The long-held belief that members of IT leadership are less “touchy-feely” than those in sales or other functional areas doesn’t just apply to the insurance industry. True, the finesse required of the human side of management—the “people” skills required to lead today’s diverse IT workforce-- may be lost on managers from all vertical markets. But it’s a particularly important challenge in insurance, and at a time in history when the industry can least afford to reduce its IT workforce.

There was a lot of chatter about losing valuable IT talent at IASA’s 2014 Educational Conference and Business Show, and a lot of the same old concerns voiced: we are forced to keep the AS/400 but can’t find RPG programmers; our aging workforce is creating a black hole in our department; we can’t seem to attract the interest of top IT graduates—they want to work at Google, Twitter or Amazon, and the list goes on.

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