No longer can IT departments operate in a vacuum, attempting to second-guess what applications the business needs. The business needs to guide IT decisions, say industry experts, especially in an era when the insurance industry relies on IT to manage everything from new applications to claims processing.

Effective IT governance, driven by decision-makers outside of IT and from across the business, provides guidance to IT as to what projects are most critical and what ones are not. IT governance helps IT avoid making decisions inside of a black box, says Jeff Goldberg, senior analyst at Celent, Boston. In many cases IT has unilaterally made major systems decisions without thinking about the business implications, such as the purchase of a content management system, he says. As a result, “multiple IT projects end up competing with each other for scarce IT resources.”

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