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Cindy Saccocia, Industry Solution Sales Professional -- Insurance,Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.)
Cindy Saccocia, Industry Solution Sales Professional -- Insurance,Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.)

Carriers Are Challenged to Replace IT Expertise Lost to Retirement

As the workforce continues to age, insurance companies are challenged to attract new talent and replace lost expertise.

Cindy Saccocia, MicrosoftInsurance companies must compete with other industries for a diminishing supply of skilled workers. What role does carriers' IT play in attracting and retaining top talent, and how can companies leverage Web 2.0 tools to recruit qualified workers?

There are two workforce development issues currently facing insurers. First, the aging workforce is driving modernization of core technologies. As people retire, intellectual capital from core policy/claims and other business-driving systems is lost.

The second issue involves attracting a new workforce to the industry, as insurance often seems to be at odds with the sexiness of other financial services segments that are using more-modern technologies. Insurers now struggle to hire people who want to work with the more advanced, consumer technologies with which they are accustomed. Most insurance executives say getting the right level of technical capabilities into the organization and using more-modern technologies are difficult to do.

In general, insurance institutions have yet to fully understand how to incorporate Web 2.0-type technologies -- such as social networking; collaboration tools; and even more-modern communication devices, such as instant messaging or [Microsoft's] Live Meetings -- into their lines of business. This is partially because they have always purchased end-to-end, line-of-business solutions, which ran the business very effectively for servicing the customer.

Now businesses are looking for ways to turn up the volume on processing systems and surround themselves with things that can create a different working environment. In fact, these collaboration and communication tools will break down the traditional silos or obstacles to running business more efficiently. We're finding the greatest challenges are IT's ability to show demonstrable evidence of the additional value these types of technologies bring and the ability of institutions to consume them in a way that will truly transform how business is done.

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