An interesting idea to emerge from Novarica's 2011 CIO Insurance Summit is that “the CIO discussion with a CEO used to be centered around, ‘What’s wrong, what’s broken now?’ And now it’s moved to, ‘How can you help? What can the technology do for me?’”

I can certainly remember when most organizations—insurance and otherwise—viewed their IT operations as necessary, but not critical. There were lots of reasons for this. First and foremost, people on the business side really didn’t understand just what all those geeky propeller-heads in IT were actually doing—and that was fine, as long as some kind of results were produced. If you asked the average 1980s business executive why the IT function was important, they would probably say something about accounting and efficiency, but wouldn’t have a clue as to the details.

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