The best analogy for insurance technology solutions may be "trying to put a square peg in a round hole." And I suppose no matter which cliché you use, the meaning is the same: making an inappropriate object or solution fit where it doesn't really belong.With a plethora of similar technology solutions invading the insurance industry, determining which one really is "next-generation," "cutting-edge" or "the perfect fit" is often virtually impossible. For instance, the confusion surrounding one of today's most useful and functional technology solutions-enterprise content management (ECM)-has put more than one insurer in a tough spot.

"The paperless office continues to be an elusive goal for most insurance carriers, despite broad awareness of how much paper constrains business processes," says Craig Weber, a senior analyst in New York-based Celent LLC's insurance practice. "But electronic methods and tools are slowly penetrating the insurance vertical, under a variety of names. These tools have subtle differences, but they also overlap in that they all leverage the natural advantage of electronic information versus ink on paper."

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