Despite the scarcity of stand-alone packages and portals, insurance CIOs increasingly are interested in underwriting solutions, with a greater emphasis on usability and automation, according to Celent's recent report, "2013 North American CIO Survey."

Four categories of initiatives consume just over half of insurers' total new project resources, according to the survey. As in prior years, policy administration initiatives, at 21 percent, took the largest share. The new business/underwriting/rating; distribution and external portals; and claims categories followed, each with shares ranging from 10 to 13 percent.

When it comes to underwriting systems, the majority of CIOs (38 percent) are looking to wrap or extend what they have over the next three years. Twenty percent indicated that they would "keep, incrementally improve" their underwriting systems, while 24 percent said they plan to "consolidate multiple systems." Even fewer respondents are looking to "rewrite using modern code" or "replace with package."

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