Enterprising Developments

Internal IT Should Compete with Public Cloud Services

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, January 31, 2013

The role of technology departments is fast evolving within the insurance industry, from a collection of programmers and network administrators for behind-the-scenes applications to that of service provider on many levels.

A couple months back, I sat in a session led by Forrester's Lauren Nelson, who described how internal IT should, in many ways, be competitive with public cloud services—and not just as an extension of a virtualized data center. Pricing and on-demand service delivery for internal IT should be almost indistinguishable from public cloud providers.

In a post at Data Center Knowledge, Dick Benton, principal consultant for GlassHouse Technologies, provides advice for IT managers seeking to make this transition. In essence, he points out, IT departments are in-house “cloud providers,” that compete with, and need to operate as Amazon Web Services or Salesforce.com.

Benton provides seven pointers to help IT departments with this transition to that service provider:

1. Inventory your assets. “Ensure you can run an inventory on your available compute and storage assets,” says Benton.

2. Know your costs. Benton advises developing a cost model to determine the cost per deployable unit of your compute and storage resources.

3. Create your own menu of services. “Just like an L.L. Bean catalog, this is an inventory of your services, including what sizes and styles are available for each offering.”

4. Advertise terms and conditions. Develop a nice, simple and clear service level agreement (SLA) that describes the terms and conditions for services.

5. Build in self-service. Automated self service is common with cloud providers, typically through a web page. Emulate that kind of dashboard for internal IT service provisioning.

6. Measure what is delivered. “Implement monitoring and metrics to demonstrate that you have met your commitments—both to users and your own management,” says Benton.

7. Measure user satisfaction. Survey users, and pay attention to what frequent users are saying.

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

Mobile Device Management – Find That Middle Ground

There's a tug of war over BYOD, but neither those in favor nor those against should tug too hard.

Vendors Embrace Mobile Technology

IT leaders at software firms clearly recognize the importance of mobility to drive their businesses forward. Almost 70 percent see mobility as mission critical or important to their organization today.

Digital Vision vs. Harsh Reality

Much work remains to reconcile insurers' digital vision with the digital reality that seems to be arriving for other industries.

Big Data Is Paying Off

Insurers are getting business benefit out of their big data projects, but these projects alone won't grow their business.

What Can Insurers Learn from Home Depot?

The latest cyber-attack highlights the importance of helping policy holders defend themselves.

Not Your Father’s Insurance Company

Carriers need to look at new and impactful ways to be there for their customers.