IT Spending Priorities Across IndustriesWhether or not it is fair is open to debate, but the insurance industry is viewed by many IT experts as lagging behind other industries in purchasing technology. Analysis of which technologies rank as the highest priorities across all industries may indicate that insurers are indeed mainstream technology users.

For example, sales force automation and help desk/field service applications rank at the top of the wish list of senior executives from 24 industries, representing companies of all sizes, according to recent research by AberdeenGroup, Boston.

Carriers are becoming much more focused on customer acquisition and retention, mirroring the emphasis on purchasing supporting technologies that's occurring across all industries.

Overall, IT executives surveyed by AberdeenGroup planned to increase their budgets by 3.7% during the last half of 2002, according to the study's author, Hugh Bishop, senior vice president of Aberdeen's Emerging Technology Intelligence Group. Although it's not expected that IT spending will soon grow at a double-digit rate, Aberdeen does anticipate a continued, gradual increase in expenditures. IT projects that demonstrate a clear ROI most likely will be funded, the report concludes.

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