Should business and it alignment be a strategic initiative across the enterprise or can it be treated on a case-by-case basis within an organization?That question is the subject of some discussion as insurance companies begin implementing their 2006 IT plan. For carriers, the answer lies within the industry's unique approach to doing business, emphasizes Tushar Hazra, Ph.D., senior consultant with Cutter Consortium, an Arlington, Mass., IT consultancy.

Dr. Hazra's says his experience with one of the nation's leading carriers is representative of the tendency many carriers have to use mainframes and other disparate systems (sometimes disconnected) for the storage of information.

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