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Global Insurers to Increase IT Spend to Over US$100 Billion

3-year CAGR in mature nations to be 3.1% and globally to be 3.8%.

The global Insurance industry will increase IT spending to almost US$101 billion in 2015, a Year-on-Year (YoY) increase of 4.4% compared to 2014, with rigorous investments in technologies to boost efficiencies and innovation.
This was unveiled in the recently published report by IDC Financial Insights, “Global Insurance 2015 Top 10 Predictions: Perils and Prospects for the New Year” (January 2015, IDC Financial Insights Doc #AP250896), that presents its top 10 perspectives on the perils and prospects for the global consumer and commercial, life and non-life insurance markets for 2015.

Li-May Chew, CFA, associate research director, and global lead for IDC Financial Insights’ Worldwide Insurance Advisory Service, sees investments centering around new core applications development and management such as data warehousing, claims and policy administration systems. These replacements or refreshes are required as legacy IT systems become increasingly complex, inflexible, and archaic, to the point of negatively affecting technology integration and interoperability.
Insurers are further spending on change transformation and business optimization initiatives to augment productivity and support intermediaries, as well as in knowledge management, business analytics and customer relationship management applications to improve underwriting insights, raise customer centricity and intimacy. Also critical is the need to enhance not just the intermediated distribution channels comprised of insurance agents, brokers and bancassurance, but also newer, disintermediated digital portals of the Internet, social platforms and mobile delivery.

“Global insurers need to know where and how to seek pockets of growth amidst economic uncertainty. In order to regroup and focus on sustainable, profitable growth, organizations will have to confront multiple perils – ranging from reengineering or rebuilding legacy applications, to countering mounting insurance fraud – and still ensure they are well positioned to embrace growth prospects as these present themselves.”

“We expect the global insurance industry to invest more rigorously in technologies, and project global IT investments rising to almost US$101 billion this year as these support campaigns to boost efficiencies and innovation. Geographically, the emerging markets continue to shine. While cumulated spending for these nations may still be a comparatively smaller US$19 billion, this will rise at a 3-year CAGR of 6.7% between 2015 to 2018, which is double that of mature nations,” says Chew.
She expects the 3-year CAGR in mature nations to be 3.1% and globally to be 3.8%.

Herein, IDC Financial Insights sees especially noteworthy IT developments within the insurance sectors of the Big Five BRICS economies (of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina in LATAM; and the Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Chew added that insurers are cognizant that strategic execution needs to be technology-enabled and are hence proactively embracing technology-driven innovation. She is thus confident that their budgets for such deployments will continue to rise alongside, and oftentimes, quicker than annual premiums growth.

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