The power partnership has the potential to transform and redefine AXA's customer experience, customer engagement, digital presence and growth potential to levels not yet seen in insurance.
Cloud vendors aren’t being challenged enough at the start of engagements.
From the portal rollout chaos to confusion and politicking, insurance CIOs can draw some important lessons from U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ tenure.
PolicyWriter, by Adaptik Corp., is like no other P&C policy administration solution on the market – and we’re happy to prove it. Today’s Adaptik Blog entry highlights the software’s industry-leading scalability and performance.
The bug is believed to affect security of more than 50 percent of the Internet.
Sam Medina talks about how transformational thinking in claims technology can help insurers reduce costs and turn the claims handling process into a positive customer experience.
A survey finds that mobile devices may soon dominate computing in financial services organizations.
Change in insurance is slow, but the race toward modernization has begun.
Sam Medina discusses mapping consumer decision processes to marketing approaches —using transformational thinking to create effective strategies to create new clients.
Allstate pursues “synchronized thinking” toward technology.
Industry executives share their perspectives in a recent survey.
Shares typically are seen more as helpful information from a friend than as brand messages.
Simpler, faster, better and cheaper — four words that may reshape insurance systems.
As the digital revolution continues to progress, insurers must embrace and harness the power of technology.
IT will be required to develop the robust systems and data environment to perform and analyze risk metrics in tight time frames. There's a regulatory train coming, and IT needs to stay ahead of it.
There are a range of application types that probably should be moved to the cloud simply because they are commoditized, routine functions that are best handled by someone else.
An examination of case studies point to a handful of paths insurers can take toward innovation.
ROI is often too difficult to explain in dry techie terms.
Working together, agents and carriers can realize data validation, faster turnaround, no month-end reporting and other straight-through processing benefits.
For many, modernize or die is the rallying cry. But, what are the real results?
Without adequate storage, there is no big data.
For many insurers, the road seems to begin with beefing up their data analytics.
Sam Medina describes how undertaking an exercise in customer and market demand analysis can uncover new insurance distribution channel strategies.
Does the rise of virtual work mean more stress and overwork?
Advanced Web architecture is particularly crucial in the insurance industry given the potential for enhanced customer self-service.
The data deluge presents many challenges, from the purely technical to process- and change-management issues to outright cultural and sociological impacts.
Esurance's post-Super Bowl commercial polarizes pundits.
All companies should have adequate controls that minimize points of entry to their private information.
One out of five companies now consider themselves to be mobile enterprises. Here's how they did it.
Sam Medina describes how transformational thinking in actuarial services can reduce actuary workloads, improve communication and reduce risk.
Technology is an increasingly important motivator for strategic acquisitions in the insurance industry.
Insurers should never lose sight of the essential principles that are important to managing the business.
The tools and methodologies for cloud security are readily available.
While agents and carriers have significantly improved the flow of data, carriers that opened a path for clients to log directly into their proprietary websites presents a problem.
With the opportunities of varied distribution channels, insurers are starting to be much more granular in their view of the customers.
Across the industry, substantial differences exist in claims management processes, and many insurers could realize significant benefits by applying new techniques and technologies.
Over the past year, MetLife has made advancements in using data to find IT talent and create a 360-degree view of its customers.
Data analytics is a potent tool for bolstering carriers' relationships with agent networks.
Cloud can either divide or unite companies. When united, enterprises achieve great agility and innovation.
Either way, insurers need to ensure that they offer professionals great places to work and learn.
Senior business leaders everywhere, and even boards of directors, are trying to determine the best ways to deal with big data at their organizations. Here's a look at the factors to consider when planning your big data strategy.
Sam Medina describes how transformational thinking in underwriting can spur innovation, improve workflow, increase feedback and reduce risk.
The relationship between agent and carrier is a leading factor in not just the success of a PAS transformation, but in the success of the business' as a whole.
The reason excellent customer experience is hard for so many insurance companies? Legacy technology infrastructure.
The general manager of usage-based insurance says predictive models are the "secret sauce" that gives the company a competitive advantage in the space.
Insurers are ready to design digital solutions that change the industry into a continuous, predictive, risk management service.
Cloud is cheap up front, but full of hidden costs. Here are eight potential "gotchas."
Technological advances are generating vast new sources of data that can assist carriers with better decision-making.
APIs are the new big thing for technology innovation, and they literally are everywhere.
Five strategies that insurers are using to guide their social media efforts.
Carriers and agents have made significant progress in improving the sales process, but there’s still a long way to go.
Mobile and cloud accelerate the evolution of ECM tools.
Examining the importance of change management in a PAS transformation.
Life and annuity carriers have made significant strides in transforming from legacy to modern policy administration systems.
Cloud may replace many on-premises functions.
Sam Medina describes how thinking about the roles of people the right way within the organization can make a difference on how well the organization handles transformation.
As we enter 2014, we’re ready to design solutions that change insurance from a backward-facing, financial indemnity product to a continuous, predictive, risk management service.
With big data and machine learning tools and algorithms, the possibilities are endless.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I went shopping with my family to take advantage of some deals. I used my smartphone often, sometimes too much, and so did the rest of the shopping crowd. Some of the behaviors I observed fit into familiar patterns: browsing deals on other sites while in a store, scanning bar codes for price lookups, texting, and playing games while in line. (I may, or may not, have done one or all…
Insurer and tech giant have made separate announcements that should be of interest to the insurance industry, especially those pursuing insurance telematics programs.
A safe new-year prediction is that we shall see more insurers getting into trouble, paying the price for over-expansion.
Competitive advantage comes from being able to answer any question at any time.
Through its acquisition of Nest, Google soon will have access to even more personal data, positioning it to potentially enter the homeowners’ insurance market.
One out of four cloud vendors may not be around a year from now. Will your data be there?
No matter who you are or what your role is in your organization, you should leverage the power of your thoughts. Thoughts are inception points and transformational thoughts can spark real change in your organization. The power of your thoughts can result in great ideas and can inspire and move others toward collaboration, innovation, and creating the future.
The best insurers will achieve competitive advantage by developing the judgment and decision-making capabilities of their knowledge workers.
Since last year, new skills and new thinking are more urgent than ever, even as budgets and technology needs remain static.
Enough talk about cloud and big data analytics — insurers want to see execution.
Insurers strongly support flood reform, but it needs to be implemented in a fashion that doesn’t destroy flood-affected communities.
By knowing where there may be gaps in coverage, you can help to mitigate or potentially eliminate future claims.
For P&C companies, cloud and analytics will define success in the year ahead, says Ernst & Young. But is that all there is?
Insurers need to think not just about how customers want to buy a product, but the total lifetime experience.
The year 2014 is expected to be something of a tipping point for established and new technologies to take hold in the insurance industry.
Changes for distributors of insurance products may be coming in 2014.
Let's face it, big data is dumb.
Tort and liability issues will flash a yellow go-slow light for driverless cars for years, but will not shut down the road altogether.
The vendor that once ruled the world opened up computing to the rest of us.
Insurers can learn from the development troubles of the recently launched HealthCare.gov.
Data centers are changing right in front of our eyes, but who's going to make those changes?
Understanding these areas of concern can help you avoid and manage the potential risks inherent to IT projects.
Marketing and IT people actually stand on common ground, looking to support customer data and interactions.
Insurers that invest in building innovation as a corporate capability will be positioned to react to disruptive threats.
Industry associations and experts had a lot to say about the report, even though there wasn’t much new information in it.
Insurers have always been at the forefront of in-house training and development, but will this carry over to tech and big data skills?
Focusing on the lack of testing makes for snappy headlines. More importantly, though, it's an indication of systemic failures in the development process.
A Swiss initiative is helping to develop women leaders.
With these elements in place, your chances of delivering on the promise of innovation are significantly increased.
How technology innovations allow brokers and carriers to do business more easily and effectively.
Lessons in agile development and data security were reinforced; mobile and cloud became as commonplace as telephones.
How to manage convergence in a global technology environment.
Tablet computers are becoming standard client computers, but there's still work to be done on the back end.
Microinsurance is a foothold to an underserved, untapped and fragmented market under the present business model.
Vendor marketing tactics have escalated to a whole new level of insanity.
Coming to an insurance business near you: predictive analytics.
It’s time for insurers of all types to hop on the big data bandwagon or risk getting left behind.
Breakdowns in financial controls can be disastrous for insurers.
At least 75 percent of CIOs in a recent survey report having a clear understanding of what their businesses need in terms of innovation — now companies need them to be able to act on that understanding.
At least 15 major insurers have dedicated Twitter accounts, including USAA, GEICO, Progressive, Allstate, Mutual of Omaha and Travelers.
Insurers understand enterprise risk more than anyone else, and that understanding should apply to their own IT operations as well.
While we can differentiate our service and products in many ways, data can still be standardized, sent, received and consumed in our respective systems without the need for re-keying.
New figures state that 59 percent of the Fortune 500 still have at least 1.6 hours of data center downtime per week, which translates to at least $8.5 million per year in losses.
While most new capabilities employed by life insurers today are around mobility, focusing on better graphics and greater integration into the overall sales process, distribution innovation has been stifled.
Honest feedback from direct reports on managerial performance can be hard to get. But once it happens, it's like striking gold in more ways than one would think.
Singapore now hosts a vibrant maturing reinsurance market with depth in expertise, capacity and reach.
A recent interview of two IT leaders from Nationwide makes it clear that insurers, which need to speed up product delivery, are particularly good candidates for DevOps.
The latest mile marker on the road to commoditization is being tested in supermarkets, malls, gas stations and auto dealerships.
A nasty new "ransomware" virus is reminding corporations that you can't educate users enough when it comes to IT security.
All too often companies end up with multiple people trying to solve components of the same problem, each with a different perspective on the relationships between the variables and what the problem really is.
It's easy to assume millennials always prefer digital channels for transactions, but such generalities don't always hold true.
There are several generational, technological distinctions that could drastically affect how your data operations are run in the future.
New technologies are creating new exposures to complex risks.
Simple is better than complex is one of the primary lessons to be learned from the Obamacare website meltdown.
With their history and international reach as a foundation, deepening customer relationships is a fertile source of competitive advantage for the Lloyd’s market.
Advancements in telematics technologies, along with an 80-percent drop in hardware costs, are ratcheting up the industry’s interest in UBI. But will the payoff be there?
There are several examples of where algorithms can and should take over for human decision-making, but experience is starting to spotlight strategic decisions that can't be taken over by big data.
Why do 25 percent of CEOs, 65 percent of CFOs, 39 percent of COOs, and 41 percent of line of business heads not buy into the need for innovation?
Applications and software-defined infrastructures will likely highlight future, hopefully more successful, data consolidation projects.
The costs of being settlers instead of pioneers goes deeper than numbers and efficiencies.
The world is changing faster than ever and insurers need to be ready for what is on the horizon as well as for what's in the distance. How will personalized insurance packages, 3D, and other technologies transform your business? How can your vision and planning determine your future?
The world is changing faster than ever and insurers need to be ready for what is on the horizon as well as for what's in the distance. How will customer DIY, mobile, data & analytics, architecture & agility, and collaboration transform your business?
In a recent survey, the majority of mobile consumers said they would switch companies for a more accessible mobile channel.
The industry's absence from a pair of recent rankings serve as a reminder that in order to attract the best IT talent, insurers need to appear open to innovation and experimentation.
A good number of C-suite execs say innovation is important, but they expect it to happen organically, as part of normal operations, according to Celent research.
After a loss, some consumers who buy their policies online soon learn a hard lesson about the need and value of having an agent who is partnered with a top-notch carrier.
Insurers may have tons of data about a customer's lifestyle and requirements, but agents provide a depth of understanding that algorithms will never crack.
For the last several years, innovation has been a hot topic. Change is occurring faster and faster than most people can keep up with and insurers, in particular, have been heavily challenged to change their processes and legacy ways of thinking about their industry. Analyst firms and some vendors have been predicting that those that innovate will be the market leaders and those that stay the course will be yesterday's news. …
Knowing file sizes, the volume of your application network, and plans for the future are on a list of tips and questions insurers should know and ask when considering a move to the cloud.
The landscape is littered with applications that were promising when they entered development, but as technologies have become "consumerized," state of the art is an even faster moving target.
The balance of being innovative and adequately serving customers is a tricky one, but it's the latter that will make or break an insurer with this youngest demographic.
To compete in the health exchange marketplaces, health insurers are finding that effectively integrating and storing data, analyzing consumer data and precision pricing are essential.
But one out of four companies acknowledge a growing problem: the talent to manage mainframe environments.
There were discussions on the subjects of automating for the sake of automation and delivering smaller projects, as well as a sense of optimism surrounding modernization efforts.
Core competencies are those actions that define the uniqueness of your company and deliver the greatest value to your customers. As many insurers have found, partnering can be the best way of utilizing your capital and resources most effectively to lead to the desired outcome.
Many insurers already had counter-measures against such competitors in place, in the form of strong web-based offerings and strong agent networks.
The top 10 underwriting firms employ more than two-thirds of the underwriters included in a recent ranking of the top 50 underwriters.
Many app developers fear the mainframe, and mainframe operators are suspicious of apps here's how to bring these two worlds together.
Flawed implementations often result in misconceptions that agile methodology is inadequate, when the true problem lies within the developmental stages, not within the methodologys design.
Digital disruption has been a hot term for several years. Now, it's a reality and insurers have two choices: do things differently and face extinction or be innovative future-ready insurer and do different things.
Digital disruption has been a hot term for several years. Now, it's a reality and insurers have two choices: do things differently and face extinction or be innovative future-ready insurer and do different things.
Developers and operations workers tend to come from two different worlds this has to change.
As consumers grow more demanding, insurers would do well to anticipate customer concerns and offer instruction on how to avoid them; but first, they need executive buy-in.
ITs monsters can be slain, says former CIO with Aflac and Allstate, and current Perseus CEO Michael Boyle, but its going to take more transparency and a different mindset.
Theres lots of discussion about IT trends, but one that is escalating rapidly is the need for the next generation of IT talent and leadership. As insurance companies prepare to be future-ready, IT talent and leadership are critical for future success. Helping to address this need, two organizations IT-oLogy and iTsSC joined forces to help address this challenge, are examples of industry collaboration to lead this effort.
The prospect of AIG retaliating and escalating previous skirmishes with Berkshire Hathaway has already intensified downward pressure on rates.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with data analytics skills during the next eight years.
Three key concepts of traditional waterfall development are disproved with successful agile operations.
Three ways to assert IT's value and shift the perception among business leaders that IT is merely a cost center.
Who's the Boss? Your customers. If you dont take care of your customers, someone else will. Beneath all of these initiatives are strong core systems that provide the agility, flexibility, and capabilities to create a beneficial customer experience.
While many IT professionals would argue that lean, agile and CMMI are mutually exclusive, Guru Vasudeva, SVP and CTO of Nationwide, says otherwise.
USAA, a direct seller and one of the first insurers to adapt to social networking, is also, according to J.D. Power, the most trusted brand in the industry.
Some of the same data analysis technologies being used by Western governments are cheap enough to be employed by financial services companies as well.
Accurately and consistently estimating the costs of major IT projects is critical for an IT department's and CIO's credibility.
Why do men and women behave and react differently in various business situations? Lets look at the differences between the male and female brain.
The wider market is potentially transitioning to a business model of managing multiple sources of outside capital.
You don't have to go it alone. The importance of partnerships has always been an essential part of business and life. There's no need to recreate the wheel and create who new divisions within your company when a partner is there to help you.
In a new survey, most IT executives give their organizations failing marks for handling disruptions.
SOA by any name continues to evolve with changing levels of abstraction. So where is SOA today in its lifecycle and what's coming next? To paraphrase Yogi Berra, "It's SOA all over again"
with a business veneer.
To maintain a positive relationship, here's what should be accomplished when field reps visit the offices of agents.
A profile of some financial services companies that are using social networks to create new collaboration patterns with their customers, distributors and employees
Cheap mainframe servers that support private cloud computing could change the way insurers think about enterprise architecture.
Customers come to you today with expectations of how and when they want information. It's real, it's more personal, and it's immediate. To make it happen you need the infrastructure and core systems in place.
Has the time arrived for specialist wholesale and reinsurance companies to examine their organizational structures and weed out redundant management and administrative costs?
Half of marketers surveyed for a new report agree that data is the most underutilized asset in their organizations, according to a new survey.
There are several questions to answer before you begin looking for C-suite help when it comes to technology and innovation.
Although it's a relatively new technology, SDDC could change the way data centers are funded, designed, provisioned and managed by extracting software and applications from hardware entanglements.
Big or small , claims happen. How you handle crises and customers, how quickly you respond, and how long it takes to resolve the claim make all the difference. You need to be sure that your claims operation from its core claims system to your call center, repair networks and more are up to the challenge and that you have a partner to support you and your business strategy.
Security and integration are two of the four most important considerations when entering the mobile space or improving what you already have.
Data virtualization holds a lot of promise for minimizing data center woes, but it needs to be taken one step at a time.
An outline of where and how insurers should be looking to use big data analytics throughout the enterprise.
Portals have come a long way. They serve a wide range of stakeholders, from prospects to policyholders to distributors, adjusters and others. They are the go-to places for information dissemination and collaboration, creating an experience of easy to do business with them. If you aren't providing a portal to your customers and partners today, time is running out.
Passive observation and exploration are generally not enough in a complex business environment innovation requires experimentation.
Insurance can be complicated and even the best-informed consumer wants advice from family, friends and professionals. And that's where the opportunity for differentiation lays for insurers.
Shouldn't digital be part of everyone's job description by now?
An insurer upgrades its data architecture and finds a competitive advantage through faster insights.
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.
Five tips for developing an intelligent big data storage system.
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
The shift to digital means carriers must focus on sales and service portals, agency management and compensation systems.
The more an agency embraces technology and offsite/cloud storage of critical data, the better off they will fair.
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.
A guide to get insurers up to speed in social spaces, which aren't going away any time soon.
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.
Being a leader means remaining calm during stressful times. But does it come naturally or do we need to learn and develop it?
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.
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.
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.
Here are some practical steps carriers can take toward instituting a management program to support customer self-service.
Insurers in the Software Business: The line between software providers and consumers is Blurring
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.
Years of heavy reliance on vendors to deliver agency systems integration means less responsiveness to customers.
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.
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.
Delivering major technology projects in a timely, cost-effective manner is becoming table stakes for insurers.
Certain bits of common wisdom are falsely being presented as reasons for insurers to avoid an all-in commitment to innovation.
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.
Advice on improving communication between business people and data professionals.
Or, do carriers' attempts to humanize themselves on social networks strain relations?
Several recommendations for using advanced technologies to make communications simpler and more secure.
Recent estimates put the average hit a business takes as the result of a data breach at more than $4 million.
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.
Where once underwriters called the tune, it is now the distributors who have leverage and are setting the ground rules.
Insurers are encountering two obstacles in employing more predictive analytics: a lack of both top-level support and appropriate skill sets.
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.
A guide to the various options insurers have when attempting to tackle lacking data quality, inconsistent formats and fragmented sources.
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 three-year move of 97 percent of a major insurer's applications and data is saving the company millions in the long-term.
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.
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 thats what they say anyway.
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?
The first step in resolving a problem is identifying the problem. Make sure you arent using any of the reasons listed above as excuses to avoid developing women.
Agents and carriers are working steadily toward more efficient interactions, but to reach their goal, it will take a collaborative effort.
While big data possesses transformative potential, investments alone won't elevate business, it takes close coordination and cooperation.
A watershed year is shaping up for insurers and their use of technology, and IT/business relations are more important than ever.
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.
Storage continues to be the biggest chunk of the investment in virtualization projects, which includes both server and desktop initiatives.
The days of social media strategy meaning you open a Facebook page and staff it with someone young and bright are over.
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.
In order for ideas to freely flow within an insurer, an IT department may need to step in to enable that conversation.
Underwriting is helping insurers improve accuracy and cycle times, but third-party data could have a profound impact on the industry.
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.
Technology is fueling the shift from a reimbursement model to a prevention/loss-control one for P&C carriers.
[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
In this first of three blog posts, a hypothetical upgrade to improve customer interaction is described, and the typical challenges insurers face are illuminated.
When it comes time to migrate to a newer system, you shouldnt have to worry about the fate of customer information.
While automated underwriting and insurance bundling is a likely future for the industry, AIG Casualty SVP Salvator Branca says there are several attendant concerns.
Customer demand for interactive voice assistant (IVA) technology is on the rise and a couple of notable insurers are leading the way.
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.
A fruitful group discussion on social media among ACORDLOMA attendees unveiled shared experiences and progress being made with social business.
A relative newcomer to the insurance industry, RGA Reinsurance CIO Mark Showers shares his perspective on how the insurers' concerns compare to other industries.
Insurers could clear up a lot of client management headaches in one fell swoop with desktop virtualization.
Aetna provides an example of private cloud operations being more cost-effective and efficient.
While fads for managing and improving business processes come and go with regularity, there is an underlying approach to successful processes that never changes.
Three items to watch in the wake of the latest big-name technology vendor acquisition.
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.
A new way of looking at technology and work, brought over from the manufacturing sector.
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.
Celents first U.K. CIO Roundtable lends a varied discussion on the future of IT operations as well as engaging suppliers of innovation.
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.
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?
How one insurance company re-created mainframe logic on a Windows/.NET server environment.
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.
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 hoursconsumers expect a response within 60 minutes.
Four tips from a recent book that provide business executives with everything they need to know when working with analytics.
Enterprise architect extraordinaire James McGovern discusses best practices for migrating and improving policy administration systems.
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.
At RIMS, intellectual, intangible and other non-standard property coverage are top of mind.
In terms of insured claims payouts, the fertilizer factory explosion likely will generate even larger dollar claims than the Boston bombings.
Data in health care can provide a good example for all insurers concerned about transitioning to a big data-centric business model.
Legacy systems upgrades were once mainly beneficial to IT operations, but now, they make or break a company's competitive advantage.
Insurers are unanimous in two things: They do not need SIFI oversight, and they are tired of waiting.
Gadget Show Live shows off the technologies that will be defining major advancements in the year to come.
Big data is becoming more and more responsible for insurance business initiatives, including advertising.
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 outhere's some advice.
How one insurer adopted 'ERP for IT' to build repeatable, business-savvy processes.
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.
A new book breaks down a tech-savvy approach for insurers looking to decipher the habits of online consumers.
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.
Agents, carriers and vendors come together to discuss the importance of equipping every team member with real-time technology.
How to effectively deal with the insurance equivalent of enterprise resource planning: policy administration systems.
Deloittes Howard Mills speaks on the FIOs involvement and the regulatory precedent a SIFI designation would set in the industry.
The phase where companies focus on accruing millions of followers and likes is ending; a focus on influence is what should replace it.
Using a top-tier insurer as an example, analysts advise companies to start small and think big.
Insurers looking to tap into Latin American markets may be surprised to find high levels of mobile usage.
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.
A new Novarica report predicts continued software provider M&A in 2013-'14. Is there a way for insurers to prepare?
When it comes time to make a change in a policy admin system, a lot of planning, negotiating and hand-holding will be required.
A 30-year-old in the industry explains what he would like to see as the transformation of the way insurance is conducted continues.
Critic claims that even though BI and analytics software is powerful, it is still out of reach for general business users.
After a couple weeks of online dialogue regarding the industry's image problems, a solution may be emerging.
The stage is set for Siri-like capabilities across all BI systems, as well as more automated decision-making.
Agents and carriers are tripping over themselves, when they should be working together.
Adapting social practices in core systems operations may be insurers' best opportunity to leverage social networks.
Form factor and flexibility are what computer users want.
The move to new and unfamiliar markets is opening up insurers to risks about which they have virtually no data.
IBM study finds consumers more likely to buy from agents or intermediaries than websites.
Catching instances of fraud is good, but the downstream effects can be even more impressive.
Insurance is being considered an investment, which leads to consumers making poor decisions.
It's easy to let operating model complexity build up, but identifying the symptoms and combating its effects can save enterprise profitability.
The convenience and scalability the cloud offers is too great for insurers to ignore any longer.
Despite some of Jobs' more extreme eccentricities, his management skills offer sound advice for insurers striving to be innovative.
Big spenders may garner lots of likes on Facebook, but when it comes to social media interaction, smaller, specialized insurers lead the way.
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.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner woes offer stark lessons for insurers overseeing IT projects.
These 8 pillars provide the competitive advantage every insurer is looking for in the post-digital era.
Technology is poised to shake up the auto insurance marketplace; industry veterans discuss how and when that will happen.
Top tech talent isnt necessarily out of reach, you just need to know where they're hanging out and what challenges they're looking for.
Being in the one of the worlds largest industries, insurers face many challenges yet still have an obligation to create a best company to work for culture.
Seven tips that will put your corporate IT services on par with the ease-of-use of Amazon or Salesforce.
Embracing failure and investing in initiatives without a concrete business case is the only way to become an innovative company.
Job descriptions for the business intelligence analysts that will pave your way to smarter, more efficient operations.
Customers still desire the human touch of agentsif it's provided in real time and on the platforms they prefer.
The value of social media won't be measured by ROI, instead insurers need to start listening to the substance of their networks.
The list of questions advanced or predictive analytics can answer within an enterprise is making for a strong business case within insurance organizations.
Mainframes are more expensive up front, but may cost less over the long run.
Winning in the market with a data-driven culture is becoming the name of the gamehere's how to do it.
Tier 1 insurance CEOs agree that creativity and innovation is lacking in the industry, but there is a balance that needs to be made.
Software-defined data centers won't arrive all at once, but are on their way to gradually becoming a reality.
Investing time and capital in the latest flux capacitor is too risky for many organizations.
Why avoiding the Big Bang approach and focusing on short-term goals is the best way to tackle IT projects.
Focusing on solely on-board technologies ignores a bevy of factors that will also affect auto insurance rates and operations.
The coming year will see new modes of computing drill deeper than ever into the insurance enterprise.
Insurance business and IT teams share common traits not unlike those of artists, but can they adopt an artists mindset to create innovative solutions to complex problems?
How a branch of Blue Cross turned its entire organization on to data analytics.
2013 will be the year we start to see less of the big server and storage rooms.
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.
Which company will change the insurance purchasing model and transform the buying process by using a tool like a choice engine?
Cloud, customer experience and analytics will dominate IT budgets in 2013, analysts predict.
Applying entity analytics to claims detection and prevention is a proven way to outsmart the fraudsters.
AIG's business and IT leaders worked closely together to return the carrier to profitability.
Survey indicates insurers can no longer afford to believe that customers would rather send check payments to their insurers than go online.
Avoiding a "BPM by Post-it note" strategy is necessary if initiatives are going to do what they're supposed to.
In terms of implementation and internal processes, speed is what delivers market share and customer satisfaction.
Everybody wants tablets and smartphones in their stockings and under their trees this year. Guess what that means for CIOs in January?
Telematics and four other big benefits of increasingly popular data-driven projects, outlined in a new report.
A recent report from PwC outlines the four technology pillars to a forward-thinking 10-year business plan.
For being such a smart industry, the link between customer engagement and user experience appears to be stuck in a blind spot.
Data is the new lifeblood of an enterprise, and to make up for years of ignoring it, insurers need to hire chief data officers.
IT hiring booms tend to align with large-scale government mandates, and this year we saw the biggest of them all.
Health insurers, in particular, are finding innovative ways to engage their customers, keep them healthy and build brand in the process.
10 examples of how a company becomes increasingly at risk of suffering a data breach as data moves around the enterprise.
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.
An E&S industry initiative is pushing for improved processes by way of automationwith which both agents and carriers win.
Gartner analyst says IT strategies can only go so far in advancing the businessdigital strategies are what take you where you want to be.
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.
Insurers' agent networks provide a natural edge in social networking.
A survey indicates cloud decisions are being made more and more by business managers rather than, or as well as, by IT.
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?
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 difficultand more importantthan ever.
Of the myriad technologies that engage and empower the distribution network, its strategic, not transactional, management efforts that win the day.
While 2012 offered a deluge of new devices and capabilities, the market, particularly for insurers and business users, is still up for grabs.
How business process as a service and smart process applications will become the norm.
Business intelligence projects in the industry suffer an abysmal failure rate.
Analyst firm predicts a tough year ahead for any insurers not making magic happen between IT solutions and business needs.
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.
By applying two buzz words to each othersocial media and alignmentinsurers may be able to solve the enigmatic elements each holds.
The rise of Big Data means demand for new analytical and IT skills. Are insurers ready to compete with other industries for this talent?
With life insurance ownership at an all-time low, a top-tier insurer gets creative in an attempt to meet customer desires.
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.
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.
What young talent want to see out of the insurance industry in the next 12 months.
New survey outlines the core roles mainframes are assuming within emerging private cloud and big data projectsas well as the challenges of this new role.
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.
Here's why selectivity, modeling, trust, IT support and education are essential to reaping big data's value.
Is the current tone of debates surrounding public-versus-private cloud options hurting potentially innovative efforts?
Will touchscreens offering rapid access to new enterprise apps become the norm for insurance carriers?
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.
In the mobile business space, insurers must play by the rules consumers dictate.
Here's why cloud security liability should follow the model established by the scenarios of ultimate responsibility from car accidents.
Claims system upgrades can be as frustrating to integrate with legacy systems as they are exciting to purchase.
Every insurer wants to join the app parade, but is it worth the trouble?
Little conclusive research and evidence has insurers guessing as to what will keep customers happy with their websites.
Despite the fact that social capabilities have been talked about for years, many companies struggle with enterprise integration.
Potential voluntary federal guidelines foretell a future that may require keeping a close eye on the balance between collaboration and control.
The global financial crisis and subsequent economic developments have brought to light critical weaknesses in existing hedge programs.
The insurance industry runs on mainframes, but who will be running the mainframes?
As insurers turn to big data for answers, Oracle offers up six tips for easy integration.
Bridging data from the carrier's system to the agent system in real time removes several barriers to agent/carrier relations.
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.
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.
The drive for greater IT efficiency is delivering green data centers as a byproduct.
Online consumer research and aggregators are again changing the way insurers approach the market, how can insurers stay focused on the consumer experience?
Amidst the security headaches, the technology that comes along with BYOD holds new possibilities for insurers.
Faced with vetting the merits of existing and emerging technologies, IT is also being asked to recommend cost-saving ways of generating new business.
Recent studies place insurers in the middle of the pack in terms of social networking adoption, but are they getting enough out of it?
Examples of insurance data breaches point to just how common they are, and what usually causes theminternal abuse and mistakes.
Hear enough examples of companies employing technologies for reasons beyond serving the same old markets, and you begin to see some trends.
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 planettheir agent networks.
Margins, claims exposures, expense controls and investment returns are driving struggling carriers back into the M&A game.
Emerging technologies and the business changes they require upon implementation were the main topics of discussion at Celent's recent peer networking event.
As the technology has matured, so have the marketing messages supporting it.
Data and cloud continue to pave the way to profitable initiatives such as telematics and customer management.
IT managers and data architects can take steps to make sure data applications get same level of testing as software.
Frankensteina proposed self-camouflaging malware propagation systemrepresents a challenge and an opportunity for insurance IT and risk management professionals.
At this years Celents 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.
New survey finds corporate leaders lack 'digital literacy'; and this holds back growth.
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.
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.
If your data quality is suffering, testing can optimize processes and ensure effectiveness.
Much of the difficult work of cloud has already been sorted out in SOA. Unfortunately, SOA is often misunderstood.
How do business and IT best accomplish the needs of their organization? We might take a lesson from a systems engineer.
Insurers, more so than companies in other industries, are now data companies that need to adjust IT talent and operations as soon as possible.
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.
How a start-up telematics insurer is allowing U.K. insurers to look at young drivers completely differently.
Delays in updating risk management only serve to damage credibility and open the door to unnecessary dangers.
This week, the insurer found itself at the mercy of the Internet, leaving the industry to question its consumer-centric and social media strategies.
Blog: As IT talent retires, so does the system knowledge and business logic it carries with it.
Although it happened nearly 20 years ago, business leaders can still use the lessons learned from Lou Gerstner's IBM overhaul.
While advances have been made, insurers need to remain vigilant when assessing the cloud security offered by providers.
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.
IT projects tend to become riskier as the size of the project increases, to combat this, insurers should consider "chunking."
One way to practically screen for potentially significant threats is to evaluate prospective ones against an insurer's exposure concentrations.
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.
A bus tour brings agents and insurers together to discuss what each side can do to further the ambitions of the other.
With the costs and risks of dealing with closed insurance blocks increasing over time, insurers need to begin planning ahead.
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.
Insurers' measured moves to the cloud are building confidence in the platform as concerns move from security to risk management.
Breaking down the barrier between IT and business mindsets needs to come from a mutual understanding of an organization's collective goals.
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.
Study indicates outperforming organizations are twice as effective at accessing and drawing insights from data.
Customer expectations are growing fast; social media can be the bridge from frustrated consumers to knowledgable representatives.
For the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association to modernize its mainframe, BPM is the key.
This easy-to-interpret way of organizing data visually has taken off in other industriesinsurance is starting to catch on.
Tech-savvy businesses are doing more and more to keep themselves ahead of the curve, but these 12 guidelines can help companies catch up.
Tech giants taking turns this Summer outlining the next several years of advancements.
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.
The right strategy can make your organization agile enough to keep up with Solvency II and FASB/IASB requirements and standards.
Extreme approaches to BYOD belie its basic enterprise appeal.
Some suggestions for seeking growth and profitability by matching external data sources with existing internal sources.
A new study from Deloitte outlines what employees want, and it takes more than social media and new technology to deliver it.
The importance of agile mobile- and Web-based interfaces and why agents are fighting for protected agent-carrier communication paths.
Despite excitement surrounding the topic, lack of expertise and understanding regarding big data analytics tools are holding back its potential.
A cluttered regulatory environment leaves the FIO stepping on some toes, as dispute with USTR may be preventing the release of the FIOs first report.
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.
The many competitive advantages mobile can offer go to waste if you're using quick fixes to bring your back end up to speed.
Vendors are beginning to prepare for the growing demand for enterprisewide social CRM.
Insurers and consumers seem to disagree about what a website should focus on, and nowadays, the consumer is always right.
Here's what BPM can and should mean to your organization.
With the advent of self-service and social media, customers now own company brands.
Implementing mobile can be an expedient process, but reaching mobile customers requires a completely distinct mindset from mobilizing field-service employees.
The Invisible Gorilla, New Coke and other phenomena can teach us to anticipate and embrace unexpected twists.
A new report outlines the incentives behind four stages of analytics implementation.
Purchasing new software to solve your technical problems is only the first step; maintaining agile, situation-specific development processes is equally imperative.
For insurers, evaluating elasticity requirements when looking into the cloud may lead them to hold back.
Automation must be focused around agent-carrier relations so agents can keep doing what they're supposed to be doing: selling policies.
In the next couple years, social projects with clear business objectives that allow for quantifiable ROI will be an unavoidable goal.
Maintaining agile operations and a strong technology framework are at the core of successful organizations.
Demand is outweighing supply for data experts who can connect the dots behind big data usage, but where will a growing supply come from?
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.
Recent survey recognizes that security extends well beyond IT among best-practice companies.
Between leadership, marketing and operational tactics, certain approaches and mindsets are needed to avoid the pitfalls of the post-recession market.
Americas first CIO Vivek Kundra offers lessons learned while working with enflamed costs and an IT budget of $80 billion.
Cloud is on everyone's radarbut not yet in everyone's data center.
CIOs enter the spotlight as insurers look to navigate new market terrain controlled by consumer wants and needs.
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.
The success of straight-through processing and product development upgrades relies heavily upon operations adjustments.
Potential consumers already believe they need more coverage, however, they need to be approached just the right way.
A well-grounded IT architectural approach provides the agility required to foster rapid growth.
The relationship between carriers and agents thrives on technological initiatives that simplify communicating and transferring information.
Applications, data security, hidden costs; here are the pros and cons of engaging or resisting a cloud migration.
Technology is rapidly transforming human interaction into informal communications, how can the insurance industry react?
What information to seek out before purchasing an enterprise upgrade and how to find it.
Cloud, mobility and analytics require a focused, enterprise approachhere's how to deliver.
Cloud storage and analytic capabilities could reassign the health insurance industry to the role of data intelligence intermediary.
Monitoring performance and financials before integration is completed can provide invaluable insights down the road.
For one insurance company, a hurricane inspired IT managers to build a better business continuity solution.
Customer engagement and why you need to start catering to the next wave of tech-savvy, demanding insurance consumers.
Three measures of a customers worth using analytics that might lead you to question age-old business paradigms.
These tools and methodologies, such as Hadoop and MapReduce, can help insurers unlock the real potential of Big Data.
Social media's versatility makes it impossible to assess objectively, but there are many examples of companies employing different strategies very effectively.
The carrier's first foray into the cloud came with security concerns that lead to more in-house control over compliance solutions.
Depending on how insurers utilize the nudge, it can either enhance or undermine customer service credentials.
Apple's presence in the enterprise is expected to grow still more pervasive in 2012.
It's easy to become servants to your technologyfor agents, making technology work for you is key.
'Bring your own device' means more productivity and better service to customers, but are they secure enough?
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?
Data security threats evolve even as organizations successfully lock down their systems.
A more optimistic outlook among most industry executives should mean a reinvigorated focus on the fundamentals behind achieving operational excellence.
Insurance companies are committing to technology-led expansion, unfortunately, particularly for IT hiring efforts, so is every other type of company.
Thanks to this weeks Supreme Court oral arguments, insurers have an opportunity to rethink how they conduct business.
What IDC's recent projections of cloud job growth mean for insurers.
The trickle-down consequences of increased outsourcing and reduced developer footprints could be a severe lack of in-house talent.
Is crowdsourcing a legitimate, sustainable method of solving business problems?
Upcoming IPv6 Launch Day means a permanent switchover. Are all your systems ready?
For dealing with the immense complexities behind regulatory and risk concerns, static data and spreadsheets may not cut it.
Automakers recent move to incorporate smartphone hubs into production and the recent outcries against distracted driving could put insurers in precarious position.
Why insurers are increasingly pressured to toss their hats into the policy admin ring.
New CIO survey reveals growing concern over who will be able to run back-end systems.
UK government compiles exhaustive list of open source alternatives to major software needs.
With cloud, you may simply improve your IT operations, or you may disrupt the entire industry.
Key considerations for building a truly social business, on the inside and outside.
Could Google's Android glasses push the limits of innovation in the insurance industry?
A convergence of tech forces are creating a new norm for insurance companies.
Jeremy Lin and confirmation bias: How analytics are finding a sure-fire way to upend the status quo.
Think tank Heartland Institute issues another hyperbolic statement, this time on leakedand possibly fakedocuments containing climate change information.
LIMRA survey of 53 life insurers finds vast majority currently engaged in mobile activity directed at producers.
How agents can use Facebook to reach out to policyholders when they need it most.
As insurers' IT infrastructures become more complex, EA provides a roadmap for technology investment decisions.
Well-executed initiatives in the back office can deliver bottom-line savings, are you up to the task?
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.
Translating technology options into business opportunities the chief concern of CIOs looking to strike the perfect balance.
Which U.S. P&C insurance company will be the first to use a social network as a platform to transact insurance?
As analytics becomes a key competitive differentiator, the skills needed to manage stores of data are in high demand.
As a deadline passes, the Federal Insurance Offices report on modernizing insurance regulation remains a no-show.
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.
With all the tools and technologies at our disposal, isnt it just good sense to hold clients contractually accountable for known risk management prevention efforts?
Business-minded as well as tech-savvy, this list points to the efficiencies and shortcuts that accompany the cloud.
IT professionals reporting major data breaches outline the ways executives become more engaged and supportive of data security efforts in the aftermath.
While creative disruption can be a factor in insurers quest for business growth, getting disruptive requirescarefulthought and planning.
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 aspirations of social media networks to glean larger profits from global user bases could intersect with insurers quest for expanded, universal outreach.
Amazon's recently unveiled NoSQL offering promises to pack a lot of capabilities into the cloud, but does this mean anything to insurers?
The new market demands a nuanced approach to reaching consumers, one that involves subtle tactics using today's networks of influence.
Analytics is the becoming the technology du jour.
Business principles of management dating back 100 years still provide insights into fostering continuous growth and efficiency.
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.
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.
Persistent economic, social and environmental risks are conflating to menace insurers.
New studies confirm many teenagers and 20-somethings prefer keyboards to dashboards.
Are the majority of insurance commercials trying too hard, and missing the point of marketing as a result?
The potential commoditization of insurance products means companies need to focus on self-service Web presences.
Many positive ways to look at this proactive approach to preventing fraud conducted over social media sites.
Insurance companies are now competing with start-ups and tech-savvy companies for a shrinking pool of IT talent.
CIO stress, a Big Data mess and cloud trustworthiness: Five predictions for IT in 2012 and the years beyond.
Internal use and consumer outreach using social media will undoubtedly persist, but it may take marketers to push the format to flourishing heights.
Without previous levels of investment return, the industry's IT stance remained conservative.
Cheaper, more powerful tools and a new breed of specialists will help insurers better understand their customers and markets in the year ahead.
To properly address the pending changes in health insurance, organizations should have both project management and process management offices in place
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.
In the face of the NTSB's recommended ban, auto manufacturers are gung-ho about adding more connectivity in the car.
Off-the-shelf consumer devices present conveniences for IT staffs and employees alike, but the list of potential risks they present warrants concern.
Insurers are skeptical about the cloud, but new developments could lend hope to a secure future.
The industry's struggle to assess and implement the right technologies at the right time.
As IT budgets begin to recover, storage and file recovery are hot items.
New survey shows savings from cloud computing are barely making a dent in corporate IT budgets. Is it time to rethink the approach?
After its first public event, the magnitude of the task facing the Federal Insurance Office becomes apparent.
Keeping property repair rates down requires not only proper initial assessment, but occasional re-evaluations from an underwriting perspective as well.
New survey puts insurance companies at the bottom of the list in terms of consumer-friendliness on the Web.
Potentially simpler interconnectivity and cheaper information dissemination processes could make insurers, and insureds' wallets, very happy.
Risks continue to outweigh the benefits when it comes to implementing technologies of convenience behind the wheel.
Fledgling social network offers unique potential if search engine personalization comes to fruition.
Many companies still operate in the dark while unknown numbers of customers are turned away by websites suffering slow or tedious processes.
Despite pressure to upgrade and leave legacy systems behind, COBOL has remained not only relevant, but common among IT systems within the industry.
10 years after the original call for agile business philosophies, where are insurers prevailing and what do they have yet to learn?
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.
With a bearish market persisting, IT is expected to deliver miracles without the luxury of economic hardship as an excuse.
Life insurers need to craft mitigation strategies for a prolonged low-rate environment.
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.
Where do you draw the line between distributed servers and mainframes? Is there even a line anymore?
Recent suit filed in Sacramento should serve as a reminder that when it comes securing data, there is no room for error.
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?
The conveniences of small size outweigh certain impracticalities as tablets and smartphones enamor insurance executives and agents.
Outsourcing is still a multi-billion dollar industry, but the future is getting cloudy as the market braces for a transitional phase.
Here's a lesson on how to assess IT performance by connecting it with business results...
As technology evolves, it may be that smartphone-toting field personnel are capable of doing their job anytime, anywhere.
Women are leading the way in both technology and business.
Business necessity or perceived lack thereof holds back many modernization efforts.
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.
Insurers waiting for an end to the soft market will be waiting awhile.
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.
Regardless of whether the IT industry's glass ceiling has been broken, entrepreneurs make for an industry of unprecedented opportunity for women.
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.
Insurance executives downplay their service delivery and mobile capabilities so far, which is promising.
Insurers believe creative disruption has value, and they want their share.
Three lessons to learn from the ongoing global economic crisis.
Carriers need to strike a balance between standardization and customization when writing policies and paying claims.
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?
As the industry becomes increasingly digitized, marketing and IT must inevitably learn to utilize the integral skill sets they can offer each other.
Cloud technology may solve storage problems, but only while creating security challenges.
Using Wayne Gretzky as a model for effectively processing Big Data.
Monitoring the data made available via social media networks goes beyond internal oversight.
The FIO Director's testimony hints at the sustained power of state insurance regulators and the influence of the FIO report due in January.
How one financial services outsourcer reduced the pains of taking on new customers.
Reducing expenses remains a key priority for insurers, but how much reduction is too much reduction?
What procurement and vendor management functions should be doing for you, and a can't-miss guide on how to use them more effectively.
Five things IT executives should do to enhance the profitability of their departments.
Delivering standards across changing technologies and platforms is a fast-moving target. What can we do to shore up our efforts?
The glut of new interactive technologies for cars being tested presents several layers of challenges to those who must evaluate automotive risks.
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.
Everyone wants and needs to 'compete on analytics,' but who will assure the right data is being used?
A new report says Smartphones can be used to record keyboard input, increasing the risk posed by such devices to the enterprise.
If there was ever a time to work extra at improving the industry's image, an unfortunate, natural disaster-prone 2011 may be it.
A survey of 90 insurers found customer service experience and product design contribute the highest amount of potential value to creative disruption.
Guidelines asking for disclosure of cyber-attacks arent backed by regulation or mandate, so why should an insurer willingly shoot itself in the foot?
With success in fraud detection, automated decision management could spread to low-level decisions in policy administration, underwriting and more.
A new study shows, surprisingly, that outsourcing internal help desk functions is declining, despite the cost savings.
Getting a job is tough everywhere, but IT job seekers still put insurance at the bottom of their wish lists.
Reverse the hiring process with capacity management, a focus on internal productivity and a reduced emphasis on arbitrary goals.
New survey of CIO's 2012 priorities begs for a definition of "IT and business alignment."
Insurers take note: The USPS suggests that customers appreciate the safety and security of paper statements sent via snail mail.
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.
Actually, there are four methods that are still to be considered by insurers when replacing a system...
Theres no question that solid state drives cost more than their magnetic counterparts, but do the costs still outweigh the benefits?
IBM's annual X-Force report reveals the latest trends and abandoned tricks among IT security threats.
The insurance industry has come to call for rapid adaptation, yet core modernization methods remain antiquated within many carriers.
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.
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?
NASA says the overall sea level has declined over the past year, so what are insurers to think?
With precise tools to monitor performance out of the office, home-based service representatives are proving themselves a worthwhile investment.
An IVANS survey reveals why agents are so reluctant to look to social media for communications and customer service.
A natural-language supercomputer holds unlimited potential in unraveling uncertainties surrounding claims and conditions.
Word-of-mouth has always been powerful; social media is simply supercharging the process.
Real-time, location-based intelligence is transforming the way auto insurers operate.
What's different about today's 'Big Data' when compared to 'Big Data' in 2000 or 1990?
Proactive response is the key; government action is not the answer.
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.
How far is too far when it comes to gathering and sharing information about potential customers?
GIS and social media converge to provide a 360-degree view of what's happening on the ground after disasters.
Some surprises emerge as I rehash INN's Legacy Systems Study in light of attempting to update my auto insurance.
TRIA may have survived budget cuts, but insurers are still struggling to manage terrorism risk.
Researchers say that old and useless files are taking up valuable space in our systems, space that data-intensive insurance enterprises cant afford to lose.
Recent discussions on modernizing legacy systems and evolving with cloud computing in the insurance industry reveals transitions are happening quicker and more frequently.
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.
While insurers are dealing with the limitations of legacy systems, newer mainframes are making headway by solving legacy problems.
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.
Social media, text messaging, customer assistance and catastrophes: How Irene and the recent earthquake have taught us to communicate.
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.
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.
There are seven sets of open-source applications that run everything from front offices to CRM.
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...?
It seems the demands of virtual and cloud technologies may be overheating older insurance hardware systems, but will we replace them?
A new study says most IT operations have and use steering committees, but do these committees have any real say in what goes on?
Ghoulish? Sure, but how can the industry fight the real cause of insurance fraud?
Rethinking marketing resource allocation and service-delivery functions to serve customers in light of a continuously shifting buyer's journey.
Data centers range from huge industrial complexes to shipping containers to smartphones.
Computer modeling has successfully predicted the geographical spread of West Nile virus; can other diseases be far behind?
Using technology to stay ahead of the seemingly impossible compliance curve, and saving a few bucks in the process.
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.
Will new problems with credit ratings and international economies short-circuit growth in IT spending? Quite possibly.
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.
Data security isnt the only risk associated with cloud computing; physical security is also a challenge.
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.
There are multiple examples of how social media data can impact operational results at insurance companies.
An experimental device is alleged to read a drivers intention to brake, but its practicality and reliability is questionable.
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?
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.
A forecast increase in overall IT spending and in cloud computing funding will have to wait for insurer fears to subside.
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.
Converting to a new PAS is much like running a race. Preparation is critical, regardless of the distance.
An IBM study confirms consumer demand for technology, but hurdles remain.
Maybe Google Plus will do no more than shake up Facebook ... or will it fragment the audience, making each platform less valuable?
Congress is patting itself on the back for its new bill, but the fix is far less than is needed.
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.
Other factors, including a bottoming-out of the recession, likely have also played a role.
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.
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.
The big worry in cybercrime is data or systems loss, but hacking into implanted devices may also be a cause for concern.
The user experience is changing for the better, in both subtle and dramatic ways.
Insurers have tough decisions to make in order to strike a balance between security and loss of productivity.
Is there technology out there that can save insurers from mistakenly classifying luxury automobiles as farm vehicles?
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.
User organizations are banding together to establish baseline for cloud data interactions.
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.
A power struggle is developing between CIOs and CFOs, and the loser will be our enterprises.
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.
Some say hacking has become a form of entertainment; if so, the insurance industry is likely safer than many.
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.
Winning management teams have adapted to new dynamics, achieving the jet squadrons equivalent of focused synchronicity in translating shared plans to targeted results.
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.
The OS is something we're thinking less and less about, as we focus on higher parts of the stack.
If we collectively suffer from a bad rap, it's because our industry lacks a community of leaders that can act as an organized fronta cohesive voice that can rebrand insurance as a prominent and respected force in financial services.
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.
Insurance is said to be leading a tepid revival in IT spending for 2011, but the overall picture is anything but encouraging.
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.
USAA's corporate culture fostered on the inside is reflected out to the market.
Insurers will be challenged is to make work on legacy systems as interesting and fulfilling as any social networking startup may be.
The insurance industry needs to emphasize mobile initiatives and begin to guide consumer expectations rather than sit back and watch.
My blog on Why Do So Many IT Projects Fail touched a nerve with readers who offered more possible reasons.
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.
New research is advancing the notion of remote healthcare monitoring, an obvious plus for health insurers, but social factors may inhibit adoption.
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.
When creating an influence channel, insurers and agents could really help each other: Insurers need social media fan recruitment, and agents need content.
Insurers need to formulate sensible policies surrounding the use of social media.
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.
Experts at the IASA Educational Conference and Business Show came up with lots of potential answers, but a solution continues to elude us.
Without dirt-cheap storage, there would be no Big Data. And no cloud for that matter, either.
Scientists and the insurance industry are wise to ponder the potential impact of climate change.
Undergoing a PAS replacement affects nearly everyone in the organization, as well as agents and insureds. As a result, organizational change management is essential.
Another INN blogger had a different take on Al Gores speech at IASA, but in the end, Gore cannot escape the slick image he earned as a politician.
How does the strategically-focused insurance organization avoid the anomaly of Parkinsons Law, especially given the current economic environment?
At IASA, Gore could not resist diving into what he called the climate crisis and its alleged importance to the insurance industry.
Former Vice President Al Gore touched on everything from Moores 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.
Core systems renewal and improving the customer experience help optimism hold the lead over pessimism.
Organizations need to defend their data assets against internal threats, not only disaffected workers but also trusted administrators who hold the keys.
Insurers contemplating integrating mobile platforms into their enterprises must take heed of this disturbing trend and make tough calls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Innovate or die is a phrase often bandied about these days, and for insurance companies, its advice to take to heart.
Japanese companies are selling one-time policies for risks that are interesting and surprising, thanks to wireless technology.
The annual insurance technology conference saw shifting trends, but issues from the past remain a challenge.
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.
Cloud computing may help meet some the challenges that are arising from Big Data.
A data center industry survey sees operations migrating to the cloud as resources dwindle.
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.
Niche brokers and insurers should view telematics as a market differentiator, and auto insurers should think of as a means to meet impending legislation.
Most everyone agrees they are needed, but the practicalities are the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
Shockingly, there is a stunning disconnect between consumers who are increasingly concerned about data breaches and the boards responsible for preventing them.
As the use of geolocation data from mobile devices draws consumer complaints and legislative scrutiny, insurers need to proceed with caution.
Even seemingly trivial discussions can help insurers identify brand advocates.
Remember this when creating your strategy: Its not about how you want to sell, its about how your customer wants to buy.
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.
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.
Idea management systems are just one option for insurers looking to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.
A successful PAS refresh requires the collaboration of individuals representing the program management, business and IT functions.
Financial and political hurdles continue to dog policymakers and serve to create a stalemate that will affect the programs fate.
The emerging social aspect to MDM makes insurers strategies around collecting and retaining data gleaned from social media engagements all the more important.
Agents and advisers should be well versed in the facts and fallacies regarding disability income insurance.
Insurers need a firm strategy when employing social networking channels.
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?
While cloud may have turned the IT world upside down, the basics of business continuity remain the same.
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.
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?
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?
In this economic landscape, insurers are looking for solutions that assist measurable achievement of operational goals, and position the company well for profitable growth.
Social media may still be thought of as a separate emerging technology by insurers, but soon it will be the norm.
Technology should enable complete automation of underwriting to the point where getting insured is a simple plug-and-play process, but will that happen?
While the number of records breached dropped from 2009, the overall number of breaches rose to its highest-ever level.
An Innovation in Insurance survey confirms that carriers value the input and advice of analysts, but dont always trust its objectivity.
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.
At USAA, the commitment to innovation is readily apparent.
Good governance is the key to keeping MDM initiatives on track at Protective Life.
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.
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.
Crazy as it sounds, the Department of Justice needed a court order to disrupt a botnet that has been operating for a decade.
The industry, on the whole, is less profitable than it was 40 years ago. So how do we turn it around?
Insurers attempting to "boil the ocean" when developing a successful BI initiative will fail every time.
Cloud computing offers a variety of advantages, but security concerns will grow with the technology.
Through a combination of key technologies and partnering with the business, IT can help insurers achieve profitable growth.
The Epsilon breach should make insurers question how their data is being protected once its outsourced.
Ultra-efficient server design will interest insurance technologists looking to trim energy usage in their data centers.
Carriers need to help their agents leverage social media to attract new clients.
Insurers may be interested to learn about these 5 innovations in auto safety technology.
While the insurance industry has been relatively free of major security problems, a new breach at the Hartford is an ominous sign.
Insurers are finding that they must create a new role in their organizationone that merges IT discipline and business know-how.
In wake of David Sokols exit, speculation mounts surrounding Buffets possible successor.
One insurer has already gone Lean, and is reaping the rewards.
A huge security breach yields only customer names and e-mail addresses, but thats more than enough to cause significant problems.
Oftentimes, the one-size-fits-all mentality doesnt hold true for insurers trying to implement best practices learned from other companies.
Experts say insurance fraud has grown in the current recession, but insurers seem unwilling to fund anti-fraud measures
Its imperative that insurers business priorities and the competitive industry benchmarking process drive their selection of a PAS vendor.
Master data management is insurers best recourse to unlock the siloed data often associated with multiple applications for each line of business.
A couple of Chinese insurers have found a creative way to extend the retirement business value chain.
There is no easy answer, but for many insurers, the necessity to upgrade is dire.
While not yet mainstream, electric cars are being mass-produced, and carriers need to get in the drivers seat when it comes to insuring them on the roads.
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.
If perception of risk depends on how its described, we need to look closely at the descriptions before making risk-based insurance decisions.
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 raceupgrading to the best hardware available every two years.
Car manufacturers and consumer electronics giants are working together on a connectivity standard, but seem to be ignoring vehicle and data security.
For many insurers, skill development in business analysis is often insufficient to maintain sustained performance at sufficient levels.
As experts express their opinions on the topic, the only consensus is that Big Data is a very fluid term.
Insurers may openly welcome Obamas pick for FIO chief, but risks remain in the rule-making process.
OnStar and other remote services provide many benefits, but also open the door to theft and vandalism.
Aflacs situation with comedian Gilbert Gottfrieds Twitter comments about the Japanese disaster has shown that insurers must develop well-defined and well-communicated social media usage policies.
Sometimes, leaders can get the most benefit from simply changing the approach used, the questions asked and the focus of attention.
Economic, compliance and geopolitical risks are top of mind at ERM symposium.
As the reality of devastation and loss of life sink in, some seek to point the finger of blame at technology.
With mobile computing, employees in the field can access executive dashboards or alerts that impart streams of critical information.
As part of a broader mobility strategy, telematics has the potential to fundamentally transform the customer/insurer relationship.
French insurance CIOs divinations proving true; the nation's pending tax reforms could impact the life insurance industry for years to come.
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.
Cloud computing can be an enabler of entrepreneurship and organizational transformation.
While the former U.S. vice president regularly rails against climate change, he has now found other topics on which to opine.
Working toward service-oriented architecture is a worthy goalfind out where your company ranks.
P&C agents have their work cut out for them trying to get customers to understand why homeowners coverages cost what they do.
Being ready with the right execution framework, tools and organization structure is the key to a successful integration.
A practical development approach delivers skill and process enhancements as part of software development.
IBMs Watson-type systems were inspired by science fiction, but until they can understand context, they will be flawed.
If you have inefficient processes or a creaky, hidebound management culture, don't expect technology to smooth things over.
Scientists have built a system that lets you steer with your thoughts, but insurers will have a tough time rating drivers.
The arguments for each tack are compelling, but is the economy poised to help insurers reach their goals?
A truck insurer is king of the road when it comes to mobile app development.
An incremental approach can help achieve business benefits during transformation.
Advanced AI systems like those being developed by IBM sound great, but acquiring such systems is another matter.
As carriers chase down growth, policyholders are left with inflexible service and often brutal customer experience.
IBM says its Watson computer can do more than defeat human Jeopardy champs; it can be a tool for better and faster insurance processes.
Companies are concerned about application vulnerabilities, mobile device management.
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.
A report cites social media millionaires as potential wealth management clients, but the risk profile is not pretty.
The speed, scale and accuracy with which you translate analytics into operational improvements can create major cost and competitive differentiators for your organization.
The insurer announced that it's letting Florida policyholders sign up for a program that tracks their driving habits and adjusts their rates accordingly.
As any good insurance exec knows, a company is only as good as its last customer service call. IBM knows this toothat's part of why its still here.
Insurance professionals who want to stop the unauthorized flow of data to criminal sources should start by looking within their own enterprises.
Mobile devices are booming, but may never become the computing platform of choice for enterprises.
Everyone seems to agree that legacy systems are a drag on insurance processes, but aren't today's new systems tomorrow's legacy platforms?
The rise of ubiquitous and mobile computing is creating a range of new innovations, limited only by imaginations.
The cyber barbarians are at insurers gatesis your data secure?
Even robots can make mistakes, but when a human life is involved, who takes the blame?
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.
Todays CIO should be less a technologist, and more a business person who creates advantages and differentiators using technology
Insurers and others who trust sensitive information to wireless transmissions are putting themselves at grave risk.
The first step for many claims investigators now is to scour social networking sites for information.
Understanding how to leverage social media, winning customer loyalty through service and finding new innovations can make a world of difference for insurers.
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.
While much ballyhooed and potentially important, insurers should first take a breath and think about where they fit into the big picture.
After 18 months of study, presidential commission finds that everybody and nobody is responsible for the financial crisis.
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.
Some insurers have recognized this large base of skills and assets, and found ways to leverage them.
SAS co-founder & CEO Jim Goodnight reflects on the promise and challenges surrounding business analytics technology.
A new report says smartphone users are more likely than PC users to fall victim to phishing and providing confidential information.
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.
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.
SOA is so pervasive, it impacts everybody in an organization from top to bottom.
The presidents of the U.S. and China say the right things, but details, as usual, are sorely lacking.
10 things CIOs must take into account when justifying the need to transform core systems.
No longer is a simple customer transaction an event that is unlikely to damage a companys reputation and brand.
A computer of Watsons power would be a definite boon if available to insurers.
Catalan system sifts through large volumes of data to find patterns of interest.
Aflacs CIO discusses how technology has made a significant difference for the companys agents and employees.
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.
Underwriters had their work cut out for them last year trying to figure out these vehicular advancements.
New ioSafe model may appeal for rugged insurance field operations.
Cloud, technically speaking, may be a simple concept using existing technologies, but don't be fooled into thinking that's all it is.
Can you imagine conducting all of your day-to-day business on a smartphone? Yeah, didnt think so
Before your New Years resolutions begin to fall by the wayside, you should ask yourself the following questions.
How can insurers protect privacy when insureds place so little value on it?
Whats hidden below the surface is what drives disproportionate cost in your organization.
We know mainframes can take a pounding, but they also need to be responsive and Web-aware.
Despite the prevalence of the trusted adviser model, relationships are expensive and at low premium levels, not worth the investment.
In the year to come, popular sentiment will push wireless device growth in insurance/financial services, but increasing security problems will push back.
Those who view SOA as a "magic bullet" may consider taking a more realistic approach to its implementation.
Judy Johnson, a much-heralded and beloved figure, passes away.
With much at stake, insurers may benefit from mobile web best practices being issued by an international standards body.
One thing is certain: Technology will play the most prominent role in all efforts.
Paying attention to the signs and reacting properly will result in success.
When it comes to IT, insurers kept their investment cards close to the vest in 2010.
Despite popular opinions, many firms continue to take a smart approach to SOA.
Insurers may want to take heed of these trends and incorporate them into their own customer experience strategies.
By streamlining and enhancing IT operations, Chartis already has recouped about $127 million in infrastructure savings.
Our industry needs a glimmer of hope in this dreary time.
A culture of complacency hampers information security efforts, and as a result, sensitive corporate data is vulnerable to tampering and theft.
Surprisingly little data combined with new technology can uncover connections between individuals that may hurt insurers and insureds.
Despite significant global economic struggles affecting all financial services firms, Asian insurers persevered to create innovative products and business practices.
Courier services and pizza places already have websites with robust sales and services features; insurers should, too.
For those not on thin-client hookups, the message is clear: Know what applications are on your systems and how they work.
Improved searchability and knowledge sharing are just two of the benefits of the less-paper office.
Gone are the days when a single vendoror even engaging two or three vendorsis a viable strategy.
Between anticipated insurer cutbacks and increased outsourcing of operations, the picture isnt rosy for insurance IT folk.
Could mobile apps be making insurance fun and friendly for the consumer?
If it costs more to process medical records, someone will have to pay those costs--but it doesnt have to be that way.
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.
While insurers still have to pour money and resources into developing for different mobile platforms, end-users have alleviated much of the pain.
Celebrities aren't the only ones protecting "unusual" assets from potential risks.
Nations are vying for the exascale computing crown, but are we prepared to handle the speeds at which our computers will function?
Todays 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.
The Swiss government defines aggregators as brokers, leading to an interesting situation in which insurers pay them for use of their platforms.
Carriers still challenged with aligning operating expenses with the "new normal" should pursue a transformational strategy rather than an incremental approach.
Private clouds still present the same maintenance and hardware costs that companies have been struggling with all along, say some industry analysts.
Celebrities have long been insuring their most valuable assets, but sometimes those assets can be a little over the top.
Report of Internet traffic hijacking highlights danger.
While IT grunt work may be outsourced, the need for talented managers and professionals who understand both business and technology sides remains.
As climate researchers turn verbal somersaults to explain their findings, insurers will remain perplexed over future weather patterns.
Many insurers think their IT departments can do as good of a jobor betteron a project than a vendor, but they may not be right.
Many believe that the future for insurers is in the mobile Web.
The outcome of the current administration's efforts to clamp down on Internet privacy may create a positive spin for President Obamaand migraines for insurers simply trying to conduct business.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little imagination
and some collaborative software to kick-start the process.
As studies confirm the promise and limits of traditional safe driving initiatives, technology may provide an answer.
The feds say it will be a secure system, but definitions of security vary.
Complexity, timeliness, effective teamwork, risk mitigation, cost management and deliveryall aided by using a checklist.
IT is now called upon to play a more proactive role to help insurers advance in a new globalized, hyper-competitive environment.
The President does his best to mollify India while dismissing the idea of lost jobs at home as an old stereotype.
Although depended upon for virtually every aspect of the business, IT still has issues that are shrouded in uncertainty.
Many in the insurance world are still slow to recognize social media as a viable tool and an effective way to reach the customer.
A new report sees wireless devices and social networking applications as enticing targets for cyber-criminals.
Republican plans to overturn Dodd-Frank and Health Care Reform are long shots; the real action may be elsewhere.
Like many other areas of specialized knowledge, this information can be invaluable and will position you as a value-added practitioner.
Insurers can take simple steps that ultimately return far more than what they initially cost.
For years we have accepted that software glitches are inevitable, but we cant afford to allow that to continue.
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.
Though the devices may be inevitable, whose devices will be the standard?
The insurer enables five different business lines to tap into common data services supported by a data warehouse.
The dreaded budgeting process is well underway (hopefully), and without scenario-planning tools to help with projections, the task can be difficult.
While many Asian consumers are staring to purchase policies from banks, the majority still prefer the personal touch of agents.
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.
The recent extension does little to address the long-term viability of financially hobbled flood insurance program.
One of the reasons mainframes are so popular again is their ability to scale to the growing requirements of cloud computing.
Facebook is suing some spammers, but will it really do any good?
Given its value, it must be treated with the same sense of security and accountability as money.
With the inexorable move toward the commoditization of IT, CIOs' duties may eventually float off into the cloud.
While the business and IT linkage still is not perfect, it has come a long way.
While insurers have the technology to do amazing things, they must not let organizational issues hinder them from putting it to good use.
Software is still a hot area for VC investment, but green technologies seem less appealing.
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.
Legal requirements drive tech product development and data management policies.
Analysts from around the globe discuss regional insights that could aid U.S. insurers.
Despite the economy's negative effect on insurers' IT strategies, there are a few "new normal" factors in play that may provide balance.
P&C insurers still arent taking advantage of customer data that already exists within their organizations.
If youre wondering what to do with your IT outsourcing budget while the recession rages on, start by cleaning up your data and processes.
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.
High-powered tech execs have ideas, some of which are actually good.
Innovation, growing the business and keeping the lights on are crucial for insurance IT shops.
Given the emergence of social networks, insurers should consider how the data they provide on individuals is being usedboth in their companies and by others.
Experts offer competing visions on what it takes to make insurance companies thrive.
Vicious computer worms intended or unintended victims may include large, highly insured industrial facilities.
A puppy may be just the thing to turn the tide of negative public perception.
Most P&C agents attempts to sell life products fail, but there are workable solutions to the dilemma.
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.
While BlackBerry may be late to the game, insurance IT shops prefer its security features to Apple's.
Despite pronouncements that the recession has ended, we're still not back yet to business as usual.
Companies that figure out how to manage for creativity will have a crucial advantage in the ever-increasing competition for talent.
An economist group might think the downturn is over, but reality tells a different tale.
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.
ISO plans to develop a behavior database to aid underwriting decisions, but its important to remember that correlation does not necessarily equal causation.
Almost 80% of insurers are willing to outsource printing and mailing, but there are other, less drastic ways, to save money.
Insurers should look at six key areas going forward to develop a competitive advantage.
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.
Outsourcing jobs may or may not be a sensible financial decision, but either way, both the outsourced individual and the company pay the price.
At CSCs Future Focus, the buzz was around consumers, agents and mobilityall topics insurers cant ignore.
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.
Risk management software company is a natural fit with Big Blues insurance offerings
Insurers could realize a 105% return on equity as a result of a 10% improvement in data quality and mobility.
All these technological changes are reshaping customer expectations. Whats a carrier to do?
A noted Childrens Hospital is appealing a $250,000 fine for not reporting a data breach, but this should be a huge red flag for insurers.
Finding examples in other parts of the company can contribute a focused and meaningful perspective.
Technologies such as business analytics are opening up new possibilities for coaxing businesses out of their comfortable boxes.
When perpetrators of major cyber-crimes get a mere slap on the hand, we all lose.
Data migration issues have long held life insurers back from replacing their legacy systems.
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.
Insurers may want to ensure they're not guilty of providing a vastly different quality of customer service via social media versus other channels.
With the economy continuing to suck wind, vendors, too, need to find ways to get more value out of what they produce.
A new study and some Congressional testimony reinforce the difference a CEOs abilities have on company performance.
Expert believes its more about communication and less about alignment.
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.
Hyper-social product development and innovation are the next frontier for insurance companies.
Car insurance has been on the market since 1897six years after the first recorded car accident.
Insurers should ensure that the Web portals being used to simplify transactions with agents and customers don't make things harder on them.
Bounties on defects make a lot of fiscal sense.
How do increased automation and the advent of swarms fit in an industry that seriously values its personal interactions and relationships?
If U.S. and European governments dont address their chronic deficit and debt problems soon, we may see a major nations economy fail in the next five years.
Effective distribution management strategies result in 65% adoption rate among growing demographic.
Perhaps the answer is to take user-empowered networking and secure it with user empowerment.
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.
Academics and security vendors say they uncovered Windows vulnerabilities months ago; what did Microsoft know?
To ensure effective change within an organization, C-level executives need to cultivate leaders at the business unit level.
From the ancient Chinese to the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, the insurance industry can trace its history back to the beginnings of our civilization.
A key benefit of having a common MDM repository is enhanced customer support and increased customer loyalty.
New drives are smaller than a postage stamp with no moving parts.
There are many avenues open for insurers to either migrate or modernize legacy systems to bring them up to code.
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.
The government of India may shut down BlackBerry and other messaging services for security reasons, but is wireless technology really the problem?
Compliance only seems to be stepping up, as governments require more information and accountability from enterprises.
Still slow to catch on in the United States, bancassurance is quickly becoming a major distribution channel in Asian markets.
Toshiba drives offer auto-erasing of sensitive data on shutdown, but their limits have yet to be tested.
Containerized data centers may be a viable option for insurers that want to keep their servers in-house, while keeping their purse strings tight.
In this time of economic uncertainty, should auto insurers align themselves with Big Brother approaches to catching the uninsured?
Technology may some day enable cars to sense danger and avoid it, but how will this affect auto insurance?
Employing business transaction management practices is a good starting place.
The innovative app took social networking to new levels, but failed to make it relevant to the humans who tried it.
Understanding your customers and their traits is only the first step.
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.
Definitions and interpretations aside, an effective SOA deployment can lay the groundwork for cloud formations.
An apparent shift in criminals strategies toward poorly protected banking services should spark concern, but does it?
The negative public perception of the industry only compounds insurers challenges to hiring new employees.
Who thought the entertainment industry might be in a position to liberate insurers from an unrelenting bad rap?
Many insurers are now securing their databases by "data masking," which removes confidential data elements and replaces them with usable, fictitious data.
License revocations and opprobrium are the inevitable results of those who are seen as having taken advantage of service members or their families.
Insurers must devise a plan to communicate with aggregators, properly utilize agents and create an effective multi-channel management strategy.
Social networking and BPM could create a new approach to collaboration across organizations.
Enterprise managers are keeping their cards close to the vest as they wait for the economy to show more definite signs of recovery.
Some think mobile devices are the rising stars while PCs are legacy toast. But is that true for insurers?
The business often asks crazy things of IT, but sometimes that craziness can lead to creativity.
The first ripples from regulatory reform are already being felt.
Survey data reveal that IT employees are more confident about a number of thingsincluding finding employment elsewhere.
The concerns of Japanese insurers are very similar to those of their North American counterparts.
Investments can be made in one area, but if other related areas are forgotten, the initial investment's benefits may be less than expected.
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.
Effective deployment of information technology will be a difference-maker for insurers.
Giving customers what they want seems like a no-brainer, but where do we draw the line between service and servitude?
To reach consumers, the confectioner, like many insurers lately, is eschewing traditional e-mail marketing in favor of social media.
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.
Black Hat was set to expose Chinese cyber-attack capabilities until big-money agencies stepped in to silence them.
The insurer believes an analytics-based strategy is the future of customer relationships.
Insurers watch and wait as Microsoft looks to standardize cloud services around its Azure platform.
Researchers and TV shows have already proven that its possible, but is it advisable?
No prior IT architecture initiative has had an impact as positive or broad-reaching as SOA.
Effective data management and data quality are no longer nice to have options.
When was the last time your company rolled out an innovation? Are you playing catch-up?
Consumers want it, but will we survive itand how do we insure it?
An increase in qualified actuarial resources, and a need to move actuaries into more strategic activities, will offer insurers opportunities that were previously unavailable.
Universities have taken up the challenge of grooming willing replacements for needy insurers.
However, we now have new means and methodologies to add to our toolboxes.
The economy, it seems, is forcing us to make choices.
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.
Study shows consumers want responsiveness, but clearly they also dont trust portals when it comes to more difficult issues.
Insurers are finally starting to stand up and take notice of Lean IT, which has been a staple in the manufacturing world for years.
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.
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?
While it doesnt make sense for insurers to hand over critical systems to third-parties, there are many other processes that can be handed over without worry.
While some hopeful signs are anticipated, economic recovery is still not a reality in terms of IT budget levels.
A new tax on British insurance purchases creates a challenge for insurer IT departments to respond in a timely fashion.
Even the best-aligned insurers face IT departments not quite getting what the users want, and users not understanding how IT operates.
The best way for insurers to differentiate themselves from their competitors is to deliver on this simple promise.
Pundits and analysts are having a field day with social media for insurance, but is it really that big of a deal?
Asian insurance CIOs tend to be very tech-aware, and are actively pursuing process automation.
Not treating data quality as an IT issue and taking critical enterprise info out of employees' heads are two of the keys.
The economic recovery horses are at the starting gate, but when will the race begin, and when do we plunk down our bets?
Insurer says achieving efficient, green data centers need not be expensive or overwhelming.
Cyber-security is a rapidly growing problem, but youd never know it by the response in our industry.
Risk management is only the first of many apps and functions that can be delivered via cloud-based services to insurers.
A more integrated and holistic approach to the delivery of health care is crucial.
The economy still stinks, but the IASA Educational Conference and Business Show came up smelling like a rose.
Most bad business policies involve similar one-stage thinkingthe type of thinking that never considers the question: And then what happens?
An industry analyst survey says BI systems efforts arent cutting it in the insurance industry.
Messaging and collaboration, and infrastructure have even the largest of carriers reaching for the cloud.
A good reputation will prevail over all, especially in the insurance marketplace.
Vendors are making insurance software tools easier for business users, but how much technology can we leave in the hands of non-techies?
Breaking business process problems down into components to be digested by groups of three people can save insurers significant amounts of time.
Exhibitors acknowledge improvements, but daunting challenges remain.
What insurers can do to enhance their customer experience in the years ahead.
For those who see converting to a green facility as daunting or expensive, Aflac has five words: it's okay to start small.
Seriously engaging and understanding the customer is of dire importance.
A surprising reprimand of national politicians and a less surprising disregard for the industry highlighted the conferences first day.
One of the keys to good employee management, and ensuring fairness, for insurers is open, effective communication.
Without cloud, insurers risk obsolescence as their competitors may win on cost and efficiency alone.
As a result, the government ponders creation of a Financial Stability and Development Council to lay down clear guidelines for the financial market.
We provide insurance for those whose identities are stolen, so why not add preventive services?
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 remains an intriguing channel and marketing tool for insurers, and this debate with regulators underlines just how important it could be.
The question of how to handle security identification is a thorny one.
Insurers must ask themselves What?, When? and Why? while defining their cloud adoption strategy.
The new Cyber Command appointment confirms the notion that we really are engaged in cyber-war.
The boundary between where social networking for an employer stops, and personal networking begins keeps getting fuzzier and fuzzier.
As insurers expand accessibility for the customer and distribution systems, streamlining supporting processes becomes even more important.
Everyone wants to appear to be a good global citizen, but the bottom line still dominates decisions.
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.
Expert believes cloud, for insurers, is the next phase in the logical evolution in the delivery of IT services.
IT budgets arent growing, but critical needs are still critical. How do we know when to take the economic recovery seriously?
Given the importance of distribution management to P&C, life and annuity insurers in 2009, carriers should go one step further with PRM.
There are many ways to store data, but mitigating risk must be priority No. 1.
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.
Insurers should keep apprised of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook's latest developments, as they could have profound effects on the business.
Social media outlets are hot marketing toolsand dangerous security risks. Whats an insurer to do?
Perhaps this isn't surprising, as smaller firms have a lot more to lose if they have fraudulent accounts in their midst.
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.
Insurers self-service strategies should be about bringing together process management and customer experience management.
Steering a car with ones eyes seems like a neat idea ... until you look the wrong way.
Narragansett Bay Insurances CIO offers tips for insurers on how to best leverage the cloud while minimizing risks.
Planned acquisition of compliance specialist firm will pay dividends in an industry sharply focused on complying.
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 shouldnt rush to adopt new systems simply because they're the latest-and-greatest new tech.
Starting slowly and establishing best practices from the outset are two keys to mitigating cloud computing's risks.
A university study implies that young people are just as concerned as baby boomers about online privacy, but the details tell a different story.
Insurers will increasingly use public, shared data to make informed pricing decisions, which begs the question: How will underwriters use this new information?
Letting customers do the work for themselves obviously saves money for insurers, but why dont more customers do it?
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.
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.
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?
Recent security breaches have focused attention on Indian outsourcers at a time when they can least afford it.
Messaging and e-mail are the best starting points for insurers, experts say.
A federal court says the FCC has no authority to regulate broadband Internet providers, but a free-market will still create opportunities.
Expert says insurers should mandate risk management exercises be a part of every IT project.
Expert says one of the most common misconceptions is the belief that cloud computing is a cheaper technology to be implemented and deployed.
Two senators warn of impending disaster, but some seem to think the threat is overblown.
Its no surprise that customers dont relate well to the machinations of our customer-facing software.
Unified communications is the integration of various communication media with business process management and workflow.
The challenge for insurers, experts say, is to stay focused on the customer, but without additional funding to do so.
An unbalanced UK economy and uneven success across Europe utilizing a bancassurance model have hindered life insurers overall success.
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.
When paired, cloud computing and BPM permit insurers to identify, model and automate mission-critical business processes.
Any organization connected to health care is going to need lots of expertise in data management and architecture sooner than later.
The Chinese government and Google both seek the moral high ground, but Chinas record on the Web reveals hypocrisy.
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.
Thinking globally and acting locally, Patni follows the example of Mitsubishi and others that have brought jobs to the United States.
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.
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.
Would Apples show of appreciation land it in hot water with Obamas salary watchdog?
Creating this type of a dialogue between employees frequently yields greater efficiencies for the organization.
A new IBM study finds CFOs have gained power as a result of the financial crisis, but lack tools needed to make good decisions.
Insurers that were most happy with their IT services vendor felt they had a true partnership with their vendor.
Sure, online health care will save time and money, but it will also alienate patients from their providers.
Insurers shouldn't ignore developing mobile apps for customers, integrating social media across all activities and honing multi-channel communications.
The average large insurance company has 13 Twitter accounts, according to the study.
UK consumers have learned that their loyalty is usually rewarded with a hike in premiums.
A new, more robust version of the federal governments intrusion detection program could be a blessing for U.S. businesses, but already the specter of invasion of privacy is being raised.
While greatly desired by many insurers, this promise is often more aspiration than realization.
While the space insurance market is currently small, one expert says it's vital for sustainable commercial space activities.
Everyone agrees that something needs to be done, but crooks know they can count on government for a phlegmatic response.
Implementing new strategy requires leadership, executive involvement, a plan, technology and discipline, among other things.
New studies find consumers are still slowly recovering from the economic maelstrom that hit between 2007 and 2009.
IT is a world unto itself, and thats part of the problem when it proves to be ineffective.
Leveraging existing assets and getting privacy concerns right the first time are two important lessons insurers can learn.
The end-goal for many insurers is to bring self service to all aspects of customer and agent interfaces. And everybody wants it.
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?
Part of IT planning is to consider how a system will be kept up-to-date, and how it will eventually be retired.
By opening channels for customer interaction, USAA shows that it's keeping customer care front and center.
When you do something wrong with someone elses computer, are you still entitled to keep it secret?
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.
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.
The bleeding edge is a risky place, and our industry doesnt like risk.
Maintaining control over quality should be your strategic objective, but how do you do so when you are forced to cut costs?
Most of us would not buy a car based solely on a review of features and functions on the manufactures Web site or brochure, and its similar in the world of core system evaluation.
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.
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.
Insurers dont 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.
Open source offers rapid turnaround and quicker time to market, which appeals to many insurers.
The Toyota recall is the perfect opportunity for carriers to encourage online self-service.
Speed is an important part of the equation that yields customer satisfaction and begets retention, but not at the cost of relationship building.
Experts believe companies should gradually immerse themselves in social networking strategiesnot dash in an all-at-once fashion.
Insurers looking at IT outsourcing, whether for hardware, software or people, should focus not on cost, but long-term business value.
A new study from IBM suggests that data governance is critical, but actions based on data are unique.
Critic contends that all this cloud terminology is sort of silly, and suggest that it may even be setting the industry back.
IT personnel budgets for 2010 are slightly higher, but who will actually benefit from the increase?
Today's insurance CIO must rise above the shortcomings of his predecessors, and be equally adept at dealing with both business and technology issues.
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.
Just a few pieces of information may be all that is needed to identify youyet new methods make breaching your privacy even easier.
A Texas bank is suing a business customer that was victimized by cyber-theft; what will insurers do in similar circumstances?
Platform and infrastructure, software development customization and application maintenance are expected to garner the biggest spending increases.
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.
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.
Actions by French insurers could trigger new rounds of discussions and delay the effective implementation of the Solvency II directive.
The tech icon says it will cost fewer dollars, but it can also subvert key relationships that make for success.
MetLife's new teleconferencing setup may have cost about $1 million, but it expects a double-digit ROI in travel savings.
Using technology, insurers can anchor claims at the first notice of loss to improve the fairness, accuracy, speed and consistency of claims.
Several high-profile insurers incorporated elegant designs into service processes, and the impact on their market presence has been phenomenal.
Everyday users worry about their privacy, so how much more should business users be concerned?
For an industry built on trust and relationships, technology is beneficial, but there are still times when face-to-face contact is still important.
The industry considers salivating over the huge China market, but it does so at the expense of our security.
A LinkedIn discussion chain yielded a surprising array of responses from IT folks on this question.
Internet marketing will be regulated by 2015, controlling more than $250 billion in Internet marketing spending worldwide. Outlandish? Maybe not.
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.
Instead of focusing on product features, insurers are focused on growing customer wallet share and capturing emerging customer segments, such as Gen Ys. Tech vendors need to pay attention.
Two insurers prove that SOA has finally reached a stage of maturity that allows it to address real business problems.
The amount of data we have is growing faster than our ability to store it, and that spells trouble for enterprises.
Faster and easier are very appealing buzzwords, but safer is even better in the current security climate
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.
While still seen by many as a double-edged sword, social media helps insurers bring bring about innovation.
Going forward, insurers will be employing their existing Web application platforms for all manner of devices.
As usual, the federal government chooses a sledge hammer to swat a fly, which means we all get squashed.
The Y2K "crisis" spawned major shifts in the IT landscape that are still felt today... what might tomorrow bring?
Many of us are trying hard to see positive trends for the coming year, but employment remains the only meaningful bellwether of change.
What to their wondering eyes did appear? Probably not what they were hoping for.
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 is now generating thousands of new policies for agents and carriers, making it an indispensable part of their marketing strategy.
Many times, insurers dont look closely enough at all available data and information to see clearly, and lose out on opportunities as a result.
OK, so some prominent global warming acolytes have been rigging the numbers; lets just pretend that didnt happen.
Survey results show younger generation more open to being approached via non-traditional channels.
Sources say personal computer sales will increase in the commercial sector, but where will the money come from, and who will use them?
Businesses need working solutions to their problems, and spending capital on all the latest bells and whistles is not the answer.
Fresh thinking and innovation is needed in the health care sector, and only then will IT improvements begin to have their desired impact.
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.
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?
Joblessness has hit most sectors of the U.S. economy, including technology, but companies are still begging for low-cost labor from overseas.
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.
With the proliferation of security devices and software, you would think that virus infections are decreasing, but exactly the opposite is true. The question iswhy?
A new Celent report concludes that the greatest challenge facing insurers is their siloed environments. Improving info sharing would help eliminate this problem.
Fundamental to every insurer's improvement initiative is the need for managers to provide personal-written or verbal permission to make improvements.
While the law may eventually get watered down, the transparency and accountability of information will live on as perhaps insurers' most important corporate value.
No one wants to spend more money these days, but cuts can bleed in ways we never would have imagined.
U.S. life carriers need to understand consumer behavior in order to help agents close new business.
Social media is invaluable in helping people find each other, share information, communicate and learn, but it's not without its pitfalls.
Move over James Bond, new gadget-friendly clothing redefines cool for the technophile.
Repealing McCarran Ferguson could have serious implications for insurance companies and, ultimately, would burden consumers.
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.
Internet-related crime is a fact of life, but can we afford to simply write it off and forget about it?
Experts say the answer might be a hybrid cloud and on-site computing model.
Eliminating workarounds, or "swamps," can pay great dividends for insurers.
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?
A lack of funding for IT and eBusiness initiatives, channel conflicts and confusion about the role of social networking also plague overseas insurers.
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.
From gathering intelligence to problem solving to making IT decisions, a CIOs job is always varied and busy.
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.
There's been intense debate among insurance IT pros lately over what SOA isor is notsupposed to accomplish. Fortunately, experts at last month's International SOA Symposium have helped to shed some light on the subject.
Will anyone need todays data a millennium from today? Quite possibly, the answer is yes.
What would it look like if Apple's I'm-a-Mac commercials were elevated to the enterprise level?
Holy temblors, Batman, what will the global warming acolytes do with this one?
While legacy architectures may make things easier on IT departments, they don't necessarily ease headaches for users.
Management teams have found a need to reset their strategic direction in 2010, so it's imperative insurers improve project execution.
While the government continues to fumble with determining its oversight plan, insurers struggle with their own compliance efforts
Access and authority can be tricky and risky, but someoneor some thinghas to be in charge. Is automation an option?
Insurers may call the rapidly increasing pace of change normal, but it still amounts to a loss of control.
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.
New Celent research examines what's hot and what's not for insurers and their IT investments.
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.
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.
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.
The cumulative costs for insurers of not fixing all the niggling IT issues and workarounds can be significant.
Zach McCoy, SVP at Kaplan Compliance, offers four recommendations for insurers currently seeking to adopt business process management.
One plan is to provide services to agents who already have affinity marketing schemes in place.
While the federal governments irrational urge to throw money at every problem is sickening, more funding for cyber-security makes a lot of sense, especially for health insurers.
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?
The problem stems partly from the Disney mindset of many parents.
We already know the self-service ethic is a winning approach for many insurers, so why not self-service IT?
AHIP's last-second change of heart exposes the organization to retribution.
A new paint formula is said to block Wi-Fi signals, but will it bring more headaches than benefits?
Reports indicate that revenue support is not going to come from a hardening market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Insurers must encrypt or mask sensitive data that leaves production environments regardless of its destination.
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 departments are now expected to play a feature role in driving the future growth of the business.
Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance is reportedly moving its claims management system to India.
Given the rise of smartphone adoption among U.S. insurance customers, there is now a massive demand to engage insurers via the mobile Web.
Insurers cutting maintenance levels is a bit like a pro athlete cutting back his workoutsthe lack of maintenance will eventually show in his performance, or lack thereof.
Insurers should examine their current systems for untapped features and functionality.
Millennials dislike the world their forebears created, and have the current financial crisis, complete with negative opinions of banks and insurers, fueling their disdain.
Celent says two recent policy admin deals in the UK is a sign insurers are looking to get back on track with IT investments.
The arrival of BPM as a transformational initiative is creating new opportunities for carriers to think about new ways of doing business.
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.
Its a tricky time for those who must make plans for next year, but where should insurers draw the line between caution and boldness?
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.
Insurers should think less about functions and the data itself, and focus instead on processes.
With 40 years of reliability, there may still be a place for mainframes in insurance IT shops.
By utilizing Forrester's simple methodology, insurers can evaluate any social, Web, mobile or IT investment.