Competitive pressures will force insurance companies to get serious about rationalizing the number of operational systems they support, notes a report issued by research and advisory firm Financial Insights, a Framingham, Mass., IDC company. The focus on rationalizing operational systems is one of the top 10 IT initiatives that will have key strategic importance for insurance organizations worldwide in 2006, according to the firm.

In its report, "Top 10 Strategic Initiatives for 2006: Insurance Industry Must Pick Up The Pace," the firm identifies and describes the initiatives, examines why they will have an impact in 2006 and explains why they should be on the minds of business and technology executives at insurance companies and vendors serving the industry.

Of the top 10, the firm predicts that carriers will pursue platform development as a way to think beyond point solutions to enterprisewide conceptualization. Investment in compliance and security will also be a key focus in 2006, says the report.

"Insurable events are happening around the globe quicker and with significantly more impact to insurer's bottom lines than ever before. Competitive success increasingly will depend on the insurer's ability to leverage up-to-date information to become more agile and responsive," said Barry Rabkin, senior research analyst, Insurance at Financial Insights. "Insurers need to restructure their operations to have significantly fewer core administrative systems and to move beyond point solutions to platforms that support secure enterprise-wide applications to achieve the requisite agility."

Financial Insights' Top 10 strategic IT initiatives integrates a mix of actionable, present-day value propositions that have either mandatory or high payoff potential with initiatives having future payoff potential for mainstream institutions.



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