2012 is going to be a good year in the insurance technology world -- unless it isn't. That seems to be the mood and outlook around the industry, based on IT investment projections that indicate budgets will be bigger and spending will be devoted both to the "old" (core systems) and to the "new" (customer experience, mobile, etc.). The talk at Insurance & Technology's recent Executive Summit was very much about new ways of engaging with customers, new computing models and new kinds of internal partnerships. As we report in our 2012 Insurance Technology Outlook, the industry is ready to place some bets on leading-edge technology solutions.
But there's also caution and concern about a long list of issues and conditions that could slow growth, at best, and doom businesses, at worst. These include a still-weak U.S. economy, the European debt crisis, an uncertain regulatory environment, public dissatisfaction with financial institutions and the threat of disintermediation.
At I&T we're looking at 2012 with the same feelings of accomplishment, optimism and, yes, uncertainty. Our now 36-year-old brand continues to grow and innovate, and 2011 has been another year of high achievement. In addition to a record-breaking Executive Summit, the online channel continues to boom for us, with a mind-boggling number of webcasts, significant traffic increases, special digital issues, a virtual event, and a variety of new and valuable offerings (ranging from a soon-to-be-released iPad app to enhanced image galleries to in-depth digital research reports and analytics). Meanwhile, print, while not a growth driver, is holding its own, and in 2012 I&T will produce four print issues focused around big management challenges such as resource management, consumerization of technology and the IT workforce of the future.
We couldn't deliver such valuable content in multiple channels without our amazing editorial team of Executive Editor Anthony O'Donnell, Associate Editor Nate Golia and Group Content Manager Les Kovach. They continue to engage with industry leaders and issues and to explore engaging and thought-leading ways in which to provide you with the insights and resources you need to help your companies be more effective and profitable competitors.
These successes notwithstanding, we are only too aware that the media business, like the insurance business, is facing serious threats and is undergoing massive changes. A business model that works today may be obsolete tomorrow. So, like you, we'll be tracking (and reporting on) the trends but also striving to stay ahead of them, in order to seize new opportunities to serve the industry. Here's to a New Year that will be challenging -- but never boring.
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