Cloud technology is nothing but hosting the applications, data storage, and software in a cloud and accessing it through internet so that it is made available to multiple users and reduces the local storage. The data or applications could be shared by multiple resources at the same time, irrespective of the geography or physical distance. This also addresses the problem of redundancy, improves ease of access, and maintains consistency and reliability of the resources. The use of cloud computing and storage is rapidly growing because of firms going global to cater the needs of customers across regions or countries.
Economies of scale is achieved by moving to cloud as the shared resources allocated can effectively maximize the computing power. Cloud technology is being driven in firms not only by cost reduction but also by business growth and agility. Cloud technology enables firms to expand geographically and to introduce new business functions/processes with ease in one go.
In this digitally transforming world, a lot of data is being captured through smart devices and chips. Once full fledged internet of things and big data are in place, imagine the amounts of data to be stored and computed. Companies must move to cloud to centralize the data and make it available for all stake holders across the globe. Adopting data storage and computing on cloud, firms can enjoy the following benefits:
- Reduced cost and maintenance
- Infrastructure and location independence
- Multi-tenancy through centralization, utilization and efficiency
- Performance is monitored, consistent and enhanced
- Increased productivity by providing simultaneous access to multiple users to work at a time
- Reliability of data is maintained across all access points
- Improved security through data centralization
- Elasticity as per demand or usage
The insurance industry, dealing with huge volumes of sensitive data and documents, is at the forefront of integrating cloud technology into their digital eco system. It enables insurers to reuse their IT resources more efficiently, reducing the cost of acquiring and maintaining infrastructure. Cloud based platforms, storage and applications change the way of creating and delivering their products and services, managing risks and claims, collaborating with channel members and partners, and communicating with customers, agents and brokers.
Private cloud improves the operational efficiency and performance of the insurers by ensuring data security and accessibility to its employees in low risk and efficient way. While public cloud helps insurers to reduce cost by ensuring the availability of data and services to the customers and external networks. Cloud is much more than infrastructure, insurers are now exploring the levels to which cloud can lead to. Starting from infrastructure to platform to process, cloud expands its opportunities in business process solutions such as claims and expenses processing, managing a whole business process unlike traditional BPO.
In addition, cloud technologies drive customer centricity with data unification, allow products and services reach market faster and improve the renewal process with external systems. Analytics on cloud leads to customer oriented services. Insurance brokers can embed broker management system modules to advise insurance to customers through various websites and portals. Cloud based collaborative tools allow advisors to answer questions on products and services round the clock and independent of geography. Also, encourages unified interactions within the distribution channel.
Thus, a cloud strategy for insurers/brokers can reduce operating expenses, improve productivity, enhance customer satisfaction, and unlock new opportunities for new products launch.