Escaping the Annus Horribilis: Insurer Views on IT and Business Strategies Moving Forward

by Catherine Stagg-Macey,  Craig Weber, January 25, 2010
Industry Trends
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America


For insurers, 2010 should be a year of “getting back to business.” Insurers will be actively preparing for a flurry of investments, with an eye toward meeting future challenges.

In a new report, Escaping the Annus Horribilis: Insurer Views on IT and Business Strategies Moving Forward, Celent looks back on 2009 and reviews how insurers’ attitudes and behaviours changed over the four quarters. The report is based on a Celent survey that examined how insurers are responding to changing market conditions and their expectations about the impact of the crisis.

As the depth of the recession became clearer as the year unfolded, so did the severity of the insurers’ responses. “In Q1 2009, most respondents thought changing strategies and large-scale staff reductions were unlikely,” says Catherine Stagg-Macey, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance group and coauthor of the report. “But when the severity of the crisis set in, many companies had to make hard decisions. Now on reflection, and with some better insight as to where we are in the economic recovery, it is apparent that most companies bit the bullet and made the hard decisions mid-year.”

“If there is a single lesson for insurers from 2009, it’s the importance of an agile and flexible IT operation that supports rapid response to unpredictable operating conditions,” says Craig Weber, Senior Vice President of Celent’s Insurance group and coauthor of the report. “The legacy drag effect was felt by many, and this undoubtedly helped support renewed vigor in IT investment programs.”

In addition to looking at insurer views on the current quarter and a year out along several categories, such as job security, the report looks in some detail at the investment hotspots for 2010 and IT budgets. The report is the final in a series of four tracking perceptions during 2009.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

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Europe (London)
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Table of Contents

Executive Summary








About the Respondents


Quarterly Comparison: 1Q2009 Vs. 4Q2009


Assessing the Industry Mood



The Trend in 2009



The View Inward


Responding in a Crisis



Measuring Company Resilience


The IT Response



IT Budgets for 2010



Structural Changes to IT


IT Investment Priorities



IT Budgets for 2010



Structural Changes to IT




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Carriers



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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