There are many ways to think about change. Sometimes it's welcomed, sometimes not; sometimes change surprises us, sometimes it's expected; sometimes it's necessary, sometimes it messes things up. What is consistent is that, especially in insurance and financial services, change is inevitable. That's true whether it involves management, the competition, regulation, customer expectations or the technologies and tools that help run the business.
In the face of inevitable change, it often is a struggle just to survive. But change also presents opportunities for motivated, skilled and forward-looking professionals to have an impact on the strategies of their companies (or the direction of their societies, for that matter) - hence the theme of IASA's 77th Annual Educational Conference & Business Show, "Make a Difference." Accordingly, Insurance & Technology's annual Opening General Session Special Report provides insights into some of the ways insurance companies are responding to (and anticipating) competitive and technological changes.
For example, an article by James Watson, CEO of research and analysis firm Doculabs, analyzes strategies for what could be one of the most fundamental changes in the industry - the transition from paper to electronic correspondence (page A8). We also examine how insurance companies are maximizing their most valuable resource - their workforces - and preparing for future challenges by recruiting and retaining the most talented IT professionals (page A13).
Strategies and resources to help all IASA members "make a difference" at their own organizations will abound at this year's conference, including the Keynote presentations and two Super Sessions; a comprehensive Technical Sessions program; the expanded Executive Education RoundTable Series featuring a new CIO RoundTable in addition to the successful CFO RoundTable; and a Business Show featuring more than 200 exhibitors and solution providers.
Whether you are a company/industry veteran or a "newbie," change is hard and it's easy to feel overwhelmed (or at least concerned!). But driving change, or responding to it in a creative, productive way, is empowering, exciting - and potentially even profitable. You're already on the way. Have a great show!
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