Insurers' spending on IT products and services has been slowing in recent years, reflecting the tough economic conditions that the industry is facing as a whole, and a cutback in major IT endeavors, such as e-business enablement, Y2K remediation and data warehousing/CRM projects.However, research indicates that IT budgets are entering a period of growth. Having survived the Internet and dot-com hype, not to mention a period of record underwriting losses, carriers are now looking at how technology can help them achieve their business goals.

Carriers remain very cautious about large-scale IT projects with implementations that last more than 12 months. Their avoidance of these types of projects isn't over concerns about costs, but rather it's due to a fear that these projects will not achieve desired outcomes, according to James Bisker, research director with TowerGroup, Needham, Mass.

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