No effective insurance CIO today -- whether part of a huge, geographically diverse organization or a small, local niche carrier -- can ignore the impact of globalization on the business. Technology is shrinking the financial services world, and this smaller world presents new risks, opportunities and dilemmas for technology executives.
Developments such as $100-a-barrel oil, the strength of the euro compared with the dollar and the expanding credit crisis increasingly influence insurers' technology strategies, regardless of where they are based -- ranging from global money centers and major cities to emerging markets and rural areas. And while regional, local and line-of-business differences always are critical factors in different carriers' distribution, customer service and compliance activities, technology increasingly is enabling companies that are smart about how they use technology to gain competitive advantage.
Who are some of the insurance technology executives around the globe who are rising to this challenge and helping their organizations compete more effectively in both local and global arenas, and what role do they envision for technology in the ongoing globalization of the industry? How is technology being deployed in non-U.S. markets in Europe, Asia, South America and Canada? In an effort to provide some answers, Insurance & Technology introduces the "Elite 8 International 2008," a special report inspired by our annual Elite 8 special issue, which we have produced for nearly 10 years. You may not know all of the executives (or organizations) presented here, but one way or another, you are competing with them.
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