IT Governance in the Multinational Insurer

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8 January 2008


London, United Kingdom 8 January 2008

"Federated dictatorship" appears to be the dominant IT governance model in global insurers.

In a new report, , Celent provides insight into the common ways of organising and measuring IT in global insurers. A perennial question for CIOs is how best to organise the IT department in order to support business both efficiently and effectively.

In general, centralised IT is better positioned to support long-term strategic goals, while decentralised IT is better positioned to support immediate tactical needs. The pros and cons of each model are directly related to this difference in focus. For multinational insurers with operations in many countries and regions, deciding which model to use is a complex process.

"There is no definitive answer to this question and, as with most management theories, the pervasive view swings back and forth between two opposing ones," says Catherine Stagg-Macey, senior analyst with Celent's insurance group and author of the report. "But we are seeing a trend towards what we call a federated dictatorship model, which lies somewhere between the centralised and decentralised models."

This report takes a look at IT governance models and examines how the core systems are structured in multinationals across the globe. It is based on Celent interviews with several C-level executives at insurers from around the world and discusses the Celent "AAAA" rating for technology and how this can be applied to the various IT governance models. The four A's stand for alignment, agility, accessibility, and affordability.

The 19-page report contains two figures. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Life/Health Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.