In the media businessInsurance & Technology's businesstime is measured in terms of deadlines,publication dates and production schedules. Maybe that's why it's been somewhat disorienting to realize that a year has gone by since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagonand on our country, our beliefs and assumptions, and our institutions.
On that terrible day, and in the days and weeks that followed, many people wondered whether life would ever be "normal" again. I know I felt that way. It seemed as if everything that was familiarcommunications, commuting and travel, even recreationhad vanished, replaced by activities and thoughts that would always take place in an atmosphere of fear, anxiety and sadness. What once was spontaneous or familiar seemed difficult, forced, even bizarre.
But life, and business, do go on, and somehow new routines, activities, attitudes and relationships have been established. This absolutely has been the case with insurance company IT organizations, which not only responded effectively to the immediate challenges of the 9/11 attacks (disaster recovery, call center operations, claims management, etc.), but also have addressed the long-range implications of the catastrophe (including security, regulation, employee morale; see related article on page 51 of this issue). Leaders, even heroes, have emerged at many organizations, demonstrating that bottom-line know-how and human compassion are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
But "moving on" cannot obscure the fact that more than 3,000 peoplebusiness associates, colleagues, competitors, friends, family, strangerswere murdered on September 11, 2001. And that is something that should never feel familiar or normal to any of us.
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