IT Governance in the Multinational Insurer

by Catherine Stagg-Macey, January 8, 2008


London, United Kingdom 8 January 2008

"Federated dictatorship" appears to be the dominant IT governance model in global insurers.

In a new report, , Celent provides insight into the common ways of organising and measuring IT in global insurers. A perennial question for CIOs is how best to organise the IT department in order to support business both efficiently and effectively.

In general, centralised IT is better positioned to support long-term strategic goals, while decentralised IT is better positioned to support immediate tactical needs. The pros and cons of each model are directly related to this difference in focus. For multinational insurers with operations in many countries and regions, deciding which model to use is a complex process.

"There is no definitive answer to this question and, as with most management theories, the pervasive view swings back and forth between two opposing ones," says Catherine Stagg-Macey, senior analyst with Celent's insurance group and author of the report. "But we are seeing a trend towards what we call a federated dictatorship model, which lies somewhere between the centralised and decentralised models."

This report takes a look at IT governance models and examines how the core systems are structured in multinationals across the globe. It is based on Celent interviews with several C-level executives at insurers from around the world and discusses the Celent "AAAA" rating for technology and how this can be applied to the various IT governance models. The four A's stand for alignment, agility, accessibility, and affordability.

The 19-page report contains two figures. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Life/Health Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

London, United Kingdom 8 January 2008

Return o report Abstract

Executive Summary 03
Introduction 04
Key Findings 05
Approaches to Managing IT 07
Evaluating IT Governance 11
Approaches to Core Systems within Multinationals 13
The Approach in Speciality Lines 17
Some Final Thoughts 19


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