SOURCE: SMA Strategy Meets Action

SMA Strategy Meets Action

October 27, 2009 11:00 ET

SMA Launches Insurance Ecosystem Research Series

First Reports Indicate Major Insurance IT Spending Shifts to Address New Market Demands

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - October 27, 2009) - SMA Strategy Meets Action (SMA), a leading insurance industry analyst firm, is pleased to announce the launch of the Insurance Ecosystem Research Series and the availability of the first two reports in the series, "The Insurance Ecosystem: A Guide to the Marketplace," and "Riding the Wave: Insurer Technology Spending, Drivers and Approaches."

This ground-breaking research is broader and deeper than previous industry studies addressing IT spending and solution alignment in insurance. The research results paint a remarkably optimistic picture, with 76 percent of those surveyed indicating they will increase or hold budgets steady as 2010 begins. The number one business driver for technology decisions identified by 66 percent of survey respondents is growth, with most insurers focusing on growth in current lines and current markets. To drive this growth, IT spending continues to shift toward the front end of the value chain, with 66 percent of respondents planning to increase spending in marketing and product development over the next three years.

"The insurance industry is silently transforming," said Deb Smallwood, founder of SMA and co-author of the report series. "SMA has uncovered major shifts in IT spending. Demands for creative solution approaches are being driven by economic turbulence, shifting demographics, and the maturation of advanced technologies. Our Insurance Ecosystem Research Series is a fresh lens into the insurance industry -- evaluating the market's next generation of business and technology capabilities from the perspectives of both buyers and sellers of technology. This research presents better understanding of what, why, how, and where the money is being spent."

The research series explores the entire ecosystem including insurers, agencies, brokers, MGAs, partners, and solution providers, with initial focus on property and casualty (P&C) in North America. Research for the first series of reports is based on data gathered from nearly 200 industry respondents via a survey conducted with Tech Decisions (www.tech-decisions.com), knowledge gained through more than 100 hours of interviews with senior insurance leaders, plus a substantial body of secondary research. This extensive research provides insights for four tiers of insurers as well as nine capability areas across the value chain, using the SMA Capability Model.

"Our first report, 'The Insurance Ecosystem: A Guide to the Marketplace,' is the foundational report in the series," said Mark Breading, SMA Partner, a new member of SMA's expanding team and co-author of this report. "Here you'll find valuable baseline information about the insurance industry using the insurance ecosystem framework to look at the industry's segmentation, tiering, and spending in a comprehensive, yet concise, manner."

The second report, "Riding the Wave: Insurer Technology Spending, Drivers and Approaches," investigates how North American P&C insurers are investing in technology and positioning to ride the wave into recovery as market cycles begin to shift. This 27-page report includes detailed findings and analysis by tier on business drivers, development and implementation approaches, as well as spending projections by capability area for 2010 and beyond.

Additional research reports in the Insurance Ecosystem Research Series are in progress and will continue to be published throughout 2009 and into 2010 for the property and casualty and the life and annuities segment, of the insurance industry.

For more information about the SMA Insurance Ecosystem Research Series or SMA's services, please contact Deb Smallwood at 603.770.9090 or dsmallwood@strategymeetsaction.com, or visit the company's website at www.strategymeetsaction.com. All reports are available for purchase online at www.strategymeetsaction.com/our-research.

About SMA Strategy Meets Action

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, SMA is a new breed of strategic advisory firm offering a unique blend of research, advisory and consulting services to both insurance companies and solution providers. By leveraging best practices from both the management consulting and research advisory disciplines, SMA's advisory services are actionable, business-driven and research-based -- a good fit for companies eager and ready to embrace change and achieve business success by taking strategies to meet action. Additional information about SMA can be found at www.strategymeetsaction.com.

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