Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like we have been talking about “doing more with less” in insurance IT for decades now. I know it’s really only been since 2008, but come to think of it, that’s three years ago.

In a recent issue of The Nolan Newsletter, Ed Fenwick, SVP at Robert E. Nolan Company, points out that there is “intense pressure to reduce operating expenses,” a trend that indeed reaches back at least to 2009. He also notes that “this sustained pressure on operating expenses has dried up several traditional sources of improvement — low-hanging fruit and budget variance.” He quotes one client as saying, "Low-hanging fruit is now 25 feet up the tree and can’t be reached without the IT ladder, which we don’t have access to.” Hope for favorable budget variances, meanwhile, has been replaced “with many heading into 2012 with an undefined, unfavorable budget gap.”

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