NU Online News Service, Nov. 22, 2004, 4:45 p.m. EST

Life insurers see increased efficiency as the main goal for their 2005 investments in information technology.[@@]

Datamonitor Inc., New York, has published data supporting that conclusion in its latest insurance IT executive survey report.

Only 43% of the executives said cost control will be the main goal, compared with 50% in 2003. Meanwhile, the percentage of executives who said their companies will be focusing primarily on improving efficiency has increased to 54%, from 34%.

Companies that want to improve efficiency, rather than simply slash costs, often set up long term projects, such as efforts to streamline back-office operations, Datamonitor says.

Datamonitor estimates North American insurers’ IT spending will increase 4.7% in 2005, to $17 billion.