HITTING THE MARK, MARCH 2012


COVER STORY

Insurers Must Rethink Vendor Relationships in the Cloud
Cloud-based technology solutions are proving to be a valuable new resource for insurance IT organizations seeking to do more with less. But getting the most from the cloud requires carriers to rethink vendor relationships.

5 Reasons Your IT Organization Went Over Budget
Keeping IT spending under control is a constant struggle for CIOs. But it's not an impossible task. Here are some of the most common reasons for budget overruns, along with some potential solutions.

Insurance Companies Get Smarter About Project Management
Insurance companies are getting better at protecting their IT investments through flexible application of project management best practices and by aligning incentives to results.

Making Metrics Work for You: 5 Tips From the Experts
Using key performance indicators to manage your IT resources isn't as easy as simply collecting data. It's what you do with that information that allows you to affect change.

FEATURE

4 Ways to Ruin the Insurance Customer Experience
Carriers talk a good game about customer experience, but there still are several things they're not doing that would help create a great insurance customer experience. I&T presents the four most important mistakes carriers must avoid in order to keep their customers happy.

ONE ON ONE

Q&A With Chartis' Buluswar: What Does a Chief Science Officer Do?
Chartis' new chief science officer talks vision, identifies skills he'll seek, and discusses the impact of the P&C insurer's analytics-focused science office on high-level strategic business decision-making.

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE

How to Improve the Customer Experience With Customized Document Creation and Delivery
Customer experience has emerged as a powerful competitive differentiator for insurance companies, which have made improving the customer experience a top priority. Optimizing and customizing document creation and delivery has become an important part of this effort.


FROM THE EDITOR

Why Is Insurance IT So Hard?
The hardest thing about IT isn't programming skills. Rather, the stumbling blocks have much more to do with interpersonal skills, objectivity, organization, budgeting acumen and communications.

UPDATE

Insurers' Customer Advocates Glean Insights from Data
With customer experience paramount, carriers are installing business units devoted to providing data-driven insights into current and prospective policyholders.

Guidewire IPO May Attract Capital to Insurance Software Sector
Guidewire's initial public offering validates the vendor's customer focus, innovation and emphasis quality, and it gives the insurance software industry greater visibility to sophisticated investors, analysts say.

Cover-All's Bid to Compete as Componentized Suite System Vendor
Cover-All seeks to speed its entry as a componentized suite vendor during 2012, with its plans to integrate BlueWave with its existing policy and business intelligence solutions and also debut its billing component.

5 Digital Marketing Imperatives for Life Insurers
There's plenty of opportunity out there for life insurers to grow their books of business, if they can reach the right prospects, according to Rose Cahill, insurance VP for marketing services company Acxiom. She shared with I&T her top tips for carriers to embrace digital marketing capabilities and get more people signed up.

Case Study in 5 "W"s: 21st Century Migrates Mainframe with Clerity
The auto carrier walks Insurance & Technology through its effort to consolidate its policy and quoting systems onto a Unix-based platform.

CHANNEL WATCH

Progressive's Mobile Document Capture Initiative Enables Quoting from a Smartphone
The auto carrier worked with Mitek Systems to create a capability in its iPhone app through which prospective policyholders can submit information by taking pictures of necessary documents.

CURE Insurance COO Eric Poe Dishes on Text-to-Pay
The New Jersey-based auto insurer wanted to make payments more convenient for its customers that wanted it without increasing costs for all of them, its COO tells Insurance & Technology.

CUSTOMER SERVICE WATCH

5 Steps to a Single Customer View
While there are many benefits to creating a single customer view, several barriers exist in today’s business environment. Insurers need to employ techniques that improve the ability to merge and remove duplicates.

CASE STUDY

North Carolina Farm Bureau Embraces Self-Service Web Portals
North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Group provides self-service functionality to customers and distribution partners via web portals built by IBM Interactive and powered by Fiserv.

Physicians Mutual Offloads Card Processing Into the Cloud
Physicians Mutual Insurance Co. leverages FTNI's ETran accounts receivable solution to meet PCI and NACHA compliance requirements for securing customer credit card and bank account data by moving it into the cloud.

NAMES IN THE NEWS

Q&A: Aflac's CIO Says Distribution at the Top of His List
Michael Boyle, who took over the post in August 2011, says his goal is to provide customers, distributors and employers the best possible experience across all channels.