In an economy riddled by recession, the insurance industry is one of only a few where IT budgets are on the rise. In all, 55% of insurers in the InformationWeek 500 say they expect 2009 spending on IT to exceed last year's spending.
Insurance companies are using that money to cut costs elsewhere. For example, 64% of insurance industry respondents to the survey say that making business processes more efficient is a top priority.
Allstate, for example, is transforming its IT organization to "move faster, better and cheaper," especially when it comes to customer service, says Anthony Abbattista, the company's VP of technology solutions.
At The Hartford, CIO Brian O'Connell's organization is focused on cutting costs through consolidation and virtualization.
Preferred Care Partners is working the efficiency angle by investing in Medicare CRM integration, a new claims processing system, and pushing providers and hospitals toward more use of EDI.
And as a whole, the insurance industry is increasing support for telecommuting and remote workers. In all, 48% of insurers surveyed--more than in any other industry--say that this has been one of the most effective ways to increase worker productivity.
|Industry Snapshot: Insurance|