Cloud, the Innovation Machine

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, May 5, 2014

Many organizations, including a fair share of insurance companies, have been exploring and deploying cloud-based applications for a variety of tasks. Within insurance, there's a streak of risk-adverseness, so many cloud projects are more at the periphery of things, covering areas such as email, collaboration, and sales and marketing management.

However, Susanne Hupfer, consultant at the IBM Center for Applied Insights, says cloud is going much deeper into organizations that we may realize. And she has lots of data to back up her observation.

Also see: SaaS to Remain Dominant Cloud Model Through 2018

Here is some key evidence that cloud is shaping the core functions of organizations, culled from a recent IBM survey of 802 executives. Hupfer talks about the trends among leading companies, defined as those who have deployed cloud on a grand scale and are gaining competitive advantage as a result (about 18 percent of the survey base).

  • Seventy-one percent of leading companies have used SaaS to change their organization’s business model. With cloud, organizations can easily switch strategies, scaling up or down as needed with minimal fuss and muss. “With access to a constantly growing menu of cloud-based digital services, companies can imagine and build entirely new value propositions and revenue streams,” Hupfer says.
  • Leading companies are 136 percent more likely to use cloud to reinvent customer relationships. “Cloud enables companies to listen more broadly, dig through big data to learn customer preferences and deliver more relevant offers, products and services,” she observes.
  • Leading companies are 170 percent more likely to use cloud-based analytics extensively to derive insights. Cloud, with its almost limitless capacity on demand, is ideal for big data. “Companies are turning to cloud for access to new and different sources of data — and for better ways to manage their own swelling data stores,” Hupfer observes.
  • Leading companies are 73 percent more likely to rapidly innovate products and services via cloud. “Cloud helps improve the innovation process,” Hupfer says, “enabling better communication and collaboration and ultimately faster development of new products and services. For others, cloud becomes an integral part of the new product or service itself.”

Also see: 5 Key Questions Every Cloud Consumer Needs to Ask About Security

  • Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

    Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at

    This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

    The opinions of bloggers on do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

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