Care is a Government Bureaucracy, It's Ripe for Technological Abuse

As a trillion-dollar industry managed by political cronies and policed by the IRS, government-run health care is a series of problems waiting to happen.

Consider this Cloud Application: Fixing Ailing Business Processes

When paired, cloud computing and BPM permit insurers to identify, model and automate mission-critical business processes.

Welcome to 'Healthcare 2.0,' Post-Passage: It's All About IT

Any organization connected to health care is going to need lots of expertise in data management and architecture sooner than later.

Politics and Morals Clash in China-Google Standoff

The Chinese government and Google both seek the moral high ground, but China’s record on the Web reveals hypocrisy.

For Cloud, Hybrid Offers Best of Both Worlds

Insurers can create a hybrid cloud that keeps certain tasks within the enterprise on a private cloud, but leverages the public cloud for other tasks.

When Offshoring Goes Onshore, Everybody Wins

Thinking globally and acting locally, Patni follows the example of Mitsubishi and others that have brought jobs to the United States.

Where the Self-Service Ethic Delivers

The reality is self service is one of the key value drivers in insurance systems these days, and can have a significant and rapid impact on the business.

"Psst, Pass It Down."

When developing new processes and implementing new applications systems, it's vital to eliminate the uncertainty and get the necessary information from those who do the work.

“Why Are You Doing That Like That?”

Creating this type of a dialogue between employees frequently yields greater efficiencies for the organization.

$5 Million Bonus? Beware the Salary Czar!

Would Apple’s show of appreciation land it in hot water with Obama’s salary watchdog?

Better Tools Needed for Financial Decision Making

A new IBM study finds CFOs have gained power as a result of the financial crisis, but lack tools needed to make good decisions.

Lessons for IT Service Vendors: Get to Know Your Clients

Insurers that were most happy with their IT services vendor felt they had a true partnership with their vendor.

Top eBusiness & Channel Trends In 2010

Insurers shouldn't ignore developing mobile apps for customers, integrating social media across all activities and honing multi-channel communications.

Virtual Health Care Will Undermine the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Sure, online health care will save time and money, but it will also alienate patients from their providers.

Insurance Companies Tweet the Most, Study Finds

The average large insurance company has 13 Twitter accounts, according to the study.

Customer Loyalty—The Holy Grail in UK Personal Lines Insurance

UK consumers have learned that their loyalty is usually rewarded with a hike in premiums.

Einstein Will Be Ineffective—Relatively Speaking

A new, more robust version of the federal government’s intrusion detection program could be a blessing for U.S. businesses, but already the specter of invasion of privacy is being raised.

The Promise of End User System Maintenance

While greatly desired by many insurers, this promise is often more aspiration than realization.

Space Cases

While the space insurance market is currently small, one expert says it's vital for sustainable commercial space activities.

Why We’re Losing the Battle Against Cyber-Attackers

Everyone agrees that something needs to be done, but crooks know they can count on government for a phlegmatic response.

10 Keys to Implementing New Strategy

Implementing new strategy requires leadership, executive involvement, a plan, technology and discipline, among other things.

The State of the Consumer in 2010

New studies find consumers are still slowly recovering from the economic maelstrom that hit between 2007 and 2009.

What’s Wrong with Your IT? Try Asking Your Customers

IT is a world unto itself, and that’s part of the problem when it proves to be ineffective.

Can Google Buzz Teach Insurers a Few Lessons About Social Networking?

Leveraging existing assets and getting privacy concerns right the first time are two important lessons insurers can learn.

Go Figure: The Funny Thing About Self Service

The end-goal for many insurers is to bring self service to all aspects of customer and agent interfaces. And everybody wants it.

Temporary IT, or, Where Does Technology Go When It Retires?

Part of IT planning is to consider how a system will be kept up-to-date, and how it will eventually be retired.

What are the Insurance Implications for Commercial Space Flight?

The federal government seems keen on developing commercial space flight technologies, but how do we insure those who go where very few men have gone before?

Firm Gets Kudos for Social Media Strategy; But It's Only an Extension of What It's Been Doing All Along

By opening channels for customer interaction, USAA shows that it's keeping customer care front and center.

When Privacy, Morality and Stupidity Collide

When you do something wrong with someone else’s computer, are you still entitled to keep it secret?

A Healthy Dose of Social Media

The latest social media "trial" is designed to improve preventive care and decrease emergency room visits, the results of which could have far-reaching benefits for its target audience, as well as for insurers.

Repairing a Jumbo Jet While In Flight

The challenges inherent in legacy system maintenance are not impossible to overcome; but they do require a combination of technical and soft skills, and the right leadership in place to anticipate turbulence.

Innovation in Insurance Technology? Don’t Hold Your Breath

The bleeding edge is a risky place, and our industry doesn’t like risk.

The Cost of Quality

Maintaining control over quality should be your strategic objective, but how do you do so when you are forced to cut costs?

PoCs - Protecting Your Investment With the Open Road Test

Most of us would not buy a car based solely on a review of features and functions on the manufacture’s Web site or brochure, and it’s similar in the world of core system evaluation.

Finally, Master Data Management Takes Hold; Insurers Lead

A new survey suggests that organizations are finally starting to get their arms around MDM. For insurers, it could pave to the way to more focused marketing and services.

Privacy vs. Social Networking: The Battle Begins

Google Buzz users went nuts when their contacts were assembled without their consent, but other social media users are only too happy to air every piece of dirty laundry in their baskets to anyone who will listen.

Why Open Source Software Isn't Exactly 'Free,' But Offers Other Advantages

Open source offers rapid turnaround and quicker time to market, which appeals to many insurers.

When Thinking About Innovation, Think Business Outcomes

Insurers don’t buy tech for policyholders to tell them how pretty their bill is but, instead, as part of a bigger strategy to do something for the business.

9 Tactics to Increase Online Self-Service Adoption

The Toyota recall is the perfect opportunity for carriers to encourage online self-service.

Automation and Customer Retention: Imperfect Together

Speed is an important part of the equation that yields customer satisfaction and begets retention, but not at the cost of relationship building.

Which Comes First, Social Networking or Openness?

Experts believe companies should gradually immerse themselves in social networking strategies—not dash in an all-at-once fashion.

Hardware Outsourcing vs. People Outsourcing

Insurers looking at IT outsourcing, whether for hardware, software or people, should focus not on cost, but long-term business value.

Data is King, But How You Use it is Emperor

A new study from IBM suggests that data governance is critical, but actions based on data are unique.

When is a "Cloud" a "Cloud," Anyway?

Critic contends that all this cloud terminology is sort of silly, and suggest that it may even be setting the industry back.

A New Breed of CIO

Today's insurance CIO must rise above the shortcomings of his predecessors, and be equally adept at dealing with both business and technology issues.

Tiny IT Pay Hikes Don’t Necessarily Mean that Happy Days are Here Again

IT personnel budgets for 2010 are slightly higher, but who will actually benefit from the increase?

Green Data Centers Sprouting Across the Land

The green concept is catching on with insurers as well, as Allstate opened a data center last year based upon best practices and technology aimed at saving energy and employing renewable resources.

How Easy is it to Identify Someone Online? Really Easy!

Just a few pieces of information may be all that is needed to identify you—yet new methods make breaching your privacy even easier.

Who’s to Blame for Breaches? Lawyers May Strike Gold When the Fighting Starts

A Texas bank is suing a business customer that was victimized by cyber-theft; what will insurers do in similar circumstances?

The Outlook for Insurance Software Spend in 2010? More of the Same

Platform and infrastructure, software development customization and application maintenance are expected to garner the biggest spending increases.

Okay, the iPad is Pretty ... How Steve Jobs Gets Everyone so Excited

Wouldn't you love to have even a piece of that magic when you're pitching ideas for a new underwriting system or agency portal? Learn how.

Applying the Lessons of Lean to Today's IT Operations

The focus of lean IT is to put forth “a set of principles that says you are going to slow down in order to speed up.”

Solvency II and Asterix the Gaul

Actions by French insurers could trigger new rounds of discussions and delay the effective implementation of the Solvency II directive.

Why Bill Gates is Wrong about Online Learning

The tech icon says it will cost fewer dollars, but it can also subvert key relationships that make for success.

Grappling With Indemnity Spend

Using technology, insurers can anchor claims at the first notice of loss to improve the fairness, accuracy, speed and consistency of claims.

Better Than Being There: Insurer Immerses Itself in "Telepresence"

MetLife's new teleconferencing setup may have cost about $1 million, but it expects a double-digit ROI in travel savings.

Elegant Design Speaks For Itself

Several high-profile insurers incorporated elegant designs into service processes, and the impact on their market presence has been phenomenal.

Facebook Revelations Highlight Dangers of Social Media for Commerce

Everyday users worry about their privacy, so how much more should business users be concerned?

In an Era of Free Teleconferencing, Is There Still a Place for Face-to-Face Meetings?

For an industry built on trust and relationships, technology is beneficial, but there are still times when face-to-face contact is still important.

Insurers Ignore the Political Reality of Dealings with China

The industry considers salivating over the huge China market, but it does so at the expense of our security.

Gartner's Not-Out-of-the-Realm-of-Possibility Predictions for the Decade Ahead

Internet marketing will be regulated by 2015, controlling more than $250 billion in Internet marketing spending worldwide. Outlandish? Maybe not.

Which Windows Version to Run? Answer is Tied to Hardware Replacement

A LinkedIn discussion chain yielded a surprising array of responses from IT folks on this question.

2010: The Year That Business Outcomes Drive Insurance Tech Buying

Instead of focusing on product features, insurers are focused on growing customer wallet share and capturing emerging customer segments, such as Gen Y’s. Tech vendors need to pay attention.

Innovation in Sports Marketing

Insurers that tie themselves to major sporting events build brand by capturing eyeballs in an innovative way, not by trying to be "cute" with their sponsorships.

Introducing SOA's Latest Role Models

Two insurers prove that SOA has finally reached a stage of maturity that allows it to address real business problems.

The Problem with Data Storage: Way Too Much Information

The amount of data we have is growing faster than our ability to store it, and that spells trouble for enterprises.

Success is Customer Perception

IT departments sometimes fall into the trap of gauging success solely on project-management parameters or technological criteria, which isn't always the best measure.

Enhanced Security Makes Seagate Portable Hard Drive a Winner

“Faster” and “easier” are very appealing buzzwords, but “safer” is even better in the current security climate

Insurers and the Dawn of the “Social Age”

While still seen by many as a double-edged sword, social media helps insurers bring bring about innovation.

Mobile Computing: There Doesn't Have to be an App for That?

Going forward, insurers will be employing their existing Web application platforms for all manner of devices.

Act to Strengthen Cybersecurity Actually Threatens Business and Freedoms

As usual, the federal government chooses a sledge hammer to swat a fly, which means we all get squashed.

Ten Years After: How the Y2K Issue Changed Us

The Y2K "crisis" spawned major shifts in the IT landscape that are still felt today... what might tomorrow bring?

What Will 2010 Bring? Not as Much as Some Hope

Many of us are trying hard to see positive trends for the coming year, but employment remains the only meaningful bellwether of change.

Things We’d Like to See: An Insurer’s Christmas Carol

What to their wondering eyes did appear? Probably not what they were hoping for.

Survey: Execs Say IT Helped Them Through Economic Crisis

A McKinsey & Co. study finds 55% of execs say current performance in providing basic IT services is very or extremely effective, but only 21% are happy with IT's ability to add value to the business.

Search Adds Another Log to the Channel Conflict Fire

Search is now generating thousands of new policies for agents and carriers, making it an indispensable part of their marketing strategy.

It's What We Don't See

Many times, insurers don’t look closely enough at all available data and information to see clearly, and lose out on opportunities as a result.

Despite Climategate, Nations and Media Remain Delusional on “Global Warming”

OK, so some prominent global warming acolytes have been rigging the numbers; let’s just pretend that didn’t happen.

When it Comes to Electronic Messaging, Generation Gap Emerges

Survey results show younger generation more open to being approached via non-traditional channels.

That Giant Sucking Sound: Technology too Complex to Be Useful?

Businesses need working solutions to their problems, and spending capital on all the latest bells and whistles is not the answer.

PC Market Rebound: Green Shoots of Recovery or Irrational Exuberance?

Sources say personal computer sales will increase in the commercial sector, but where will the money come from, and who will use them?

A Medical Mystery

Fresh thinking and innovation is needed in the health care sector, and only then will IT improvements begin to have their desired impact.

The Limited Life of Mobile Applications

The few insurers that have released mobile apps have found success but, eventually, every insurer that has invested in a Web-based channel will be taking full advantage of all mobile devices.

PAYD Still Can’t Get Off The Ground

Since research has found that 41% of online insurance consumers are interested in PAYD policies, why hasn't this seemingly innovative and intuitive program been adopted by more states, or backed by regulatory groups?

Bad News for U.S.—Number of H-1B Visa Requests Remains the Same

Joblessness has hit most sectors of the U.S. economy, including technology, but companies are still begging for low-cost labor from overseas.

Fine Tuning Customer Portals—Lessons from a Christmas Scrooge

Celent says customer portals should behave in the manner customers expect, which requires continued investments to reflect changing customer behavior, and the leveraging of new technologies.

New Frontier for Growth: Improved Information Sharing Within Distribution Channels

A new Celent report concludes that the greatest challenge facing insurers is their siloed environments. Improving info sharing would help eliminate this problem.

Virus Attacks: It’s Bad Out There and Getting Worse

With the proliferation of security devices and software, you would think that virus infections are decreasing, but exactly the opposite is true. The question is—why?

Imprimatur: The Imperative for Improvement

Fundamental to every insurer's improvement initiative is the need for managers to provide personal-written or verbal permission to make improvements.

Sarbanes-Oxley on the Ropes: Is That a Good Thing?

While the law may eventually get watered down, the transparency and accountability of information will live on as perhaps insurers' most important corporate value.

Cutting IT Spending? Skimping on Tech Support Could Have Disastrous Consequences

No one wants to spend more money these days, but cuts can bleed in ways we never would have imagined.

Is Social Media a Beast That Needs to be Tamed?

Social media is invaluable in helping people find each other, share information, communicate and learn, but it's not without its pitfalls.

Life Insurance Marketing Strategy Grows in Importance as Consumers Cross Channels

U.S. life carriers need to understand consumer behavior in order to help agents close new business.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift for the Insurance Geek

Move over James Bond, new “gadget-friendly clothing” redefines “cool” for the technophile.

Feds Challenge McCarran Ferguson ... Again

Repealing McCarran Ferguson could have serious implications for insurance companies and, ultimately, would burden consumers.

Can Your Web Applications Handle Any Potential Onslaught?

While Web apps are a critical part of many insurers’ business strategies, there needs to be better, more systematic approaches to addressing potential performance issues.

Cyber-fraud More Than Just a Cost of Doing Business—It May Be Deadly Business

Internet-related crime is a fact of life, but can we afford to simply write it off and forget about it?

Got a Swamp? Drain It!

Eliminating workarounds, or "swamps," can pay great dividends for insurers.

Cloud Computing in Insurance: Where Does the Data Go, Exactly?

Experts say the answer might be a hybrid cloud and on-site computing model.

Independent Agents: Keep Them or Dump Them?

In this age of tight markets and a floundering economy, some are suggesting that carriers take all their sales in-house, but will that happen?

Deep Thoughts From London and Stockholm—Insurers Face the Same Problems Everywhere

A lack of funding for IT and eBusiness initiatives, channel conflicts and confusion about the role of social networking also plague overseas insurers.

Thought Leadership: Inspired Strategy or Tired Buzzword?

What does it mean for an individual or a company to be a thought leader? For some the answer is powerful, but some refuse to drink the Kool-Aid.

8 Steps for Well-Grounded Cloud Computing

Experts believe insurers eventually will buy into the cloud hype, but in the form of "private clouds" contained within enterprises and close partners and agents.

The Role of the Modern Insurance CIO

From gathering intelligence to problem solving to making IT decisions, a CIOs job is always varied and busy.

SOA Manifesto—Guidelines on What it Takes to be “Service-Oriented”

There's been intense debate among insurance IT pros lately over what SOA is—or is not—supposed to accomplish. Fortunately, experts at last month's International SOA Symposium have helped to shed some light on the subject.

DVD That Lasts 1,000 Years Makes Perfect Sense for Insurance

Will anyone need today’s data a millennium from today? Quite possibly, the answer is yes.

Hello, I'm a Cloud ... and I'm Enterprise Software

What would it look like if Apple's “I'm-a-Mac” commercials were elevated to the enterprise level?

Form Following Function: The Hurricane Watcher Model of Insurance Core Applications

While legacy architectures may make things easier on IT departments, they don't necessarily ease headaches for users.

A New Worry for Insurers: Weather-Generated Earthquakes

Holy temblors, Batman, what will the global warming acolytes do with this one?

Strategy is not a Project

Management teams have found a need to reset their strategic direction in 2010, so it's imperative insurers improve project execution.

10 Years On, and Compliance is Still a Bear

While the government continues to fumble with determining its oversight plan, insurers struggle with their own compliance efforts

Who Can We Trust with Our Enterprises?

Access and authority can be tricky and risky, but someone—or some thing—has to be in charge. Is automation an option?

“The New Normal” is Insanity

Insurers may call the rapidly increasing pace of change “normal,” but it still amounts to a loss of control.

7 Steps to Developing a Solid Multi-channel Distribution Strategy

Research from Forrester finds that while U.S. auto insurance customers often utilize the Web to shop, they still prefer to purchase through agents or the call center.

How Have IT Investments Been Impacted from Q2 to Q3?

New Celent research examines what's hot and what's not for insurers and their IT investments.

Survey: Give Us More IT, But Show Us How to Measure It

The challenge to insurance IT proponents is while they have the support of their companies, they need to do a better job of linking IT projects to actual business gains.

Is H1B Policy to Blame for Shortage of U.S.-born Technology Graduates?

Young graduates seem uninterested in computer science, but some say the real problem is that U.S. companies are opting for cheaper foreign labor in their enterprises. The result is a lack of demand for more highly paid American IT workers.

What Keeps Insurance Security Teams Up At Night? Plenty.

Forrester talked to 70 North American insurers about their hardware and infrastructure investment plans and found that they're very concerned about risks associated with cloud computing and virtualization.

Don’t Ignore the Small Projects

The cumulative costs for insurers of not fixing all the niggling IT issues and workarounds can be significant.

So Far, the BPM Revolution Has Bypassed Agent Networks

Zach McCoy, SVP at Kaplan Compliance, offers four recommendations for insurers currently seeking to adopt business process management.

What's the Best Way for Insurers to Leverage Social Media?

One plan is to provide services to agents who already have affinity marketing schemes in place.

Finally, Increased Government Spending We Can Feel Good About

While the federal government’s irrational urge to throw money at every problem is sickening, more funding for cyber-security makes a lot of sense, especially for health insurers.

Comparison Shopping Grows Even as the Economy Improves

As more and more consumers use comparison-shopping sites, a major question arises for carriers and agents: Are online comparison shoppers really good customers for your book of business?

Why Young Workers Don’t Care About Computer Science

The problem stems partly from the Disney mindset of many parents.

Political Hardball

AHIP's last-second change of heart exposes the organization to retribution.

“Outsourcing” IT to End Users: Is There an App for That?

We already know the self-service ethic is a winning approach for many insurers, so why not self-service IT?

The Latest Wireless Security Device May Be a Simple Paint Job

A new paint formula is said to block Wi-Fi signals, but will it bring more headaches than benefits?

The World (of U.S. P&C Pricing) Is Flat

Reports indicate that revenue support is not going to come from a hardening market.

The Pace of Technology Change: How Fast is Too Fast?

What do we do when the technology environment changes too quickly for us to respond to it? Quantum physics may provide an answer or two.

Is There Such a Thing as a Mainframe Monopoly?

The real issue buried behind the Justice Department's investigation of IBM is not the hardware monopoly, but the fact that many companies have mission-critical systems running on these mainframes; systems in which they have invested too much money to move.

The Insurance Industry’s Inspired Frugality: Use It Up, Wear It Out, And Make Do

Forrester polled 65 insurance IT decision-makers about their infrastructure priorities for 2010, and 48% said extending the life of their hardware was of critical importance.

When In Doubt...Make A List

The power of the list is its ability to bring focus, which is especially helpful for insurance and IT professionals who invariably have their plates full.

IT Unemployment Keeps Growing; Automation is One Likely Culprit

Despite the gloomy economic picture, many insurers are still upgrading or replacing policy admin systems but, once done, place more responsibility in the hands of business users than IT.

Data Insecurity Comes From Within

Insurers must encrypt or mask sensitive data that leaves production environments regardless of its destination.

Windows Vista: The Witch Hunt Continues

In this information age, perhaps the biggest challenge for insurers and consumers alike is learning to filter through the media deluge for what's truly meaningful.

IT Spending Tight? Welcome to the “New Normal”

IT departments are now expected to play a feature role in driving the future growth of the business.

Large UK Insurer Tackles Legacy System Challenge

Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance is reportedly moving its claims management system to India.

Mobile Channel Strategy Influences Insurance Buyers

Given the rise of smartphone adoption among U.S. insurance customers, there is now a massive demand to engage insurers via the mobile Web.

Maintenance Cutbacks a Dangerous Game for Insurance Enterprises

Insurers cutting maintenance levels is a bit like a pro athlete cutting back his workouts—the lack of “maintenance” will eventually show in his performance, or lack thereof.

The Hunt for Easter Eggs

Insurers should examine their current systems for untapped features and functionality.

Why Millennials Don’t Trust the Rest of Us

Millennials dislike the world their forebears created, and have the current financial crisis, complete with negative opinions of banks and insurers, fueling their disdain.

Policy Admin Vendor Competition Good for Insurers

Celent says two recent policy admin deals in the UK is a sign insurers are looking to get back on track with IT investments.

BPM: More Than Faster Way of Pushing Papers

The arrival of BPM as a transformational initiative is creating new opportunities for carriers to think about new ways of doing business.

Senate Kills Accountability for Cyber-Security ‘Czar’

The quashing of accountability of a yet-to-be-appointed cyber-security czar is, perhaps, standard operating procedure in the world of politics, but it smells rotten to those of us who live in objective reality.

Don’t Gamble More than You Can Afford to Lose on 2010 IT Budget

It’s a tricky time for those who must make plans for next year, but where should insurers draw the line between caution and boldness?

Insurance IT Braves New Frontier in 2009: Defining Innovation

Without an innovation plan, insurance CIOs and IT teams could get a black eye, spending scarce budgets on initiatives that do worse than go nowhere, but end up disappointing the broad customer base.

A Lesson from the Financial Crisis: We Need Better Data Governance

Insurers should think less about functions and the data itself, and focus instead on processes.

Does Dell Deal Signify the Death of Pure Hardware Vendors?

Mainframes a Rock in a Cyber World Starved for Stability

With 40 years of reliability, there may still be a place for mainframes in insurance IT shops.

Investing In Social or Mobile Technology? Go P.O.S.T.-al

By utilizing Forrester's simple methodology, insurers can evaluate any social, Web, mobile or IT investment.