Doing more with less can be exhausting. But as the U.S. economy has stabilized, insurers have begun shifting from cost cutting measures to more ambitious technology projects intended to support competitive initiatives and drive efficiencies, according to industry experts.

The number of U.S. insurers planning to increase technology spending was 56 percent this year, according to insurance research and consultancy Strategy Meets Action's (SMA) "2013 Insurance Ecosystem: Insurer Technology Spending, Drivers, and Projects," compared to 40 percent in 2010. And the emphasis is decidedly on projects intended to confer strategic advantages and differentiation, as 71 percent of the 157 insurers surveyed are shooting for transformation and growth.

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