Identifying leadership in the insurance technology space can be a tricky undertaking, somewhat akin to how the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography: I know it when I see it. Similarly, it's simple to rattle off a roster of attributes one would expect to encounter in an effective chief information officer, but history has shown that an impressive resumé and collection of academic degrees is no guarantee of success. It takes an elusive combination of technical skills, vision and creativity, business savvy, and human insight, along with an unpredictable alignment of market conditions, economics and technology advances, to make a successful insurance CIO. There's no predictable formula for making this happen.
Still, the I-know-it-when-I-see-it guideline is reliable when it comes to Insurance & Technology's 2013 Elite 8 honorees.
Now in its 15th year, I&T's Elite 8 report identifies the top technology executives in insurance who are leading the deployment of technology to make a difference at their companies and in the industry. This year's honorees work in a variety of lines of business, for huge and for small companies, and are responding to a wide variety of business and operational mandates. But they do share an understanding that the transformational power of technology doesn't happen without shared values; a culture of collaboration and learning; and deep insight into customers, risks and markets.
In addition to the Elite 8 profiles featured in this issue, you can learn more about the leadership secrets of this year's and past Elite 8 honorees at a new Insurance & Technology live event, the 2013 Elite 8 Executive Forum & Awards: Leadership, Vision, Results, taking place Nov. 7 at the Trump SoHo New York in New York City. We will celebrate the achievements of the 2013 Elite 8 winners and highlight the strategies, skills and "lessons learned" these executives deploy to lead their organizations to success. Conference sessions featuring insights from some of the 2013 Elite 8 executives, along with Elite 8 honorees from previous years, will cover topics including "Leading the High-Performance Insurance IT Organization," "Profiting on the Leading Edge: Leveraging Investments in Breakthrough Technologies," and "Advancing the Transformation Agenda: Getting Results on the Vision." The program will culminate with the annual Elite 8 Awards Dinner and Ceremony.
Truly effective and innovative leadership makes a difference in any industry, and in insurance we are fortunate to be able to recognize and learn from true technology leaders whose accomplishments are for real.
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