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Insurers Embrace Changing Relationship between Business and IT

Robert Regis Hyle | April 07, 2015

A couple of months ago, when the ITA launched its first Bridge Award, I was curious about the response we’d get. The Bridge Award will be handed out next week at our first conference, ITA LIVE, and it goes to both business and technology leaders who have demonstrated the ability to work both sides of the value chain.

The need for IT people to better understand the business has been a topic I’ve written about for over a decade. It slowly evolved into a priority as companies learned they can’t receive the best results if their technology employees don’t understand what exactly an insurance carrier does.

What has been exciting to watch, though, is that the shoe also has been placed on the other foot. Not only is it important for technology leaders to understand what the business is doing, but those on the business side have begun to appreciate the value that technology can bring to their bailiwicks.

Relying strictly on IT to bring new technology to the operation put too much of a burden on those IT leaders. The business leaders had to learn what technology has to offer before proceeding in the proper direction. That also means the role of IT is evolving and the next few years will be important as the skills that were once valued greatly by the enterprise may not be the same ones that today’s IT leaders grew up with.

The good news, judging from the nominees we received for the ITA Bridge Award, is that more carriers are making the effort to make each side work together to solve the common issues they all share: How can their company operate better today and tomorrow than it did yesterday?

Change and adapt are important skills for business and IT leaders to embrace. It is not always easy, especially for an industry that has more trouble changing direction than an ocean liner, but the beginning steps are in front of us. It may take a while to create movement—particularly for large carriers—but like technology itself, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

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