Majority of U.S. Insurers Reportedly Feel IT to Become More Important

June 4, 2003

Eighty-eight percent of insurers think that IT will become more important in driving efficiencies and cost-reductions in future, according to new research released by RebusIS, an insurance technology solutions provider. A further 55 percent of respondents to the survey argued that IT is currently playing an ‘important’ role in driving efficiencies and cost-reductions, with 43 percent contesting that IT is ‘essential’ to business efficiency.

Further findings from the report include:

*58 percent of respondents think that IT should improve efficiency in insurance;
*28 percent of respondents think that IT should lead to cost-savings;
*25 percent of respondents think that IT should facilitate management information;
*Only 5 percent of respondents believe that the greatest IT challenge facing their organization is achieving the paperless office.

Martyn Sutton, president of RebusIS in New York, noted, “We undertook this research with a view to finding out how important insurers perceive the role of IT in insurance to be, and how that role may be changing. What we found is that their focus has shifted from delivering new services and offering e-commerce applications to using IT to drive efficiency across the enterprise and driving down costs. But it seems there will be no return to the heady days of ’99 with free-spending CTOs, as insurers believe that the future of IT in insurance is also about efficiency and productivity improvement rather than helping to broaden their product offering, for instance.

“The other significant trend to arise from the research is the growing recognition that the insurance business in the 21st century is a dynamic, ever-changing sector, in which those organisations looking to stay ahead of the game will need IT to strengthen their competitive position. A quarter of the insurers we spoke to concurred that the greatest IT challenge that will be facing their organization in two years time will be remaining responsive to the changing demands of the market.”

According to Sutton, “We’re seeing a refreshing change in the way IT is perceived by the insurance industry, and it has come none too soon for this sector. IT is now at the heart of business strategy for companies in this sector, whereas previously it has been viewed as an grudge spend for insurers.”

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