NU Online News Service, July 24, 2003, 4:59 p.m. EDT – Some U.S. insurers may be organizing major information technology projects partly because their staff people are sick of coping with creaky old computer systems.

Researchers at Sapiens International Corp., Research Triangle Park, N.C., surveyed 180 U.S. insurance executives who attended insurance technology conferences.

Researchers asked participants about the reasons behind their companies’ IT initiatives.

Only 9% cited the need to extend distribution channels to meet new market demands, and only 16% cited the need to cut costs.

Forty-four percent said their companies were driven by the need to eliminate the “inefficiencies connected with aging systems and processes.”

Sapiens researchers also asked the survey participants about the nature of their companies’ top IT projects.

Twenty-two percent said their companies were focusing on improving policy administration systems, and 16% said their companies were busy consolidating systems.

Only 2% said their companies were busy outsourcing business processes.

Despite all of the media attention given to technology standards and customer relationship management, only 7% of the participants listed implementing standards as a top IT initiative, and only 5% listed CRM efforts.