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

Driverless Cars: Unintended Consequences for Insurers to Watch

When bad or unexpected or unusual things happen, the computer gives up control and hands it back to the now woefully unprepared occupant.

Why Insurers are Leading on Data and Analytics

A State Street survey finds insurance companies are more likely to be further along in becoming “data innovators” than their financial services counterparts.

The Other Auto Insurance Telematics Shoe Drops

Progressive's decision to charge Snapshot drivers more if their driving data indicates higher risk has started the industry down a road of data-driven adverse selection.

Core Transformation – Configuring in the Rain

The whole point of core transformation is that changes at the micro level can be used as a stimulus for changes at the macro level.

6 Ways to Develop a Productive IT-Business Dialog

Relationship management 101 for keeping IT and business on the same page.

Unified Digital Strategy: Succeeding in the Digital Revolution

A unified digital strategy recognizes that all business strategies and technologies touch the customer in some way and that a one-size-fits-all channel model is obsolete.