As information technology grows ever-more sophisticated and its successful application to business problems becomes an increasingly powerful differentiator, a debate has arisen as to its exact role: Technology indisputably is central to an information-driven business such as insurance, but is it better understood as merely an enabler or as a driver of business?
The answer suggested by the following profiles of outstanding insurance technology executives is "a bit of both." The successes achieved by Insurance & Technology's 2006 Elite 8 honorees demonstrate that outstanding insurance technology leadership ranges from spearheading more-efficient approaches to systems maintenance to the creative application of novel technologies, and from establishing solid technology investment practices to the proposal of strategic systems implementations that open the way to business transformation.
It's inevitable that technology will serve an enabling or supporting function. But it's also true that as the potential of technology evolves, technology leaders are in a unique position to provide strategic vision. While they do not replace business strategists, technology officers become indispensable strategic partners on the road to success.
This special issue of I&T is dedicated to those CIOs and other senior technology executives -- from large companies and small; within the property/casualty, life and annuities, and health verticals -- who have brought diverse skills to the table, both from within the industry and from other fields, and have played key strategic roles in their companies' success.
Art of the Possible
Up in Arms