Managing IT Skills Portfolios and Enterprise Architecture

Greg Wittenbrook

As insurers’ technology environments and challenges continue to evolve, so too do their necessary skills and governance structures. For our latest report, Managing IT Skills Portfolios and Enterprise Architecture in a Changing Environment, we surveyed 88 insurer CIOs on the coming changes in their technology environments, and their self-assessment of their own skills portfolios relative to these changes. The report also looks at the current and future role of enterprise architecture in a time of rapid change.

Most significantly, we found that insurers are moving towards more agile environments and embracing modern application architectures. This is creating challenges in maintaining appropriate skills portfolios, which can be addressed through a combination of sourcing, hiring, and staff development. As the technology evolves quickly, a strong enterprise architecture function can create significant value through improving efficiency and data accessibility. Most insurers need to continue to invest in improving their enterprise architecture functions in order to ensure these benefits.

Among our other key findings were the following:

  • Following the increases in mobile and multichannel systems, more than half of insurers are planning to boost their usage of HTML5
  • Insurers remain leery of the public cloud—close to 1/3 of respondents plan to use more private cloud capabilities over the next two years
  • Both larger and smaller insurers are facing challenges in staffing the right skills, even for key roles such as data architects, business analysts, and legacy application developers
  • Driven by these staffing challenges, insurers are investing in improving their technical and project delivery capabilities
  • Insurers need to deploy their resources in accordance with an adaptable plan that maintains a holistic vision of current state and future goals, and guide the initiatives through an enterprise architecture function
  • In general, larger insurers are satisfied but not ecstatic about their enterprise architecture capabilities, while smaller insurers rate their capabilities as sub-par.

A preview of the report is available online here.