Despite the economic slow down and the many challenges faced by the insurance industry, carriers increased their total IT budgets in 2002 by an average of 7%. On average, 35% of this spending is devoted to new projects and strategic initiatives, according to a study by Celent Communications, Boston.Many insurance companies cannot afford to not update their existing systems. In a mature and highly competitive marketplace like the U.S. insurance industry, operational efficiency and flexibility is key to profitability. To achieve these goals, insurance companies must take advantage of new technological capabilities in every step of the insurance business process or risk falling behind their competitors.

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