UK Conference Panel Calls for Closer Collaboration with IT Managers

October 14, 2011

A panel of insurance technology experts has assessed the challenges national and multinational insurers face and how IT (information technology) can best be used to achieve maximum benefit from standardization.

The panel, convened at the annual Insurance Technology Congress, sponsored and hosted by Xchanging, entitled ‘Can Systems Really Differentiate Your Business?’ concluded that forming “tighter working relationships between IT managers and business leaders” is the key to achieving this goal.

“The panel agreed that systems are an important component in differentiating organizations and that further investment in legacy systems would be necessary to bridge the gap to more permanent solutions,” said the bulletin issued after the conference.

The debate then turned to the issue of standardization in the context of driving consistency within organizations spread across different territories. Jim Sadler, Chief Information Officer for Xchanging’s UK insurance sector, stated: “The trick is configurability within IT systems, to allow the back-office to operate consistently, while allowing the front end to be tailored to each location.”

In doing so and with close IT and senior team collaboration, the panel felt insurers would gain the most from both standardization and customization. “In this way, global standards are achievable through back-office consistency while allowing the front end and customer facing aspects to be more bespoke,” Sandler added.

The panel also viewed standardization, as a means of achieving consistency across multiple territories, was in itself a differentiator. For such large-scale projects to work, the panel was unanimous that strong partnerships between IT managers and business managers were essential.

At the end of the session, 78 percent of delegates voted ‘yes’ to the question: can systems differentiate your business?

Source: Xchanging

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