The 18-month study, undertaken jointly with the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), addresses how carriers can better target their security investments to support growth and efficiency initiatives while also meeting compliance requirements. The study extends research CSC conducted in 2008 to examine the impact of "digital trust," which refers to the trust information technology (IT) fosters by improving the security and reliability of electronic transactions. Organizations that create digital trust position themselves for market gain through enhanced customer confidence, repeat business and referrals.
"Now more than ever, all parts of the enterprise, including IT security, must contribute real value to the organization without elevating information risk or jeopardizing compliance," said Ron Knode, the study's principal investigator and a director in CSC's Leading Edge Forum. "When executed correctly, a digital trust strategy can become a source of competitive advantage and help insurers both grow their business and adhere to the inevitable tide of new regulations."
This examination of digital trust for life and annuity insurers found that while carriers have traditionally treated the security function as a cost center focused on compliance, there are opportunities for them to reap significant payoffs using the security function to create digital trust. By shifting their focus to security as a "value creator" rather than "gatekeeper," and implementing proven digital trust principles and practices, carriers can increase revenue, raise productivity, enhance efficiency, improve sales conversion rates and gain new market access. Documented results of such measures range from 20 to 70 percent improvement.
The report recommends that insurers adopt a digital trust strategy, which requires changes in security organization, security team composition, IT risk governance and project definition, and offers two steps insurers can take now to start realizing benefits. The steps, in summary, are:
-- Alter the organizational IT risk governance model to include enterprise value creation as an objective; -- Apply a digital trust projection to existing system investments in order to extend their value.
To access a copy of the "Digital Trust for Life Project Report," visit http://www.csc.com/digitaltrustforlife. The original 2008 research, organized into eight sections by theme, is available at http://www.csc.com/aboutus/leadingedgeforum/mds/mds436/844.shtml.
CSC provides a full array of business and technology solutions designed specifically for financial services companies and offers a consulting practice to help clients develop their digital trust strategies.
The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association whose 353 member companies account for 93 percent of the life insurance industry's total assets in the United States, 93 percent of life insurance premiums and 94 percent of annuity considerations. In addition to life insurance and annuities, ACLI member companies offer pensions, including 401 (k)s, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance and other retirement and financial protection products, as well as reinsurance. ACLI's public Web site can be accessed at www.acli.com.
CSC is a global leader in providing technology-enabled solutions and services through three primary lines of business. These include Business Solutions and Services, the Managed Services Sector and the North American Public Sector. CSC's advanced capabilities include systems design and integration, information technology and business process outsourcing, applications software development, Web and application hosting, mission support and management consulting. Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., CSC has approximately 92,000 employees and reported revenue of $16.74 billion for the 12 months ended April 3, 2009. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.csc.com.