Although there's a lot of truth in the adage, "perception is reality," I tend to think the frequent, almost knee-jerk, slams of insurance IT organizations as backwards, stodgy, etc., are based on outdated assumptions. In defense of my view is Insurance & Technology's annual Elite 8 issue, now in its fifth year. Our editorial team of Greg MacSweeney, Anthony O'Donnell and Julie Gallagher has assembled an outstanding and very interesting group of top executives who are making significant, measurable (and immeasurable) contributions to their organizations through their abilities to lead, make smart decisions, and get results.
Through a variety of technology-based strategies-some quite innovative and leading-edge, others less-flashy but equally important-the 2003 Elite 8 executives are enabling their companies to increase market share, reduce costs, get closer to customers, and generally be stronger and more profitable competitors. That's evidence that quite a few insurance companies and their management are ahead of the curve when it comes to the emerging focus on business technology, rather than strictly information technology?
To identify this year's honorees, we added our own opinions and recommendations to nominations and feedback from our readers, as well as ideas from a number of the industry's most-respected analysts and consultants. Having delved into the management philosophies of these leaders, as well as 32 other top insurance technology executives over the years, it's noteworthy just how many of the Elite 8 have been visionaries in areas such as sourcing/resource management, e-business, customer-centricity, and business/IT alignment. These executives go beyond lip service; they put ideas into action, and get results that matter. In this issue, you will learn just how the 2003 Elite 8 do it.
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio