In its annual survey, Celent asked North American P&C CIOs about their resources and plans for 2021.
Looking at all the responses to all of the questions, the word that comes first to mind is resilience.
CIOs reported that the two most important corporate goals impacting their 2021 tech plans are growth and process optimization. For example, here is what CIOs of midsize insurers said:
The priority given to growth could be a bounce-back from COVID-delayed or COVID-slowed tech investments in 2020. Celent sees the nod to process optimization as a carry-over from 2020’s many COVID-induced digital initiatives.
Another proof point of resilience is CIOs’ 2021 plans to invest in a broad array of new systems and spending plans to enhance current systems. For example, starting replacement and continuing replacement of policy administration and claims system showed significant strength across the board, in large, midsize, and small insurers.
In order to support these projects, large and small insurers provided a larger than typical average increase in their 2021 IT budgets. Midsize insurers gave an adequate average increase, closer to prior years’ allocations.
CIOs also told Celent that the cloud is strengthening its lock as the most-favored deployment option. As shown in the chart below, cloud-ready and cloud-native solutions overwhelmingly dominate large insurer CIOs’ deployment preference.
A bonus section in the report lists Celent’s thoughts about some key technology trends in 2022 and 2023. That list includes continued growth in vendors’ digital suites which can serve as a customer experience front-end to various core systems.
The full report, North American Property/Casualty CIO Priorities and Pressures is available to Celent Property/Casualty research subscribers.
(Note: A version of this blog has appeared in Insurance Innovation Reporter.)