Technology can be a fantastic enabler It can create new avenues for growth and increase efficiency.
And the drive to embrace new technology is gathering pace. Across the insurance industry major initiatives are underway that could revolutionise the way business is done.
In the composite market, imarket, one of the most important e-trading initiatives of recent times is in the final stages of development. The system has been piloted by a number of brokers, with generally positive feedback - although some concerns remain (page 6).
Lloyd's too is wrestling with new technology in the form of Kinnect, its platform for transferring risk data. Unlike imarket, which brokers and insurers support, Lloyd's must persuade the market of Kinnect's value.
No mean feat, given the market's inherent conservatism. Nonetheless, Iain Saville, Kinnect's new chairman is confident he can win the Luddites over (page 20).
But there is a flipside to new technology. Not only can it be costly and difficult to implement, it can also introduce new risks into business life. Digital risks - those associated with technology - are on the increase.
Companies must now contend with the likes of viruses and hackers, which threaten the integrity of company data. Cyber crime costs UK business a staggering £195m a year.
A digital risk-related corporate collapse could be just round the corner.
And many companies are unaware that their standard insurance policies may not provide sufficient cover (page 11).
Finally, no discussion of technology can be without voice stress analysis software - more commonly referred to as a lie detector. A number of insurers are piloting this technique as a way to detect fraud, but the debate continues to rage as to whether it is a credible and ethical technique.
Brownsword, the company that first introduced VSA techniques to fraud detection, argues it is the way forward; others, such as Absolute Customer Management prefer methods based on behavioural indicators. TimesTwo puts them head-to-head to debate the matter (page 29).