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The supplement's editorial on real-time computing by Katherine Burger, Editorial Director.

What would our industry be without buzzwords—the hot concepts that seem to come out of the blue, grab everyone's attention, and then just as quickly become cliches? One of the latest concepts to generate buzz is real-time computing, a concept of integrated, once-and-done, end-to-end, straight-through automation that promises efficiency, speed-to-market and reliable service, among other "holy grails." It sounds great—tis it really achievable, or will we soon be rolling our eyes every time we hear the words?

This special publication for the 2003 ACORD Technology Conference takes a look at some of the strategies that are necessary to realize the promise of real-time computing. One requirement is ongoing business/IT alignment, and Insurance & Technology's content partner Doculabs offers insights into how the relatively new model of a Project Management Office can help.

Another necessity is collaboration-between IT and business, between carrier and partners, betwen the home office and agents. I&T's sister publication InformationWeek reports that nearly 80 percent of respondents to a recent"Real-Time Business" study said that collaborative business technologies will be key investments in 2003. But those investments won't pay off if there are not standards behind them, as ACORD's Rick Gilman points out in a provocative "thought piece" in this issue.

Also on the subject of collaboration, a reminder: mark your calendars for the second annual Insurance Standards Leadership Forum, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2003, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago-a one-day event co-produced by Insurance & Technology and ACORD. If the promise of real-time computing—tand industry standards—tis ever to become more than rhetoric, your involvement is essential.

Have a productive conference!

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

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