Every day, 10,000 workers in the United States retire. That reality is upon the insurance industry, as current insurance CIOs are faced with supporting functional but aging systems using skill sets that are largely resident in a labor cohort that is rapidly maturing. In its report, “Planning for an Aging IT Workforce,” Novarica identifies the impact on IT and the business, including newer systems that were built with aging client/server or Web-oriented technologies that carry great risk of adverse impact on daily operations and IT staffs that are on average less tenured than their business unit counterparts, leading to knowledge management issues.

To mitigate the impact of this change, the report lists steps in three areas: processes, people and structure, that carriers can take today to preserve intellectual property, maintain or improve competitive positioning and minimize organizational and operational risk associated with the aging IT workforce.

Process

  • Develop an inventory of key systems, underlying technologies and critical skill sets to illuminate the problem and underlying issues.
  • Identify opportunity areas for documenting and preserving key technical and operational knowledge.
  • Initiate a program for cross-generational sharing of insights, perspective, experiences and knowledge.

People

  • Create a better internal understanding of the issues and concerns being articulated by associates as they move toward this next phase in their careers.
  • Identify approaches that can create more flexible work arrangements and initiate pilot programs to see what works, and what doesn't.
  • Consider the value of transitional programs that can retain historically valuable knowledge and experience while also building new organizational muscle.
  • Implement programs to provide workers who are changing careers with opportunities to acquire new skills.

Structure

  • Work with strategic partners to build a new level of competence in the workers that will need to take over the control of mature but functional environments in the coming years.
  • Review the system portfolio to see when and how outsourcing options can create financial gains, reduce risk, and allow managerial focus on high priority functions that truly create competitive advantage.
  • Evaluate the working environment to assess its impact on a multi-generational workforce.

Related Content: Execs Wary of Growing Skills Gaps, Especially in IT

This story was originally published at Insurance Networking News.

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