Senior life office executives do not believe their companies' IT budgets are big enough to sustain their business strategies over the next two to three years.
A survey of 50 life company executives by Sapiens International reveals that 38 per cent are worried that their firms do not have enough cash allocated to develop their IT systems and a quarter have serious doubts about their IT department's ability to deliver results. Twenty-one per cent question the quality of outsourced IT services.
Thirteen per cent fear that IT development will not keep up with the pace of change in the industry and 4 per cent worry that their form does not have the right IT skills.
Thirty-eight per cent say they intend to focus marketing efforts on “understanding the customer” but fear that finance departments put this at the bottom of their list.
The results reveal that the biggest concern is refreshing legacy IT systems. The respondents believe managing third-party admin relationships will be critical to customer service.
IT solutions company Sapiens head of solutions Alan Bennet says executives pushing their companies to develop IT systems could face an uphill struggle trying to win more of the company budget.
Bennet says: “These results make you wonder who is driving the agenda at the life offices these days. Finance departments would seem to still be in cost-cutting mode while the companies need to be looking at developing IT.”
Norwich Union head of press James Evans says: “There are massive changes ahead for the life sector – regulation, pension simplification, realistic solvency – these will all have a big bearing on how spending can be allocated and cost efficiency achieved.”