Asia Insurance The Year Ahead: The CIO Perspective

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17 June 2010


Asia’s insurance business has been largely unaffected by the financial crisis compared to the other parts of the world. A recent Celent survey of insurance CIOs throughout Asia shows that 44% of Asian insurers have not significantly changed their business strategy, budget/IT spending, and product/distribution channels, although growth in certain lines has been negatively impacted.

In a new report, Asia Insurance—The Year Ahead: The CIO Perspective, Celent discusses business themes in the Asian insurance market, including business growth, cost reduction, ease of doing business, meeting regulation requirements, time to market, and related IT initiatives based on a survey of Asian insurance CIOs.

“Despite the financial crisis, Asian insurers’ IT budgets are holding steady. Over 85% of the survey participants increased or allocated the same budget for 2010 as 2009,” says Wenli Yuan, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Asian Financial Services Group and coauthor of the report. “Underwriting/policy administration, customer service representative portal/desktop, and agent portals are the top three focus areas for increased technology investment.”

“In Japan, software developed in-house is still the rule rather than the exception in the insurance industry,” adds KyongSun Kong, Analyst with Celent’s Asian Financial Services Group and coauthor of the report. “However, in the next few years, a surge is expected in the number of insurance companies considering the introduction of external software.”

This report discusses Asia insurers’ IT budgets, areas of increased investment, and IT initiatives around underwriting/policy administration systems, distribution, and claims. The report also examines Asian insurers’ enterprise IT strategy, specifically looking at IT structure, architecture, IT outsourcing, and emerging technology, such as AJAX, social networking, cloud computing, and SaaS.