Change is a constant in the business technology world, but one thing never changes: the challenges of being a successful leader. Even as signs of growth return to the business world, life remains uncertain at the C level. Executive turnover still dominates the headlines -- sometimes because of changing market conditions or skill sets that haven't kept up with the demands of the business; other times it has to do with actions that are questionable or don't conform to company policy. Whatever the circumstance, in today's high-scrutiny/high-transparency, zero-tolerance business environment, there's no room for error.
But just when you're about to become completely cynical about the failures of leadership, along comes Insurance & Technology's 2010 Elite 8 honorees, a roster of some of the most effective and innovative senior technology executives in the insurance industry, to renew your faith.
This group of leaders have been tested by the serious financial challenges of the past few years and have had to make sense of astounding technology innovations. Rather than being intimidated, however, these executives are newly energized by the opportunities ahead for their organizations.
Developments that might frustrate or discourage some executives -- including the new emphasis on a personalized, interactive and real-time customer experience; the expansion of distribution channels; new security threats; and more complex regulation -- clearly are inspiring our Class of 2010. As one of this year's honorees, Jay Levine, SVP and CIO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, says, "Any time you're in a market so thoroughly undergoing change, it's a great place to be if you love change -- and I do."
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