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2009 Will Be a Year of Challenge and Opportunity for Insurers

Insurance Tech Outlook 2009: The coming year promises to test CIOs with budget constraints and tactical challenges — but rewards will come to firms that position themselves for strategic success, say industry experts.

As their firms feel the crunch of the economic downturn, insurance technology executives surely will face austerity in the coming year. That will mean redoubling efforts to keep new IT investment under control, tightening delivery disciplines, and examining infrastructure and application portfolios for redundancy and other sources of inefficiency. The relative strength of the insurance industry, however, will permit IT organizations to proceed with ongoing projects and even seek out new opportunities raised by the current business environment. How should insurance CIOs adjust their investment priorities and what changes should insurers make to their IT strategies in 2009 to position themselves for life after the downturn?

Doing 'More With Less' Requires Selective IT Spend Targeted at Short-Term Gains
Focus investment on short-term cost reductions and/or customer experience enhancements, suggests Deloitte's Joe Guastella.

Insurers Need to Leverage Systems Flexibiliy in Changing Competitive Landscape
Esurance CIO Phil Swift identifies greater systems flexibility and a more customized Web experience as keys to remaining competitive in 2009.

Pursuing a 'Common Currency' in Partnership With the Business
Accenture's Michael Costonis describes 3 strategies in the quest for measurable value.

Succeeding With Out-of-the-Box Solutions
Insuresoft's Brown says insurers will utilize out-of-the-box solutions to extend processing and servicing capabilities.

Enable an 'Externalized' Organization to Tap Into the Business Ecosystem
Capgemini's Scott Mampre outlines 7 'technology clusters' seminal to success in the coming year.

Equipping the Field to Improve Service
Agents empowered with systems and devices are in a unique position to deliver increased value to the firm, says Microsoft's Bill Hartnett.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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