Professors' Points

Where Will We Find the Next Generation of Insurance IT Professionals?

Frank Heaps
Insurance Experts' Forum, July 7, 2010

Given the growing exodus of boomers from insurers’ ranks in favor of retirement, many insurers continue to ponder how they will answer this question. Every year, analysts and the media who study the industry invariably issue a new report that laments the aging insurance and insurance IT professional workforce. It’s a very real and serious business problem.

We’ve now reached a point where technology delivery has clearly outpaced insurers’ technology acceptance. This latest generation of employee doesn’t know a world without computers, social media, instant messaging and other modern technologies that they take for granted. Therefore, it is a real challenge for insurers to attract and retain employees who were using software packages and Internet applications in high school that offered a better user experience and more advanced processing than the core applications found in most carriers today. Ultimately, you want your younger employees to be excited about where they work, and see the insurance and insurance IT industry as an interesting place to work and help recruit for you.

My future posts for INN will revolve around this issue. Since the challenge is to find workers, reaching into existing carriers is one avenue, but one that is costly as you bid for talent. Plus, you also need to be in a location where there is an ample pool of resources. Finding talent in universities is a better approach for younger talent but it takes time to develop the knowledge. Some major universities have a risk and insurance or related major, which is my background. I am the managing director of a student-run website and newsletter that focuses on the insurance and insurance IT industry to serve as a source of information. My students aggregate news from across the industry, post Interesting articles are to the website and send out the week’s top news in our weekly newsletter. The group is called Innovation in Insurance, or the i3 Program. Our students are mostly risk and insurance majors within the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. The students get to see the industry up close, and gain the experience to go to work in our industry.

Each month I will talk about how universities and the industry are addressing the aging workforce, and how to attract and retain employees. Please provide feedback and post your opinion. Your feedback can help shape this blog and its progression.

Frank Heaps is the managing director for Innovation in Insurance (i3), and is an adjunct professor of insurance at the Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Frank using the “Add Your Comments” box below. 

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 (1)

I don't understand why we are as technologically behind as we are in the insurance industry. My only theory is that slowing the process down appeals to the conservative risk manager. Proof of insurance, for example, should be instant and automated. I've heard about this technology being used in traffic violations but it never seems to actually get to implementation stage.

I'll be following your blog closely to see where you take us.

Stacy

Posted by: Stacy B | July 8, 2010 9:10 AM

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