When asked what he believed was among the hottest trends in the IT industry, Rob Rosko, Society for Information Management Philadelphia chapter president and SIM Alliances team chair, answered “mobility.”

Rob is VP and general manager of UNISYS Corp., which offers a mobility solutions suite comprising technology and services.

“I’m not really talking about smartphones, but more of how mobile technology will change the very work flow and day-to-day interaction with existing systems and the development of new systems,” he said on the site’s “SIM Leadership Spotlight” page.

This point of view should be a compelling one for insurance IT professionals. Tasked with working with business to strategize use-cases and resulting deployment of mobile technology across a host of functional business units, channels and platforms, the interplay of mobility with yet-to-be designed systems is a whole new animal.

Based on consumer demand alone, there’s no turning back on the popularity of mobile technology, and Rob frames it as such:

"It may not be the next 'bubble, but I see this area expanding with incredible growth,” he said. “A few years ago, who would even think your phone could be your boarding pass, credit card, biometric scanner, etc. It’s so much more.”

From a technology management standpoint, the “more” is a review of mobility-related ad hoc usage and security policies that apply to ever-changing technologies, form factors, and platforms. The goal of this fast-moving target—to empower employees and customers with a mobile-enabled enterprise, may be one of the greatest challenges faced by insurance IT professionals to date. These challenges are fueled not so much by the technology itself, but by the pressures placed on insurers born of user’s demands for the “next big thing.”

“The possibilities are only limited by the human mind,” Rob continued. “When I see seniors sending text messages, I say to myself, ‘Wow, we have really reached a level of technology that was inconceivable just a few years ago.’”

Rob points to hand-held devices with real-time response capability as growing and changing how we live.

“It’s exciting, yet intimidating, but the good news is the population has learned to adapt quite well and is receptive to the changes.”

Insurers across all lines of business might want to broaden their view of “the population” to one that has crossed the line from thinking mobile technology is “nice to have” to “I rely solely on this technology for all my information gathering and transaction processing, therefore, I won’t do business with you without it.”

Yes, it is an exciting—and intimidating—time to be involved with insurance technology.

This column originally appeared at Insurance Networking News.

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