In a world where technological innovation appears to be progressing more rapidly than our ability to understand how to use it effectively, business leaders need to find a balance in the amount of resources they're committing to technology and to their employees.For example, why do we need cell phones that can take pictures? I understand that feature may come in handy for an insurance adjuster who is investigating damage to a home or auto, but do most consumers need a cell phone camera to send silly photos to their friends, as we're led to believe in TV commercials?

Our cover story this month examines insurance IT spending trends for 2004. Based on conversations that I've had with insurance executives over the last year, it's evident that insurers have become more prudent purchasers of technology.

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