April 21, 2014

Insurers have long been competitors in a global contest for technology talent, and new research suggests that battle only is going to intensify as insurance and financial services continue their transformation into digital businesses. Financial services and insurance are at the top of a roster compiled by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) of the sectors where demand for IT jobs is growing fastest in Britain.

The research, based on information from Britain's Office for National Statistics, identified "Activities auxiliary to financial services and insurance activities … [including] the provision of services involved in or closely related to financial service activities, but not themselves providing financial services," as the top industry for IT job growth. Together these industries employed 30,486 IT workers in 2013, and added 3,831 IT jobs from 2010 to 2013 -- a 14% increase.

"Technology is an integral component to any business as companies look to innovate and expand and engage broader audiences," said Scott Helmes, Managing Director, CareerBuilder UK, in a press release. Although the study does not specify the types of IT jobs that are driving the growth, the intense focus insurers are placing on building capabilities in analytics and big data, mobile and social media, and cloud -- not to mention the resources involved in core systems modernization, compliance and transaction processing – undoubtedly factor into the ranking. Furthermore, with insurance companies and banks facing new forms of competition, the need to obtain top IT talent isn't just about project management -- it's a competitive necessity.

[What Chubb Looks For in Analytics Talent]

The roster of the top 12 industries in Britain for IT growth are as follows:

1. Activities auxiliary to financial services and insurance activities

2. Publishing Activities

3. Legal and Accounting Activities

4. Services to Buildings and Landscape Activities

5. Advertising and Market Research

6. Office Administrative, Office Support and Other Business Support Activities

7. Real Estate Activities

8. Programming and Broadcasting Activities

9. Warehousing and Support Activities for Transportation

10. Employment Activities

11. Architectural and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis

12. Motion Picture, Video and Television Program Production, Sound Recording and Music Publishing Activities

The statistics also underscore how critical the ability to build, operate and nurture an effective IT workforce with leading-edge skills is to the effectiveness of insurance company CIOs, a challenge identified by many of Insurance & Technology's Elite 8 honorees. Nominations for the 2014 Elite 8 executive roster are underway now -- access this link to nominate an insurance company technology executive who excels in the global competition for IT talent.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & ...