As insurers respond to a business landscape altered by the financial crisis, the coming year will be characterized by change.


SPECIAL REPORT: Insurance Technology Outlook 2009
Though the financial services industry has seen a precipitous change in the business environment and will adopt austerity measures, insurers are likely to be opportunistic in their technology investments.

Priorities Will Shift, But Insurers' 2009 IT Spending Remains Healthy
Given the ravages the financial crisis has wrought in the insurance industry, greater cost consciousness will return to insurance IT organizations. But unlike during the downturn following the dot-com bust, carriers are likely to sustain levels of pre-crisis spending.

CIOs Stress Prioritization in 2009
While insurance CIOs remain relatively confident about their 2009 IT budgets, many are prioritizing projects and placing an added value on those that offer hard-dollar savings and efficiency gains.

Insurers Must Take Advantage of the Economic Climate to Realize Future Gains
A focus on employee engagement, as well as customer and distributor communication and service efforts, can position insurers to reap gains in 2009 and beyond, writes former Aviva USA CIO Mike Boltz.

Managing Risk to Regain Trust
IT will play a leading role in correcting the weaknesses in managing enterprise risk that have been exposed by the financial crisis.

Ensuring That Looming Regulatory Mandates Help, Not Hinder
Insurers should be at the table in order to champion constructive regulatory changes at a time when federal oversight of the industry is likely to be promulgated, says Deloitte's Howard Mills.

Carriers Take More Disciplined Approach to Vendor Relationships
As carriers apply more discipline to the process of justifying the business value of technology investments, the vendor community is adjusting accordingly.

Online Search Analytics Provide a Window Into Customer Behavior
By examining search engine data across different areas and time periods, insurers can learn more about the products and services in which customers are interested, says Google's Jon Kaplan.

2009 Will Be a Year of Challenge and Opportunity for Insurers
The coming year promises to test CIOs with budget constraints and tactical challenges -- but rewards will come to firms that position themselves for strategic success, say industry experts.

FROM THE EDITOR

2009 Business and Technology Resolutions for the Insurance Industry
With a very tough 2008 drawing to a close, there are a number of important goals for everyone in the insurance technology industry, including getting up to speed on social media, and improving competitiveness.

UPDATE

Insurers Measure Expectations After Elections
There is a new set of actors in the executive branch and that means potential changes for the insurance industry, but preoccupation with the financial crisis will likely be the real motivator.

As AscendantOne Changes Hands, Both ISO and AQS Gain Definition
Through the acquisition of AscendantOne from ISO, AQS has broadened its scope as a provider of policy administration solutions just as ISO has redefined its own scope as a vendor.

Aetna, Microsoft Integrate Online Health Tools
Aetna has made its PHR tool compatible with Microsoft HealthVault.

Insurers Respond to California Wildfires
As firefighters worked to contain the last of several wildfires in Southern California, insurers deployed CAT vehicles to the region to handle incoming claims and assist affected policyholders.

ISOTech Panel Gauges IT/Business Relationship Woes
There will always be incentives toward alignment in an information-driven business, but CIOs still struggle to demonstrate the value they bring to the insurance enterprise, especially when business executives fail to live up to their alignment responsibilities, panelists argued.

CASE STUDIES

GEHA Taps Network Access Control to Close a Security Loophole
By adopting a network access control (NAC) solution from Nevis Networks, Government Employees Health Association reduces internal threats from unauthorized devices.

Ullico Overhauls Insurance Framework With ISCS
Trade union insurer updates antiquated systems while simultaneously re-entering commercial markets by developing a comprehensive Web-based framework using the highly configurable SurePower Innovation policy administration system.

NAMES IN THE NEWS

Adversity Equals Opportunity for The Hartford's CIO
Brian O'Connell has taken on the new role of enterprise CIO at a time when major projects of long-term value will get priority over quick-hit discretionary initiatives.