Working in the cloud has become the norm for many individuals and companies alike.
The speed and seamless applications available through fully managed hosting solutions such as the cloud offers a variety of opportunities. This is especially showing beneficial results within many embedded institutions, particularly the insurance industry.
Insurance firms hold sensitive information and as a result rely on IT that is confined to internal networks. This technology has worked in the past but because of more communication and hands-on information demands regarding insurance policy holders, claimant and partner access now needs to be instantaneous.
By crossing into cloud services, utilizing a management team to host solutions beyond small applications for big data, which the mainstream public is embedded in, will enable a higher standard of practice.
From new security technology that even has financial firms soon coming on board to real-time remote access, insurance firms can benefit from a fully managed hosting solution in a variety of ways.
Overcoming the Fear
Once considered a high risk attempt, mostly due to security concerns, it has been reported that insurance firms are entering cloud hosting solutions more than ever. This is mainly due to the financial industry finally leading the way due to better security in the cloud.
In a report by Datamation, it was stated that
“The capital markets are set to increase investment in cloud services, continuing the trend of technology adoption in the industry, according to Ovum. New research from the global analysts indicates that due to improvements in cloud security and a wider variety of applications, investment in cloud, by both the buy side and the sell side, is set for further growth. The research highlights that although the capital markets aren’t fully integrated with the cloud, this situation is set to change in the coming years.”
Beyond the Basic Cloud
Basic information regarding the streamlined, easily accessed capabilities of cloud services can be found on any source site or recent article, however there are other valuable, unknown factors as well. These factors are the “meat” of what such a system can offer if implemented as a fully managed hosting solution rather than a piecemeal experiment.
Some of these include:
- Rapid new market movement
- Actuary analysis
- Timely turnaround of new business opportunities
- Financial service growth through acquisitions
- Ease of infrastructure resources saving time and money
- Improvement of antiquated platforms
- Better security for both public and private cloud computing
It is still somewhat of a digital Wild West out there and legal compliance continues to ebb and flow because of it. Switching to a fully managed hosting solution, whether an in-house cloud computing department or an outsourced management team, could mean easier legal compliance and maintenance.
Tackling concerns such as data privacy, data and systems security, business continuity and contingency planning, liability and risk management, and regulatory requirements will be the same that apply to current, outdated IT in or outsourcing activities.
With a capable, fully managed cloud platform, these compliance issues have the potential to become more streamlined, transparent and immediately accessible.
Overall Expectations and Key Benefits
As the insurance industry enters this digital change, there are some overall expectations that will hopefully lead to key benefits.
- Effective oversight and risk management of IT outsourcing arrangements.
- Risk assessment and requirements.
- Growth strategy
- Substantiated service provider selection.
- Effective contract issues.
- Ongoing monitoring.
Key Benefits include:
- Cost savings.
- Time-to-market advantages.
- The ability to change IT quickly around new business requirements
In a recent Accenture study it was found that insurance service organizations still have a host of benefits they can tap into. It is important to not only understand the benefits of employing these hosting tools, particularly cloud based applications, but to be able to address the important questions that apply beforehand such as:
- Reduce total costs of IT ownership and operation
- Unify customer data, enabling customer-centricity
- Drive new business and engage customers more effectively through new distribution models
- Handle peaks in demand more easily and at lower cost
- Reduce speed to market and drive new business opportunities
- Force a move to a service-oriented model and new innovation in systems design
- Better manage intermediary relationships
- Maximize renewals by customers
- Support integration of third party systems/agency management systems.
Just a few years ago many of these issues and concerns would not have even been considered. The cloud was short of taboo for the insurance industry and any similar hosting solution considered too toxic to touch. However, with state-of-the-art upgrades offering secure, cost-effective, streamlined crossover, insurance firms can now benefit from a wide variety of cloud based applications within fully managed hosting solutions.