It’s understandable, even forgivable, that insurance IT leadership thinks that their firms revolve around themselves.
After all, insurance has always been a computational exercise in which the risks of many are measured, pooled and protected against, at a calculated price, known as a premium. Thus, even during the earliest days of computing, conservative insurance companies were early adopters of (then) cutting edge calculation tools like mainframes and laptops.
So like so many companies in financial services, walls were erected between the IT ‘priesthood’ and the business community in insurance to effectively ration new and scarce IT resources.
Over time the barriers of IT demand management and user governance created something of a cultural divide that limited the effectiveness of IT. Reinforced by varying terminology, competition for limited budgets and even different locations, the gap between IT and business grew over time.
This has been especially true the most demanding business customers, actuaries. While actuaries are driven, analytical and talented, they approach computing in a less structured and more experimental way than pure information technologists. That’s because their software solutions need to respond rapidly to external constraints and limitations as described in CEB TowerGroup’s webinar Next Generation Actuarial Systems.
It’s especially critical that IT leaders bridge the gap and break out of the misconception that actuaries are distinctly different than themselves. Firms that have succeeded often embed their most talented business analysts into finance and especially actuarial functions to stay current with actuarial needs and systems.
This is just one way that IT can contribute to the ongoing success of these actuarial systems. To learn how IT should support these critical applications, review our Actuarial Systems Technology Analysis.