IDC's Financial Insights unit predicts that IT spending by North American insurers will be muted – but there will be some hot technology areas. Overall, while IT spending is projected to grow by 2 percent over the coming year, there will be increased spending on CRM and analytics, as well as channel management solutions.

Areas that will see more technology investments include those that:

   • Focus on improving the customer experience and enhancing relationships to retain and attract policyholders

   • Refine alternative delivery channels that cater to divergent buying preferences of consumers

   • Augment products and services offered to independent financial advisors and agents to boost their productivity and allegiance

   • Allow expansion into specialty lines insurance

   • Support adoption of big data technologies and analytical applications

Business intelligence and analytical and CRM applications for customer services and marketing are expected to see the most spending, followed by channel management to enhance online, mobile, and social media outreach. IDC also projects greater spending on core applications development and management for claims, policy administration, and product development.

IDC also predicts that U.S. insurers will increasingly march toward the cloud, increasingly considering on-demand cloud-based services for horizontal and back office processes.

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