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Emerging Insurance Technologies: Life, Annuities, and Pensions Industry Edition 2012

New technologies have provided great benefits over the years to insurers, enabling IT to provide expanded functionality, greater efficiencies, and increased performance. In some cases, technology changed the way insurers interact with customers, agents, and regulators.

This report, the inaugural version of Emerging Insurance Technologies: Life, Annuities, and Pensions Industry Edition 2012, bridges the gap between business and technology. It examines the technologies and system features that are changing the face of the insurance industry and links them to their predominant business benefits. The report also measures how ready certain technology is for the insurance industry, and vice versa.

This snapshot demonstrates that, while technologies such as virtualization and contact and customer management (CCM) have been broadly adopted by insurers across most geographies, there is still a raft of mature technologies, such as business process management, portals, and specialist hedging technologies that have yet to make an impact. Some of these less well-adopted but mature technologies have the potential to deliver significant value in terms of operational efficiencies, capital efficiencies, and improved agility.

There is also a set of technologies waiting to be proved within the industry, such as social media in underwriting and claims decisions and cloud-based core insurance systems. Despite showing some promise, many of these technologies also come with some technology risks and the potential for vendor hype. The key decisions for insurers are when and how much to invest, and with whom.

"The ability to determine which emerging technologies have the potential to add value is a significant step in insurers' investment planning," says Karen Monks, Analyst with Celent's Insurance group and coauthor of the report. "This report aims to provide insight into which technologies are gaining traction and the business levers they are most likely to address."