Boston - Senior insurance IT executives are increasingly focusing on strategic spending to meet market demands and showing some concern over a softening property/casualty market, according to Celent LLC's new report, "Insurance CIO/CTO Pressures, Priorities, Projects, and Plans for 2007 Survey Results.""There is continued focus on meeting market demands for speed to market and ease of doing business, and on new projects involving core systems, data mastery, and distribution," says Matthew Josefowicz, manager of Celent's insurance group and author of the report. "Budgets and staffs are generally flat or growing modestly, but strategic investments continue. However, there are some indications that large property/casualty insurers may be keeping their powder dry until they can gauge the impact of the softening market."

The report also showed that top areas of significant new project spending vary by size and sector, but include initiatives focused on underwriting, claims, product development and data mastery. Document handling, policy administration system replacement, ACORD XML adoption, and agent portals, and BPM all show up among the most common areas of significant new project spending. The report lists the top areas of "significant" and "some" new project spending by four size-and-sector groups of insurer respondents.

Web services/SOA is real, according to the report. Adoption of enterprise service buses and UDDI infrastructures may not yet be widespread, but the average insurer had approximately 15 services live within its enterprise, and about half of the sample is using Web services/SOA for internal and external integration to enable new business and underwriting. ACORD XML continues to play a role in more than half of these initiatives. 

The incremental mainframe migration is continuing, and Linux is becoming an important element of platform modernization along with Windows. While most large insurers rely on at least partially on mainframes for their core policy systems, the overall role of mainframes continues to wane gradually.

Source: Celent LLC

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