Insurance IT Budgets 2009 – Strategic Planning vs Tactical Gains

The Insurance Industry, as with all other industries, are under pressure to reprioritise their business plans and initiatives as a result of the current economic climate (see previous post). They are reassessing thier positions and evaluating where and when to invest in new IT initiatives and equally importantly, where to cut back.  

Reading a recent article it became clear that various insurance companies have opposing views to what the future holds and how they will be moving forward in the short to medium term.

As far as the insurance industry is concerned, there was no such thing as a finalized IT budget for 2009. Most CIOs had their budgets in hand in January, but none knew just how far the economy would fall, how their organizations would fare or how technology spending would be affected as a result.

But while the overall economic picture remains in flux, insurers’ IT budgets seem to be falling into two key categories: those with a view toward the future and the strategic deployment of technology, and those that are taking a more tactical approach to technology in an effort to realize short-terms goals and ride out the recession.

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BPM and SOA – Leading Modernisation Initiatives during the Downturn

In a recent article from CBR it states that research shows evidence that many organisations are focussing their modernisation initiatives around BPM and SOA technologies and approaches.data-analysis

CIOs are abandoning the rip-and-replace culture in favour of modernising existing systems, research from Software AG has revealed. 

The research, which quizzed over 150 IT directors, revealed an appetite for implementation of BPM and SOA initiatives as organisations try to cut costs and improve service delivery in the tough economic climate. “Strategic investment in modernisation will deliver cost cuts and free-up talented IT staff to concentrate on business critical projects and fight the downturn,” Jim Close of Software AG said. 

A priority in ensuring success with modernisation is to choose a preferred set of common tools. In cases where organisations have many disparate data integration tools, rationalisation is required to esure a fit for purpose toolset. Not doing so increases maintenance costs, licensing and having to have a diverse and often specialist skills and resource pool.

Software AG found that 21% of respondents to its poll see application modernisation as a top priority with some 24% of the sites surveyed viewing business process management initiatives as the top choice to fight the downturn.  They said that sloppy process management damaged customer service delivery. 

In further research from Software AG, it found that in Germany companies report that business flexibility supported by IT is a key concern.

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Survey – Top 10 Insurance Industry Issues for 2009

Pegasystems recently released survey results for the top 10 issues in the Insurance Industry. A similar Banking Industry survey can be found here.

 

banner_imagePegasystems conducted a survey of insurance industry leaders and asked them to share their views on the “Top Ten Issues in Insurance” for 2009. The goal of the survey is to provide insight into the business challenges these leaders forecast and are working to address in 2009.

Survey participants were asked to rank how important these issues were to their 2009 business objectives. The survey respondents covered a broad range business and technical professionals from all lines of business within the insurance industry.

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Recent Banking Survey – Missed Opportunity to Improve Customer Experience

The following paragraphs are extracts from a recent survey done by Pegasystems into how the banking industry are not meeting the service expectations of their customers.

…more than half of those questioned feel poorly served or informed by their banks. Yet 78% said it was important or essential that their bank knew and understood the customer as an individual with specific needs.

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