NextGen IT Leaders and Analytics
Insurance Experts' Forum, September 19, 2013
There’s 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.
Last week, IT-oLogy's Trends 2013 conference, in association with iTsSc (Columbia's Insurance Technology and Service Cluster) held a day-long conference with a theme of “actionable analytics” had engaging sessions on analytics but also mobile, social, cloud, portals and apps that are reshaping every industry, but particularly insurance. The conference served as a forum for IT and insurance professionals, leaders and executives to network, build intellectual capacity, and discuss emerging trends in technology. Innovation Group was proud to be a sponsor and participant in this event. We recognize the importance of nurturing and engaging the next generation of IT professionals and highlighting that Insurance is an exciting and “sexy” industry leveraging leading-edge technology!
So first, here's a little information about IT-oLogy and iTsSC. IT-oLogy is a national non-profit collaboration of businesses, academic institutions and organizations dedicated to growing the IT talent pipeline, fostering economic development and advancing the IT profession. For this event, they partnered with iTsSC which is Columbia South Carolina's Insurance Technology and Services Cluster, a group of businesses, educational institutions and industry professionals dedicated to expanding the Midlands of South Carolina as the global destination for insurance, insurance technology and insurance services.
The day began with an insightful and provocative presentation by Robert L. Davis, the retired chief of police for San Jose, CA and now part of Hillard Heintze. Mr. Davis talked about how analytics and technology transformed the San Jose police department, helping them “do more with less”. It also enabled them to better identify crime trends and put police in specific areas and even help prevent crime. He discussed the massive use of data from a wide array of sources using sophisticated analytics following 9/11 and how it is helping law enforcement today to solve crimes.
One of the most interesting examples was how they took the analysis for predicting earthquakes and leveraged it to identify where there would be potential crime following an earthquake to help protect people and homes thereby preventing crime and damage … something of great value and importance for commercial and property insurers!
Lisa Park, Director of Sales at AT&T also had a thought provoking presentation around mobility. She highlighted some interesting points regarding the pace of change. Just six years ago ...
• The first iPhone was launched and changed mobility.
• There were no apps and no tablets.
• MySpace was the number 1 visited site.
Think how quickly things have changed in just six years and what changes will we see over the next six years. Imagine the continued use and impact on all businesses including insurance! This is going to get fun, exciting, interesting and innovative!
With both general and breakout sessions, the organizers assembled an array of speakers representing most parts of the IT and insurance worlds. Among those speakers was Innovation Group's CEO North America Technology Euan King. He participated on a panel with two other industry executives to provide insights on the value of analytics from a CEO's perspective.
During the session, he emphasized the business value of implementing powerful analytic tools and stressed the role that analytics play in managing and growing a business … from the executive suite to the customer service center. It's important to recognize that the information and insights you gain from analytics is far more than a bunch of pretty charts and graphs. This is the information that can transform your company, your marketing, your underwriting, your customer service, and more.
It's certainly no secret that analytics is one of the hottest topics across the insurance industry. As data-centric businesses, insurers are overflowing with data and that volume is growing exponentially. The question then becomes what do you do with it all … and do something useful at that. By finding ways to take storehouses of data from across an enterprise, particularly from claims and policy systems, and turn it into more in-depth portraits of their insureds, insurers will be able to better market to and service customers.
IT-oLogy had two true benefits for those present and for the industry. First, it focused on IT trends that are impacting and changing businesses across all spectrums, including insurance! This is an area where tomorrow's IT professionals and leaders will need to focus and will be an essential part of their business lives. In addition, the forum helped bring established IT leaders together with those just beginning their careers to share ideas and explore possibilities for the future, noting the exciting and innovative things happening in insurance that make it a “sexy industry” to be a part of. Both of these are critical to helping insurers become “future-ready” in this fast paced, changing marketplace.
As this next generation of IT leaders emerges from schools around the country, it will have more options of industries and companies to work with, companies that are innovating, embracing emerging technologies and analytics to change and transform traditional companies into future-ready companies. This is where collaboration between academia, industry organizations, businesses and leaders is so critical to ensure we have employees excited and ready to join our industry and contribute to its future!
Denise Garth is the executive vice president of strategic marketing and industry relations, and global head of market strategy for Innovation Group North America. She can be reached for further comment or information via email at email@example.com
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