As editorial director of Insurance & Technology, I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with the long-standing perception of the insurance industry as stodgy, conservative and slow-moving. Sometimes it made sense to observe that perception is reality, but more often than not I’d point to the fact that the insurance industry was one of the earliest adopters of automation and technology to advance the business. Today, we see insurance companies taking the lead in some of the most innovative and exciting capabilities, with ambitious initiatives around big data and analytics, telematics and the Internet of Things, mobility and cloud. The “tech laggard” label is increasingly inapplicable to the insurance industry.
I like to think that Insurance & Technology has played a small role in helping to drive this evolution. For more than 40 years I&T has been there to chronicle and analyze the trends, developments, innovations and people that have made the insurance technology space such an incredibly vital and vibrant part of the global economy. We have reported on some of the most successful insurance companies and profiled the most visionary and effective executives who have marshaled the capabilities of all sorts of software, hardware and services to make their organizations more productive, profitable and competitive. Although we haven’t hesitated to challenge and critique strategies and performance, we’ve also served as a powerful and credible advocate for the industry.
I&T originally fulfilled this mission as a monthly print magazine. Over the years we expanded to include online and digital channels, high-level networking events for senior bank executives – highlighted by our game-changing Executive Summit CIO networking event -- webinars, video and radio shows. Even when we stopped producing a print edition, Insurance & Technology has excelled at delivering timely and essential insights across multiple channels to the insurance technology decision-makers at organizations large and small, across all lines of business.
It’s a great success story that, sadly, is now coming to an end. Our parent company, UBM, is realigning to become an events company with a focus on large, “big tent” trade shows, and decided that BS&T, WS&T and I&T do not fit into this overall strategy. These sites and I&T’s website will live on as a tab on the InformationWeek.com site but not feature daily news content. Instead, you will have access the archives and stories from our other brands when the news is relevant to a banking audience. But, day in and day out, editorial support will no longer exist.
As with countless other illustrious publications, I&T’s fate of course also was shaped by the dramatic changes in the media business overall. Most prominent has been the rise of the Internet, which on the one hand created fantastic opportunities to broaden our coverage but also spurred new and sometimes elusive advertising and revenue models, as well as new types of competitors. I&T has evolved, adapted and tried to look ahead so that we would continue to excel in serving our insurance technology community.
This development also means that I will be leaving the company at the end of January, after nearly 25 years of covering both insurance and banking technology. It has been an incredible experience and honor to be able to be involved in two of the most innovative and important industries on earth – technology and financial services. I have learned so much, and have had the opportunity to work with some of the smartest and most interesting people around – not only insurance executives but also technology company executives, analysts, researchers and consultants, industry association officials, regulators, lawyers, and educators. That means all of you – your engagement, insights, feedback and participation has made our success possible. I’m so lucky and grateful to have had this opportunity. I really have grown up in this fascinating industry.
I also want to acknowledge my fantastic co-workers. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work with some really talented, passionate, creative and fun people – the journalists who have interviewed you, reported on your companies, and worked with you at live events and webinars. They’re a big part of why I have loved this job and never been bored.
As I say goodbye I am hopeful that I will continue to stay in touch with many of you. You can reach me at [email protected], or via Twitter at @kathyburger (I’m on LinkedIn and Facebook, too).
So long … for now. I know our paths will cross in the future. Most of all, thank you for your support of Insurance & Technology. Now, on to the next chapter.
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