More than 2,000 conference attendees and exhibitors who gathered for the ACORD-LOMA Insurance Systems Forum, held May 22-24 in Orlando, were exposed to three ideas that echoed throughout the general session, breakout sessions and exhibit hall: Get on the standards bus, open your systems to enable successful internal and external processing and regulatory reporting, and sell these concepts to the business side of your organization.In the conference's standing-room only opening session, Greg Maciag, ACORD's president and CEO, welcomed carriers by advising them to respond to the current cycle of technology by doing business in a consistent way. "We liken it to the golden age of synergy, where growth in technology implementation is rapid," he said. "Implementing standards is a key element to an organization's ability to gain a competitive advantage by making it easier to communicate, both internally and externally."

Maciag's comments reflect the conference's common themes of transparency and consistency, and point to what more and more carriers are recognizing as obvious: that IT and business have found themselves on common ground.

Thomas Donaldson, president and CEO of LOMA, affirmed that by combining the two organizations' meetings, they could deliver the best possible agenda, which enables carriers to meet industry challenges inherent in an uncertain economy and our current regulatory environment.

"We want to help our members to achieve business success," he said.

On the topic of transparency, keynote speaker Don Tapscott encouraged attendees to "get naked."

"In the age of regulatory reform, access to pertinent information is how we differentiate ourselves," he said, and cautioned "if you are going to go naked, you better be buff. Your data must be clean and accessible."

Tapscott noted that a host of sociopolitical, economic and demographic factors drives IT, and a bevy of obstacles lies in the path of transparency, including the business value of secrets, privacy concerns, fear of litigation and risk of vulnerability.

Tapscott offered a new model that challenges corporate values: honesty, accountability and openness.

The conference also offered a mix of technical and business educa-tional sessions, vendor exhibits and product demos.

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