Record-low interest rates and persistent economic malaise, now in their fifth year, continue to weigh on corporate spending. However, IT spending is projected to increase across the board in North America over the next three years, according to "IT Spending in Insurance: A Global Perspective," from Celent.

That optimism, however, is conditional on a global economic recovery. This year the research and consulting firm anticipates a decline in spending by European insurers and only marginal increases among North American insurers. Celent says the pace of growth likely will accelerate in 2014 and 2015.

The study indicates $24 billion, just less than half of total IT spending by North American insurers, will be allocated to internal IT staff in 2013. Celent also predicts that, as a percentage of premiums, spending on internal staff and hardware will remain flat due to the adoption of software-as-a-service and the use of external software, which continues to grow.

Celent's figures also indicate P&C insurers' IT spending habits are growing at a slightly faster pace than their counterparts in the life sector.

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