Needham, Mass. - The insurance industry is rapidly embracing service-oriented architecture (SOA), as well as related Web services and standards, according to TowerGroup research conducted in partnership with ACORD. TowerGroup interviewed senior leadership executives at more than 12 carriers and conducted more than 150 hours of data gathering and analysis across the industry (covering property/casualty, life and annuity, and reinsurance).Key findings of the study, according to Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup, include:

According to the research, while industry leaders are being quiet about their progress in this area, they are quickly advancing along a path that leverages SOA concepts, technology tools and techniques--linking technology plans and architectures to core business strategies. These carriers have a single goal in mind: to harness the use of technology and automation, to transform their businesses, and gain and sustain competitive advantage. One of the most compelling findings, says Deb Smallwood, managing director of the TowerGroup Insurance practice, "is a gap between the insurance carrier's requirements and what is perceived to be available in the market place. Whether this perceived gap is accurate or not, carriers are moving forward."

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