Enterprise Technologies Help Insurers Turn Overwhelming Volumes of Content from Liability to Asset: TowerGroup

New Research From TowerGroup Examines Value of Enterprise Content Management for US Insurers

NEEDHAM, MA, September 14, 2004 � While many industry sectors today are drowning in excess data, the US insurance industry is particularly overwhelmed by the sheer volumes of information it produces. In fact, insurers cite the management of content as one of their most difficult and unwieldy challenges.

New research from TowerGroup explores the evolution of enterprise content management technologies – particularly as a means to drive some of the insurance industry’s top objectives. These include controlling costs, maintaining compliance and enhancing customer service.

“Content can be either an asset or liability, particularly in the insurance sector where information security and regulatory compliance are paramount,” said Cynthia Saccocia, senior analyst in the Insurance practice at TowerGroup and author of the research. “How an insurer manages its content often determines whether they can gain an advantage over competitors and drive shareholder value.”

Highlights of the research include:

  • The retrieval and delivery of content is the driving force of many business processes that can improve efficiency, and ultimately the bottom line, if done well. However, historic approaches to managing content for both defined tasks and broader processes can no longer address the need for intense information sharing and collaboration – especially across an insurance enterprise with high demands for both security and compliance.

  • Enterprise content management (ECM) is a mix of distinct and interrelated software applications that can help financial services institutions produce and deliver content more efficiently, cost-effectively and securely. The “content” in question can include, but is not limited to, all forms of electronic and paper-based documents, multimedia files, email, images and Web pages.

  • ECM operations include receipt, design, delivery, reproduction, storage and retrieval of content – often referred to, in total, as the content lifecycle. The functions of a modern ECM infrastructure include “capture and create,” “manage and store,” and “connect and distribute.”

  • TowerGroup believes that ECM is a strategic imperative that insurers must come to regard as a core infrastructure component – both from a resource management and administrative point of view.

“Enterprise content management platforms and tools help insurance companies take advantage of immediate opportunities to connect content directly to the business process, so that people can make better, faster decisions,” said Saccocia. “With the right content architecture, insurance companies can quickly separate the high value content from junk. For these systems to work most effectively, an ECM platform must be scalable from a single department up to numerous users both inside and outside the organization. And to ensure stability and usability, organizations must commit to an active administration process for content in both structured and unstructured formats.”

TowerGroup’s research report titled, “Enterprise Content Management: Insurance Industry Primer,” is available. Those interested in purchasing a copy of the report may contact TowerGroup at +1.781.292.5200 or [email protected].

About TowerGroup: TowerGroup is the leading advisory research and consulting firm focused on the global financial services industry. A respected source for trusted information and advice, TowerGroup brings many of the world’s largest financial services, technology and professional services firms a deeper understanding of the business and technology issues impacting their organizations. Headquartered near Boston in Needham, Massachusetts, and with offices in New York, London, and Kuala Lumpur, TowerGroup serves a global client base.