One of the most important qualities of a senior insurance IT executive is the ability to skillfully deploy tried-and-true resources. However, as IT becomes ever more strategic to the competitive insurance enterprise, so does a CIO's ability to foresee the potential of technology and chart a course for supporting the business needs of the future.
With that observation in mind, we asked Mark Clark, CIO, Jackson National Life — one of this year's Elite 8 — for his view on a few of the technologies that are shaping the insurance industry's future:
Ubiquitous Computing: We will see everything become connected wirelessly (the internet of everything). Imagine walking through a store, pointing your phone at a device, and it instantly telling you what it is compatible with in your household. Consumer reports on that item, reviews from other users, etc. Then you get a message to turn around, the device behind you works well with the one you are looking at…
Big Data: Insurance companies tend to have their data “siloed” into systems that make it difficult to query. There will be a large push going forward to make this data accessible by our users in extremely user-friendly ways. We’ll see big push to use this data in all sorts of decision making across the organization.
Voice Recognition: Apple’s Siri takes this to a whole differently level and this technology will become much more in demand in future applications, particularly combined with the two technologies above, it will become very powerful.
Tablet computing: Increasingly processing will move off the PC and onto tablet devices. There are many challenges in supporting this in a traditional insurance development environment. Demands for mobile and tablet applications will increase and insurance Sr. IT executives need to be ready for it.
Impact of Data Storage Improvements: The high speed and low costs of data storage and memory are already making previously unheard of designs feasible, with no end is sight.
[For more on this year's Elite 8 honorees' views on technology shaping the future of the insurance industry, see Go, Go, Gadget: Top Emerging Technology Tools for Insurers.]