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SMA's Insurance Transformation, Where Strategy Meets Action

Deb Smallwood

IT Governance: Still A Challenge In Insurance

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One of the most challenging issues facing the insurance industry today surrounds IT Governance. Yes, that pesky problem that many business and IT leaders spend countless hours and dollars seeking to improve, to streamline, and just plan fix. With the industry spending over $40 billion annual on IT, any misalignment is costly.

There have been successful, however few and far between. As I continue to talk to carriers, vendors, and based on my experience as a Chief Information Officer, these pockets of success are muted by the overwhelming reports of a widening gap between business and IT departments. The gap is compounded by ineffective IT governance process, lack of clear roles and responsibility and the right balance of accountability.

Without mentioning the quantifiable losses to companies in terms of investment and return on dollars; the losses that companies face in terms of misses opportunities is substantial. Without clear governance and true alignment between the business and IT, evidence of increasing friction between business and IT is apparent. Lack of governance is leaving business leaders across the industry in a difficult position where their IT departments are moving further away from the strategic vision of the organization, delivering critical functions to support business plans that move the company forward.

This is an excerpt from a feature article in Tech Decision CIO Insights March Issues 2009, authored by Deb Smallwood, Founder of SMA Inc.

The purpose of the SMA blog is create a dialogue around insurance transformation; launching a different perspective on linkage between strategy, process and technology choices and shifting the mindset from a technology driven approach with SOA & BPM to a business driven service-oriented thinking that creates agile and flexible new insurance business models. Look for a wide gambit of trends, research, case studies, and insights on making transformation a reality.

Deb Smallwood

"I grew up in the insurance industry and have experienced the shackles that ineffective business processes with misaligned monolithic technology solutions have placed on insurance companies...

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Karen Furtado

Karen Furtado brings a wealth of industry knowledge to SMA. She spent 25 years at CGI, focused in insurance. Her specific areas of expertise include product development, complex system implementations, vendor selection processes, project management and business and IT outsourcing services. Her passion is working with both technology providers and carriers to deliver high-value solutions for core issues facing the industry. Karen actively participates as an industry speaker.

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