Enterprising Developments

It's Time to Think Bigger When it Comes to Cloud

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, March 9, 2011

In my recent post on “Cloudify a Mess, Get a Cloud Computing-Enabled Mess,” we discussed the risk that new approaches to IT such as cloud may amplify or exacerbate existing bad management practices or dysfunctional corporate culture.

However, Jamie Gladman, senior partner at MyContentsClaim.com, begs to differ with this dire prognosis, pointing out that cloud has transformative effects that extend its value far beyond simply cutting costs.

“It's truly the democratization of the business Web,” he writes. While he agrees “that moving clutter from one closet to another you will still likely have a messy closet, the strategic importance of the cloud provides an opportunity to declutter and reinvent.”

Jamie is on to something.

Cloud computing is an enabler of entrepreneurship and organizational transformation. The ability to access and build sophisticated and scalable systems can help flatten the organizational hierarchy, and push decision-making down to the managers and employees who deal with customers and production on a day-to-day basis. Cloud services open up new possibilities and opportunities for developing an entrepreneurial culture within organizations, as well as spurring new ideas for start-ups. More than anything, such services are paving the way for the composite or loosely coupled company, which may be an entity that exists purely as an aggregation of third-party services, provided on an on-demand basis to meet customer demands. Most of these services will be passed through as software-as-a-service, both from within the enterprise and from outside.

Cloud computing is pushing some software vendors to change their models to component delivery, and makes plenty of room not only for small start-ups, but also for development shops within traditional enterprises that have great ideas.

Jamie agrees we're not thinking big enough when it comes to cloud. “If you are not measuring the probable and vast cloud assets such as improving the customer-connection, customer retention vs. acquisition, and so many others, then this is a short-sided view of its impending growth,” he relates. “Yes, the cost savings study alone should be enough to get ones attention, but virtualization of non-core apps, mobile-ready Web, customized/personalized user interfaces, innovating antiquated processes and allowing SMEs to evolve along with their customer's expanding social behaviors is without a doubt the future. What the cloud can deliver to a small and medium, as well as even some large enterprises, is the ability to improve the customer experience was once only available to the richest companies.”

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 joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

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 www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

It’s Okay to Take a Breather from the Technology Maelstrom

Even in technology, good things may take time.

Customers for Life

Insurers once had a monopoly on lifetime customers, but technology has changed the game.

Smarter Tablet Use Could Transform Insurance

By reducing administrative tasks and automating paperwork, tablets can increase agentsí selling time and help them respond to customers in seconds, not hours.

Insurance Wake-Up Call: Embrace the Shared Economy Opportunities

SMA believes that insurers must embrace a "shared economy," crowdsourcing and open innovation to get ahead in the new marketplace.

The Lion and the Mouse: Start-ups Pitch to Top Insurer

Insurers should be on the lookout for innovative partnership arrangements that produce unique and valuable solutions.

Silicon Valley Ventures

A trip to area hotbed of technological innovation calls into question the potential viability of insurers' legacy systems, operations and processes.