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The In Crowd

Special Elite 8 2002 Editorial, by Katherine Burger.

As with fashion, management styles change over time. What's hot one year seems hopelessly dated the next, while what once was dismissed as frumpy suddenly becomes cool. When it comes to technology management, those in today's "in crowd" are executives who know how to squeeze the most out of a tight budget and who can identify investments that are most likely not only to have a payback but also make the company more competitive. The popularity of late '90s concepts such as "vision"—which often translated into costly, bleeding-edge projects that could never provide a measurable return (much less be completed)—has faded faster than you can say "leg warmers."

Among the most successful trend-setters are the 2002 Insurance & Technology Elite 8 technology executives, who we present in this issue—our fourth annual special report profiling the most effective and respected senior IT execs in insurance. To determine this year's honorees, the I&T editorial team solicited feedback from readers and we perused our own files and back issues for examples of excellence. We also tapped into some of the industry's most knowledgeable and insightful consultants for recommendations and analysis.

The class of 2002 represents all lines of business, big and small companies, household names and lesser-known players. They do have a lot in common in terms of their attitudes about managing technology, sharing a no-nonsense, realistic perspective on managing and maximizing budgets, developing staff, and business/IT alignment.

Their collective style might be described as "actionware"—and the odds are that it will still be appropriate even when the economic picture improves. So, congratulations to the 2002 Elite 8 Award honorees—you wear it well!

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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