The twin needs for organic growth and expense reduction are driving insurance technology investment, new research from IVANS, Inc. indicates.

IVANS 2011 Carrier Automation Trends study asked carriers which technologies they are currently investing in or are planning to implement over the next 12 months to sustain growth and create market differentiation.

Underwriting solutions topped the list with 49 percent of carriers responding that they are investing in them in an effort to boost efficiencies and grow their business by incorporating real-time processes and creating greater visibility in the front end of their value chain.

Policy administration was the second most popular response, with 42 percent of carriers surveyed indicating that they are investing in policy administration systems to improve workflows and increase their ease of doing business and write more business with agents.

Predictive modeling and business intelligence initiatives ranked third, with almost 37 percent of carriers currently implementing or planning to integrate them into their organizations over the next 12 months.

“We are seeing carriers focus on infrastructure, product innovation, analytics and automating workflows to maintain growth and create market differentiation in an increasingly challenging economic and regulatory environment,” says IVANS, Inc. President and CEO Clare DeNicola. “The challenge is creating a clear strategy on value creation that aligns technology with business, and optimizes the benefits with a carrier’s business partners. Those who are successful will be able to capitalize on new market opportunities and foster long term growth.”

The Top 5 Technologies are:

Underwriting solutions: 49 percent of carriers surveyed are investing in underwriting to create greater visibility in the front end of their value chain and to create market differentiation.

Policy administration systems: 42 percent are investing in new or upgrading existing systems to create a greater ease of doing business and open up new avenues for grabbing marketshare.

Consumer portals: 22 percent are currently implementing and 18 percent have plans to put a client portal in place over the next 12 months to help with lead generation and real-time quoting.

Predictive analytics and business intelligence: Almost 37 percent of carriers have plans to integrate these tools to make more consistent and accurate decisions in less time.

Mobility and virtualization: 21 percent are implementing mobile applications as a way to improve productivity in sales, support and claims, while lowering IT costs.

-- This article first appeared on Insurance Networking News.