Insurance & Technology: Insurers Warm to Flexible Technology Architecture

Some choice quotes from the above named article...  You can find it here
O'Connell suggests. "Senior business executives are sitting down and asking questions about the architecture that this new platform will be built on and asking for assurances that three years down the road we will be able to reuse the platform and architectural components and be able to give them the flexibility they need," O'Connell says. "They really want to understand." 

The former Hartford Life CIO says that in the past the company found value in the flexibility granted by letting the company's various businesses go their own ways with regard to technology decisions. But even though flexibility may be more important than ever, he adds, as the businesses have matured scale and efficiency have become more important.

suggests Infosys' Mohan. "Technology modernization cannot be justified on the basis of technical merit alone," he says. "There has to be significant business upside for modernizing or re-architecting to be approved." 
Hartford P&C CTO Kim identifies four layers of enterprise IT that the committee considers: infrastructure, platforms, applications and business architecture. "The trick is understanding which of those layers is appropriate for different services. In some cases it's a shared platform, but the application might differ between life and P&C," he explains. "That's the art -- not science -- that we're grappling with right now."

Belated Quotes: Jeff Jarvis kills on this week in google TWIG 13

Here are a few belated quotes from TWIG 13/

Jeff Jarvis: 07:55 - "Say what you want, a Microsoft phone will never ever make sense to a human being...  It's impossible! No matter how many good apps
youvput on an Microsoft OS it will not... I can't find them! I can't get to them! I have two or three Microsoft OS phones and they're dreadful!"

Jeff Jarvis: 13:20 - "I'm glad to have it there but there are two things that bother me about the announcement. (Bing/Google Twitter Search).  The first is that Twitter/Facebook/Bing are selling content that is not theirs, it's ours...  If Twitter were of the cloud,  there would be an API and you could just search it... There wouldn't be a case of making a deal like that, with one person and not the other.  Though Ev has said that he intends to make this non-competitive and open which I assume he'll do.  The second thing that bothers me is it sets a terrible precedent. Because these ah... I'll say it, these idiot newspaper people... will now say 'You paid twitter so you should pay us' .  Of course it's entirely different, but it's going to confuse the heck out of  their little brains!"

Jeff Jarvis: 19:20 - "Twitter is the first company built for the post 'page' Internet... They just don't know what it means yet."

Quotes: SE Radio 148 - Software Archeology w/ Dave Thomas

The Teutonic Technology podcast that's always worth a listen...

Dave Thomas: 2:40 - "Everyone spends all their time trying to figure out how write code... Very few people spend any time at all working out how best to read code, and that's a really big mistake. Because if you think about it because the average software developer probably spends 20% of their time writing code and the rest of the time reading it. and yet the training is totally the other way around..."

Dave Thomas: 4:50 - "If you think about any other creative profession, ... a writer or a painter. You certainly don't just sit there and write or paint. If you're a writing student, you'll be reading other peoples work. In fact most of your work will be reading the great classics, reading what other people of done and seeing how other people have constructed books... If you're a painter, you'll spend time studying other painters and yet if you're a software developer, you never read anybody else's code. You spend your entire time writing your own, which is an incredibly arrogant approach to the profession."

Dave Thomas: 25:10 - "If you are doing serious code archeology, you owe it to yourself to learn the command line, because you can not do it as effectively inside an IDE."

Dave Thomas: 27:00 - "You could always spot a team that has bought a copy of "Design Patterns" because they can't write "Hello Word" without three decorators a visitor and ... Alot of people misunderstood what patterns were. Everybody thought patterns were like software Lego, and I'll construct my software by building it out of a whole bunch of patterns and that totally misses the point. Patterns are not a construction device, they are a way of dealing with common issues when you're writing code. They are idioms, they are not designs."

@Chubbinsurance Considering Google Apps?

Insurance firm Chubb Corp. has not started to test either Google or Microsoft's hosted offerings (the latter also includes the coming Web version of Office 2010.) But group CIO Jim Knight says "the whole concept appeals to me."

"Eighty percent of our employees are using 10% of the functionality of Office," he said. "So I could seriously consider Google Apps for 80% of my users, with the other 20% getting the full Office."

Chubb and Travelers Are the Best, but What About the Rest?

The reason why the best property casualty insurance companies report earnings first is the same reason the smartest pupils sit in the front of the class: they’ve done their homework and they’re ready to answer questions. So it came as no surprise that Chubb was early out of the box to report that third quarter earnings had doubled, and Travelers announced the same day that profits had quadrupled.

Meanwhile in the back of the class - where kids are staring into space, texting on cell phones and counting on government bailouts - the scene is not so serene. They haven’t been called upon to recite yet, but a gloomy longer-term picture emerges from what Chubb and Travelers already reported.