I read an article a few years back about technology in business. Several company executives were lamenting the small productivity increases realized despite massive (and expensive) technological developments. We have fax machines, networked computers, laptops, cellular telephones, pagers, instant messaging, and on and on. But the executives were frustrated by their inability to translate all this into productivity gains.

Small wonder. Yes, technology allows the rapid transformation of business. But management must be willing to change the way companies do business in order to realize productivity gains from technology. But management has been unwilling to do so in many cases, and for many insurance companies this is very effectively illustrated by their claim-handling functions.

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