Blog

A Good Place to Start Cloud (If You're Going to Start It)

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, April 9, 2010

In recent weeks, I've been presenting the various sides of the cloud debate, which has intensified within the conservative and security-conscious insurance sector. Is cloud computing is a good proposition for insurance companies? In a new article published here at Insurance Networking News, I delve into some live cloud implementations at companies such as Narragansett Bay Insurance and Grange Insurance, and channel their advice to managers looking into cloud formations.

But many companies will remain tepid about turning over huge swaths of enterprise functionality to a third party, no matter how much is maintained within a secure “cage” by the provider.

A class of essential but peripheral functions—e-mail and messaging—lend themselves as natural places to start cloud computing. Mary Kay Roberto, SVP and GM at Mimecast, works with insurers to maintain e-mails, and notes that the industry's heavy regulation lends itself to cloud-based approaches.

“Insurance companies are constantly under pressure to comply with a myriad of government and market regulations,” she points out. “To comply, they need to back up all of their internal and external e-mail correspondence over a period of time, and find a way to easily retrieve that data when asked to prove compliance—or when legal matters force background information to be compiled and reported.” A cloud-based e-mail management system, for example, takes away the tasks of storing years and years worth of documents.

Cloud also can extend to a wider category of messaging, which encompasses collaboration and mobile access along with e-mail. As Ed Laczynski, CTO of LTech explains, large insurance firms his company is working with “are adopting platforms like Google Apps, which provide a very competitive price point and little to no on-premise IT management requirements.” Such online platforms enable a range of services, such as mobile access, live collaboration and archiving/compliance.”

Storage in general is a huge challenge, especially with a rise in discovery requests against customer files. “With cloud computing, companies can easily and quickly access old e-mails, and collect data in a cheaper, more efficient way,” Roberto says. “By utilizing online archives, there is no need to break down tape, or endlessly search through tape file after tape file for the requested messages.”

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 Spending is Healthy, But Where's the Money Going?

IT leaders expect more money for cloud, virtualization and mobile — but no staff increases.

To Quantify or Not — That is the Question with Modernization

Making the quantitative case is a long-practiced ritual in many insurance organizations.

3 Reasons DevOps Matters

Every insurer needs to compete on products and information turned around in light-speed fashion.

Coordinate Coverages to Manage Social Media Exposures

The bottom line is that no one policy will cover all the exposures in the social media realm.

The Internet of Things: Helping Insurers Make Better-Informed Decisions about Risk

The IoT is a major game changer for the insurance industry, and will likely affect every part of the insurance value chain. After all, insurance is data-driven, and that’s exactly what the IoT can deliver—relevant, actionable, real-time data that can provide an accurate picture of what is being—or may be—insured.

Software-Defined Everything

What does it take to virtualize all the key components in your data center?

Advertisement

Advertisement