Enterprising Developments

No More IT-as-Usual in This New Economy

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, July 19, 2010

We're still climbing out of the recent economic downturn, and times are still challenging. However, forward-looking insurance companies need to position themselves for the next growth wave ahead. Unfortunately, things won't get any easier as the economy starts to grow again; instead, markets will get even more competitive, customers will get even more demanding and margins will get even thinner.

How can a company rise above all this? Effective deployment of information technology will make the difference. That's the view of Syama Sundar, global client director for the insurance practice at Tata Consultancy Services. Sundar recently fielded some of my questions about the new economy for an upcoming special report in INN. As he put it: “ IT is one of the driving forces behind competitive advantage in the marketplace. Insurance IT executives must think about how they can bring new value from championing investments in IT that will create and sustain future business value and speak to the needs of the consumer.”

The era of IT-as-usual ended with the recent economic downturn, Sundar says, observing that productivity and cost reduction are now on the agenda of many insurance companies. However, there's a growing emphasis on enhancing customer experience and operational effectiveness that is driving new investments. Sundar expects to see areas such as policy administration transformation, business intelligence and analytics receiving top-most priority at a large number of insurers.

Expect to see more resources move to newer areas such as cloud computing and analytics, as insurers seek to achieve greater agility and operate smarter. “Cloud computing and analytics have received much needed audience within insurance companies,” he points out. “There are a good number of activities being carried out by insurers to understand 'what?,' 'when?' and 'why?'”

How can technology leaders and managers within insurance companies better work with the business in this new hyper-competitive environment? Sundar is an advocate of portfolio management and business–IT alignment. But projects need to deliver results extremely quickly to get the support they need. “Projects that can start yielding results in two to three quarters are presenting better viability to sponsors than multiyear large transformational initiatives,” he points out.

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

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

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

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

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

In the Big Data Era, Storage is More than 'Just' Hardware

For on-premises needs, the latest technologies, including flash, solid state drives, and in-memory computing offer new ways to provide rapid access to new data.

Core Transformation – The Ultimate Balancing Act

The core transformation journey requires companies to shift from reactive to proactive business models, incorporating maturing and emerging technologies, customizing and personalizing products, and accelerating speed to market while providing improved customer service.

Wearables Poised to Reshape Insurer-Insured Relationship

Boosted by the impending release of the Apple Watch, wearable devices have received a fair amount of attention recently Ė and with good reason. This emergent technology has the potential to alter the way the health insurance industry operates on a fundamental level.

Despite Valiant Efforts, Insurers' Consumer Ratings Drop

Insurers also are confronting waves of disruptive changes, including big data analytics, an aging population, ongoing economic uncertainty and the growing frequency and severity of natural disasters, which threaten to challenge and undermine businesses.

Why You Can't Take a Wrecking Ball to Your Legacy System

If you think of enterprises like collections of neighborhoods that need to be nurtured, you quickly see that architecture, not obliteration, is the key.

The Apple Bounce: Are Wearables Truly this Big?

I just donít believe it; only 720,000 Androidwear watches were sold in 2014. Apple has been amazingly successful in so many markets. Were they always first? No, a lot of products before. Were they always best? Again, no, superior devices have fallen.