Early indications are that overall IT spending for 2008 will increase—albeit, forecasters predict the increase to be relatively small. The insurance industry isn't an exception. “Based on benchmarking data, IT spending has been rising slightly in the past few years, and we expect that to continue,” says Jack Tyniec, senior manager, Insurance Benchmarking Center, of New York-based Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Craig Weber, managing director of the Insurance Group at Celent LLC, also sees the slow growth, even though the Boston-based research firm estimates total IT spend by North American insurers in 2008 will total $36 billion, which is up from its 2007 estimate of more than $33 billion. “In general, budgets are flat, to rising slowly—2% to 3%,” he says. “We have a few outliers that expect their budget to rocket up 10% to 15% in 2008, and a few outliers the other way, saying they’re expecting budget cuts.”

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