About Ben Moreland

New Challenges require a New Mindset for Insurance

New Challenges require a New Mindset for Insurance
Celent conducted another successful Peer Networking Event (PNE), this time in Atlanta, Georgia. The event was well attended by insurers from around the area and even had representation from a bank. The PNEs are designed to bring together insurers to discuss topics that they find of interest, either due to immediate concerns or future direction. The structure of the forum allows for open and candid discussions between the participants.

The two topics that were discussed during this PNE were emerging technologies and the architecture concerns to incorporate and integrate these new technologies into the existing environment with which carriers must deal today. Celent provided its perspective and insight into these areas and the group engaged in a lot of interactive dialog. Carriers were interested in what others are doing with respect to telematics, customer sentiment and the use of external data. There was a growing concern expressed about how to deal with the large amounts of varying data and how to incorporate that information into the business decisioning process. For example, one carrier wanted to know if anyone had experience with data aggregators to help deal with the Big Data challenge that is beginning to hit the insurance industry.

Another concern expressed is how to maximize the user experience for policy holders, agents, and CSRs (Customer Service Representatives). The insurers said they face a challenge with their ability to integrate across their systems to provide the level of experience that users have come to expect with Google, Facebook and Amazon. They also discussed the significant advantages available to specialty insurers by leveraging more customer data to better underwrite risks.

There was a high value discussion regarding the need for IT to educate the business on the art of the possible. Regarding emerging technologies, IT needs to better understand the business and take a seat at the table to help drive the business and help them understand what is truly possible; what is still just a concept; and the true impact to the business of the emerging technologies that are so hot in the press.

Celent proposed that in the future insurance IT landscape, all that carriers will own is the architecture and the information. This generated good debate around the role of enterprise architect and the role of the business architect. Only three of the carriers in attendance have a formal, mature business architect practice. Others described their business architects as really business SMEs (subject matter experts). The insurers also observed that IT architects and insurers rarely talk about human capital. Carriers need to develop an IT human capital plan related to IT architecture skills. A central theme of the day was that the role of the insurance IT architect is definitely changing as we move forward.

One carrier presented their EA (Enterprise Architecture) journey. They have been moving away from business siloed architectures to a true enterprise architecture, responsible for the enterprise, not just a single line of business. They created an EA roadmap and established an EA governance group that was quite effective. The surprising aspect of their efforts was the speed (six months) in which they established and matured their EA governance group. Some of the key reasons for this are that the EA governance committee consists of senior executives from IT and business and all projects must go through a practical EA review. The governance process enhances the project deliverables and has not become a bottleneck for project delivery. Their focus is on their value proposition and how they can help drive their company to achieve the business goals.

In the afternoon, another carrier presented their system modernization efforts and the journey that they have come over the last couple of years. As with most carriers, they have a myriad of systems and had a lot of manual processes. They found it took longer than expected to get the first line of business up, but new lines now only take 5-9 months (reduced from 18 months previously). They have rationalized many of their systems and continue moving forward on improving the back end and introducing portals and improved customer experience on the front end. A key lesson learned was to fix underwriting first and then focus on the back end process systems, such as Claims and finance. Other lessons learned included:

o Need 100% commitment from the business

o Change/fix the process, not the system

o Define your requirements based on the new business process

o Decide what you want to do, then pick the tool (not vice versa)

o Define reqs up front before selecting an implementation partner

o Be realistic about data conversion time and effort

o Dedicate a Project Manager from underwriting full time

o Do not convert policy data! Convert policies at time of renewal.

o Allow projects to fail

o Define your requirements well before working with a vendor; otherwise, they cannot understand what you want

The PNE confirmed to all the carriers in the room that they are all struggling with variations of the same issues. It also confirmed that you cannot face these new challenges with the old Insurance mindset or culture and provided practical steps that have been taken to make the needed transitions.

The next PNE is scheduled for October 26, at RSA Canada in Toronto. The two topics for discussion will be Insurance innovation and Big Data in insurance. The event is open to all carriers. Check the Celent site (www.celent.com) soon for event and registration details. Based on the last several PNEs, you won’t want to miss it!

Customers are the Disruptive Force in Insurance

Customers are the Disruptive Force in Insurance
Insurance has traditionally been known as a risk-adverse industry and thus the last to employ new technologies. This characteristic is more a comment on the old culture and way of doing business than really being risk adverse. Customers are now forcing insurers to deal with a change at a rate that is faster than they are comfortable. Customers have become a disruptive force in insurance. When I was in the enterprise architecture team in a large insurer, the business drivers always included lower TCO (with respect to IT), improved ease of doing business and business agility. However, ease of doing business was primarily focused on Independent agents, CSRs and underwriters. The actual policy holder was an afterthought to the policy process. Insurers created better UIs and in some cases enterprise portals to allow their agents, CSRs and underwriters easier access to their systems and better collaboration between these groups. While the policy holder was important, the agent was the insurance customer and the policy holder was the customer of the agent. Then insurers opened up Pandora’s Box and enabled policy holders direct access to submissions, claims and more recently self-service. The problem is that their systems were not designed for policyholder access. In addition, these customers have a level of expectations that most insurers are not ready for. Almost overnight, insurers realized that they had entered a world where the company no longer “owned their brand”, they could only manage it. Customers own the brand. Two examples show this change very dramatically. First is the well-known United Breaks Guitars YouTube incident . A customer, Dave Carroll, saw United baggage handlers damage his guitar and when he could not get satisfaction, create a creative YouTube video for the world to see. It went viral in a matter of days and by the time United was ready to fix the problem, the horse had escaped the barn. United now uses the video for training purposes. United learned the customer owned the brand the hard way and now they work hard to manage it. A friend recently told me of a Moen faucet that they had bought. They didn’t get around to actually installing it until months later and it did not work. When he called, he was told that the warranty had expired and there was nothing that they could do. He tweeted his experience and within 10 minutes, received a tweet from Moen asking him to call them to allow them to fix the problem. Within hours, a service rep was at his door with a new faucet and installed quickly. All Moen asked is that he tweet his satisfaction about the fix which he was happy to do. Moen obviously was monitoring the social network and acted quickly to manage their brand. While neither of these experiences have anything to do with insurance, they show the power of the customer. The same customer that now has and is demanding the same level of service they get from other industries. They could care less about legacy systems. They could care less about integration issues and complex environments and systems. They know what they get from other places they purchase items and expect nothing less from insurance. CIOs now state that customer experience trumps features and functions when selecting vendor systems. They are willing to go with 80% of their desired features and functions if the vendor can deliver an excellent customer experience. These statements come from two CIO panels I have recently viewed, one in insurance and one outside of insurance. The customer is turning the insurance business model on its ear. While agents, CSRs and underwriters have put up with the old status quo with small improvements, insurers that do not quickly adapt will become extinct. It has been said, the problem with insurance is dinosaurs lay dinosaur eggs. The customer ice age hit quickly. Which insurers will evolve at this new break-neck pace being demanded by the true customers and which will slowly die off?

The Impending Insurance Architect Crisis

The Impending Insurance Architect Crisis

I was recently talking to a past colleague over lunch and he reminded me of a concern I had a couple of years ago that seems to be descending on insurers in the next 2-5 years. Architects are usually considered valuable internal resources within carriers (for good reason if they are good) along with PMs and BAs. Carriers have been outsourcing more and more development work over the last decade and reducing their internal developer footprint. For many insurers, this has proven a cost effective endeavor, albeit not without its bumps.

In addition, more modern vendor insurance solutions, namely core systems, data mastery (BI, analytics, DW/DM, ETL), case management, BPM, Rules, Portal, etc., have become much more configurable and have enabled business users to take on more of the development and maintenance of these systems. While this has again been viewed as forward progress by analysts and insurers, it again has reduced the IT developer footprint.

The typical career path for most architects in insurance has been developer, senior developer, technical lead, architect, solutions architect, enterprise architect. While different companies may have slightly different names for the stages in the architect career path, and while there have been some exceptions, for the most part, the pipeline for architects has traditionally been from their (or other insurance companies’) development teams. As a developer, one would become very knowledgeable of the carriers systems, especially with respect to legacy systems. While some insurers may have training programs, most of the learning and knowledge was acquired through project experience and shadowing architects on projects if they were tapped as future architects for the company. Architects for many insurers continue to be the first group assembled to resolve major crises and failures for insurers due to their deep knowledge of the systems and ability to diagnose problems.

Obviously, as the architect pipeline dwindles due to a much reduced insurance developer pool, the number of available architects will likewise dwindle, but the need will not. Top level architects will be even more necessary going forward as insurers take advantage of Cloud and SaaS solutions as they mature. Knowledge of the impact of using a Cloud/SaaS solution on existing systems and analyzing the risks and benefits will fall squarely on the shoulders of the architects. While this development may make IBM, Oracle, Accenture, TCS, Cognizant and others smile since they have architects, the internal knowledge and insurance industry knowledge will be lacking (maybe not missing, but definitely lacking) and the cost will be high. This will create an opportunity for some one/group, I’m just not sure who at this time.

Emerging Technologies in Insurance

Emerging Technologies in Insurance
Insurance companies have always been risk averse to quickly adopting new technologies. It is not uncommon for technologies to be mature in other industries and still be low on the adoption scale within insurers. However, as the rate of change has rapidly accelerated over the last decade, carriers are in the uncomfortable position of having to determine much faster which new technologies to invest in, and which to continue to watch. Unfortunately, the window to watch has dramatically shrunk before an insurer is playing catch up and has lost market opportunities. Celent recently hosted a Creative Disruption workshop which focused on how insurers can more quickly adopt and leverage new approaches to solving existing problems, basically changing the behavior in thinking about, solving and implementing new solutions to existing and novel opportunities. It was highly recommended that insurers include in the their project portfolio projects that included some of the less mature, emerging technologies, as well as the changing roles and organization structures that would be needed to gain the maximum benefit of the new paradigm shift. (See “Stirring the Creative Disruptive Pot” http://173.203.189.67/insurance/2011/11/stirring-the-creative-disruption-pot/) In order to help Insurers better understand which emerging technologies have the greatest potential, it recently released its inaugural Emerging Insurance Technologies report (http://www.celent.com/reports/emerging-insurance-technologies) which provides a snapshot of the adoption rate of 24 technologies that insurers are implementing or evaluating. It breaks down the emerging technologies into 4 quadrants, namely, Growth and Retention, Risk and Compliance, Efficiency and Expense Control and Claims Indemnity Control. While many of these technologies will have impact on several of these business areas, each has a primary impact on one of them. In addition to the Emerging Technology Report, Celent has also just published “Big Insurance Data: Drawing Lessons from Amazon, Google, and Facebook” (http://www.celent.com/reports/big-insurance-data-drawing-lessons-amazon-google-and-facebook), which is one of the fast growing technologies and potentially largest impact to insurers as the amount of data continues to grow exponentially. As more data is machine generated, as opposed to human generated data, through mobile appliances, third party data, web logs, etc., the ability to mine the data and find useful business insights becomes very expensive and/or time prohibitive. This report looks at three leading big data users, Amazon, Google and Facebook, to provide learnings and benefits to carriers through their successful use of these technologies, such as MapReduce and Hadoop. Celent claims that the game has changed and the old ways of looking at issues and opportunities will not work going forward for insurance technologies. The rate of change has progressed to uncomfortable levels, forcing carriers to react faster than they are used to. In addition, the technology changes are affecting roles, such as more configuration changes and setups to applications being done by the business instead of mostly or totally by IT and affecting organizational structures as well. Knowledge is the greatest asset going forward as it has always been – it’s just the use of it is on hyperdrive.

Strong Step Forward for Life and Annuity SaaS Solutions

Strong Step Forward for Life and Annuity SaaS Solutions

Every now and then a strategic alliance occurs that makes a lot of sense. Today, McCamish Systems, an InfoSys BPO company, and Pegasystems announced a strategic partnership that will leverage the best of both their solutions, namely, McCamish’s VPAS Life and Pegasystem’s BPM technology. (See http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20111207005172/en/McCamish-Systems-Infosys-BPO-Company-Announces-Strategic for full announcement.) McCamish VPAS Life is a policy administration system driving their BPO offering. VPAS Life provides full end-to-end processing from new business fulfillment and underwriting STP to claims. Pegasystems BPM technology is a robust BPM and case management solution providing configurable business process solutions, standards based integration solutions, strong rules capabilities and process metering and monitoring.

VPAS Life was evaluated in a recent Celent NA Policy Administration Systems report, with a solid showing in advanced technology, breadth of functionality and customer base. (See http://www.celent.com/reports/north-american-policy-administration-systems-2011-life-health-and-annuities-abcd-vendor-view for the full report.) However, it was also noted that “with a mature data model and an older code base, there are limitations to what can be achieved via configuration–for most applications, customized coding will be required.” In addition, while customer feedback was positive, the front-end, case management and workflow capabilities are not best of breed solutions.

Pegasystems has been a leader in the BPM and more recently case management solution space, providing a powerful, configurable platform on which to build insurance processes and applications. While they have provided a framework in which large insurers have begun to wrap and build core solutions through their Insurance Industry Framework, there is still a lot of work to do to create system of record core systems. In addition, due to the robustness of the framework, Pegasystems’ solutions require high level skill sets.

This all leads back to the McCamish-Pegasystems partnership. Each solution compliments the other’s perfectly to provide a potentially, industry leading, and possibly changing, life insurance and annuity solution. McCamish will leverage the Pegasystems framework to provide a configurable and powerful BPM, case management insurance framework to enhance their already strong insurance experience and solution. McCamish will be able to take advantage of the speed to market Pegasystem Insurance framework provides, addressing some of the hurdles that small to mid-size insurers face with framework solutions by providing it as a SaaS offering and through InfoSys already has a strong Pegasystem BPM center of excellence.

While the actual implementation is yet to completed, and thus true benefits realized, Celent views this alliance as a potential game-changing partnership that will greatly enhance the SaaS options for all insurers, but especially for small to mid-size carriers in the life insurance and annuity market.

The Game Has Changed. Why Haven’t Insurance Companies Adjusted?

The Game Has Changed.  Why Haven’t Insurance Companies Adjusted?

I find it somewhat amusing and somewhat frustrating that insurers are still trying to solve their business problems with new technologies using antiquated methods. It is analogous to trying to use a 1950’s football strategy of just giving it to the running back and banging it up field. They seem to assume that because the players have newer uniforms and better equipment, the old playbook will still work. Other industries have realized that the “west coast offense” is much better, but insurance fails to recognize this. The West Coast offense was first used by the San Fransisco 49’s football team to utilize short passes to replace the running game to control the ball in the mid 1980s. It totally changed the approach to winning football games. Insurers need to realize that the old playbook that they continue to use will only net a few yards with a lot of effort. Newer playbooks exist that allow carriers to move forward at 20, 30 or more yards a clip. It’s time to rethink how to attack your IT problems.

Several carriers have already started to leverage new approaches to technology with great success. The first example is Tokyo Marine. Tokyo Marine a few years back moved away from a committee decision process in which little gets done because committees rarely make big decisions. They took on a strong leadership and accountability approach and used a “Bappan Kaikaku” approach to their IT strategy which means “going back to the root”. They didn’t use the old playbook to solve current problems. They addressed current problems by evaluating root issues and moved forward incrementally from there. Their focus was on simplifying products and processes, in addition to renovating agency and employee systems. When the tsunami hit and caused the great damage in Japan recently, they were able to quickly acquire 1400 terminals and provide immediate support for their claims process due to their investment in mobile and cloud technologies. They never would have been able to respond to this disaster as effectively if they had not taken a new approach to IT years before the disaster hit.

A second example can be seen through FAST company’s approach to addressing IT gaps and core system modernization/replacement. They do not approach the problem with the typical platform solution approach, incrementally rolling out lines of business over the years, hoping to eventually retire the legacy system with the new modern one. They provide a strong BPM/SOA approach to building services, implemented in Java or .NET, (vendor’s choice) to fill the business gaps and replace parts of the legacy system that are bottlenecks to meeting the business goals. The new solution is designed so it may be replaced itself (or parts) easily at any point in the future when better IT solutions come along. The old components can be swapped out with newer, better solutions without impacting the overall system. Several other vendors are also taking framework solutions to allow more flexibility in complimenting, supplementing and/or replacing legacy systems. The systems can now be designed in the first place for retirement. This should be a key principle of any enterprise strategy.

Cloud computing provides another new approach carriers are just beginning to explore. Celent believes every application developed internally or from a vendor should be cloud based. Even if a carrier hosts the application on premise, the application should be more easily upgradable, as well as replaceable later if desired. Also, if the situation changes and hosting externally becomes a better option, the effort to do so will have been minimized.

The old insurance IT playbook was focused on decisions by committee; internal development with a lot of customizations; tight coupling or IT system dependencies between systems resulting in high integration and maintenance costs; line of business centric solutions and approaches; and from an IT perspective, the playbook called for long and expensive rip and replacement projects. We still see many carriers still using this approach to the annual projects.

The new “West Coast Offense” for carriers is focused on agility, speed to market and lower TCO (total cost of ownership) options. The plays that are being successfully employed today to better achieve the desired results include: strong, enterprise leaders (not business segment, committee decisions); SOA approaches focused on location independence (Cloud/SaaS), implementation independence (focused on business function), component-based or framework solutions that allow for flexibility (as opposed to rip-and-replace solutions), and design for retirement from the beginning (as opposed to the traditional design to last forever – because they tend to do just that!). The new West Coast Offense for carriers still allows for planning for replacing or modernizing core systems, as the run was still employed in the football version. It just becomes more effective.

Can We Remove the Vendor, Please? Yes We Can!

Can We Remove the Vendor, Please? Yes We Can!

At my prior position, I worked with a lot of vendors and their product teams. We were usually on the leading edge of SOA development and strategy and one of the most common requests I had of the vendors was, “can you just bring together some other insurance clients so we can talk without you?”. Vendors will usually tell you that their product can do just about everything, so you learn to take their claims with a grain of salt. They may have known their products, but the insurance industry environment is unique in many ways, especially in dealing with large transactions and legacy systems.

Celent is now providing this as a re-occurring event, called the Peer Networking Event, across the country with very positive success. The goal is to bring carriers together, enterprise architects and C-level execs, to openly discuss non-IP issues, strategies and directions and thoughts without any vendors in the room. This is especially valuable in areas like mobile technology, ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) best practices, legacy modernizations strategies, Enterprise Content Management, digital commerce and more. Celent provides an industry overview and perspective, initiates the dialogue and then gets out of the way.

This Friday, May 6th, insurers are welcome to join many carriers at The Hartford to discuss Enterprise ECM and digital commerce issues and opinions. The ECM discussion will center around the age-old problem of eliminating correspondence, service paperwork, and paper case files. A key goal is often straight-through processing (STP), which requires digitization of content. But improved handling of digitized content still represents a huge opportunity for most insurers. The first tier of benefits only scratches the surface of what is possible with next-generation ECM strategies.

The digital commerce interaction will address how insurers must achieve consistency in how they represent parties and roles across digital and non-digital channels. Personalization of the user experience for that party/role and a consistent, strongly-branded user experience across the many digital touch points are worthy goals.

For more information and registration (Insurance Carriers Only), go to Celent Peer Networking Event. If you cannot make this one, keep an eye out for one of our future ones being organized elsewhere across the country!

Data, Data Everywhere and Not a Drop to Think

Data, Data Everywhere and Not a Drop to Think

Insurance carriers are inundated with data. Data from their policy admin systems, financial systems, CRM systems, claims systems, etc. Because most carrier’s IT systems grew up in siloed business units, there was little to no sharing of data across departments. Business would ask IT to provide enterprise views, but IT would come back with very expensive programs to prepare the appropriate data model, cleanse the data, migrate and transform the data, mine the data and finally provide a report that was out of date because the data was days or weeks (or months!) old. This lead to the businesses creating massive numbers of Excel spreadsheets or Access database reports that were/are very myopic and semantically inconsistent with their peers, who were doing the same task.

Many carriers have tried their hand at MDM (Master Data Management). They spent tens of millions of dollars to try and get the uber insurance data model correct and consolidated (and of course cleansed and migrated to a data warehouse) before they could produce any meaningful reports that provided business insight. Basically they were trying to perform the proverbial “boiling the ocean” and many programs failed under their own weight.

With the economic and competitive pressures carriers are under today, they are again looking at BI (Business Intelligence) or BA (Business Analytics) to provide business insight to allow them to make better business decisions. While vendors vary on the precise definition, most define BI as historical business analytics, while BA covers BI, predictive or future looking analytics as well as self service analytics. Most insurers are still trying to get value out of BI and view predictive analytics and modeling to be future state. BI and analytic projects rated 3rd highest in priority in our most recent CIO report (2011 US Insurance CIO Survey: Pressures, Priorities and Practices).

Carriers need though to learn from the mistakes of the past. Boiling the ocean and trying to get everything right before getting any business value failed and will fail again. Carriers data mastery approach to enterprise reports and dashboards must take an incremental value add approach and be driven by the business. I do not mean the traditional business defines the requirements and gives them to IT with an approved budget, but the business actually takes accountability of the success of the project. While this may cause friction between business and IT in some carriers, they will find themselves falling farther behind their competition. We see the barriers between business and IT breaking down within many areas of insurance companies. There isn’t a more important and more valuable time for this to continue in their BI initiatives. IT needs to encourage the business to take this level of ownership and accountability or it might find the business outsourcing these tasks to someone who will.

SOA Removes the Fog from Cloud

SOA Removes the Fog from Cloud

A lot has been made about Cloud computing recently; even to the point of asking if it is more fog than cloud. The focus of these discussions is strictly on the technology which is where they miss the point. It is reminiscent of the early SOA discussions.

Celent defines Cloud computing as the use of computing resources, typically a server or part of a server, over the Internet. The implications of this are: companies can leverage a vendor’s server offerings to build or expand their server capabilities; focus is on hardware, not software; and carriers need to package up an image of their software to install it quickly.

While technically speaking, Cloud solutions do leverage the Internet and virtualization, neither of which is new. However, if using these technologies is so easy, why do companies, especially insurance companies struggle with gaining the benefits of Cloud themselves? I believe the answer is identical to why many insurance companies were not as successful with SOA, lack of strong governance and understanding of the full picture.

Many companies when trying to implement SOA solutions, focused strictly on WS-* standards and SOAP, although inconsistently across the enterprise. Companies that have been successful in their SOA journey have realized that SOA is more than technology and standards; it also includes architecture, organization, governance, strategy and process maturity.

Insurers that believe Cloud, and more importantly, SaaS is nothing more than invocating functions over the Internet and using virtualization for cost effective infrastructure implementations will miss the benefits of Cloud and continue to struggle with application and infrastructure upgrades and cost savings. Similar to SOA, insurers must look at their architecture, organization, governance, strategy and process maturity to decide if a private cloud is more effective than a public cloud solution. The advantage that most Cloud vendors provide is that they will do this for you if you cannot or do not.

Cloud, technically speaking, may simply leverage the Internet and virtualization, old technologies, but do not be fooled into thinking that is all it is.

Is Your IT as Good as You Think It Is?

Is Your IT as Good as You Think It Is?

During a recent interview with a senior level leader within a large P&C insurer responsible for their outsourcing efforts, he made the comment that they plan to increase their use of BPO and explore SaaS solutions. However, he then went on to state that the biggest hurdle that they face in using SaaS is they do not really know how good they are to be able to compare if any vendor can do a better job than they can. This struck me as very on target and reflects the state of many insurers, although most will not admit it.

I’ve worked in IT for over 25 years with some very large and distinguished companies, as well as smaller, not so well known ones. In each case, I was fortunate to work with some very qualified and intelligent people. In most cases, we usually believed that “our” IT team could do the job better than anyone else. This is a great attitude to have from a team perspective and fitting to some degree for companies at the time. However, this can no longer be acceptable with the maturation of BPO and SaaS. You can no longer delude yourself into thinking you can do IT solutions (soup-to-nuts) better than any SaaS vendor, especially into today’s market where utilization, agility, speed to market, lower TCO are key business drivers. An insurer’s IT team may know the business and their IT systems better than anyone, but it doesn’t mean that they can support business solutions going forward better than anyone else.

I’m not suggesting that BPO and SaaS vendors can always support insurance applications more effectively and efficiently than an Insurer’s IT support staff, but insurers have to begin determining how well they actually perform to be able to decide if a SaaS or BPO vendor is a better long term solution. It would be like creating a baseball team that does nothing but practice and play games among themselves and believe that they have the best team around. Within most sports, the metrics to compare already exist. They do not exist within most IT development and support staff today. What is your current support level for your current applications? How much control do you really have over your applications and infrastructure? How secure is your data today? These are valid concerns stated by insurers today with respect to BPO and SaaS, but they should be the same questions insurers are asking of themselves.

BPO and SaaS are beginning to mature in the insurance space. The economy and competitive forces will drive these solutions forward. Those insurers that know how well they do IT today and can compare their own capabilities to potential vendors will be the ones that are able to make the smart choices with respect to what to outsource and what to keep in house. Those that do not will be the “lessons learned” stories over the next several years. (See “Approaching the Boiling Point: BPO, SaaS in Insurance” Celent report, due out December, 2010.)