Productivity Is The Buzzword Of The Hour
Productivity–enhanced and enabled by technology–was the buzzword of the hour, as vendors and insurers met here recently for the IBM Global Insurance Executive Conference.
While the conference was sponsored by one of the worlds leading information technology (IT) vendors, most of the presenters, including those from IBM, emphasized the need for efficiency, company differentiation and resiliency (leading to productivity) to help insurers succeed.
In todays economic climate, success means “a relentless focus on execution,” stated William Pieroni, general manager, Global Insurance Industry, for IBM Business Consulting Services, based in White Plains, N.Y. “Efficiency must go beyond cost cutting to productivity.”
“Productivity is the watchword for the coming years,” stated Ginni Rometty, managing partner, IBM Business Consulting Services, in her address to the conference. “Long-term earnings are going to come from productivity improvements.”
Rometty pointed out that many insurers still rely on legacy systems that “are not responsive” and can hamper productivity. “Many of us still have [information] silos, and often work is replicated between them,” she explained.
The solution, she stressed, lies in integrating systems across all parts of the business, rather than in a single piece of “killer application” software. This would provide an “on demand” computing scenario fusing business and IT functions for better organizational productivity.
Rometty focused on five components of an insurance business:
Insight: customer analytics and campaign management.
Distribution: policyholder services and channel management.
Core insurance: policy administration, claims and underwriting.