It has become fashionable in some insurance circles to relegate Cloud Computing to a technology in search of a solution. This might be premature dismissal of an approach which could offer significant business benefits.
In a recent blog post, Celent’s Ben Moreland says that people who focus solely on the technology miss the point. While the technology is important, the real benefits offered by Cloud computing are longer term agility ot address business problems. These are only put into clear focus when organizations “look at their architecture, organization, governance, strategy and process maturity” in making decisions on what applications to put on the cloud and how it supports business needs. Moreland concludes: “Cloud, technically speaking, may simply leverage the Internet and virtualization, old technologies, but do not be fooled into thinking that is all it is.”
Ellen Carney, a senior analyst with Forrester, quoted recently in Insurance & Technology, makes the point that large insurers can gain significant flexibility by using clouds, effectively linked to legacy systems, in expanding into foreign markets: “They’ve got to establish beachheads in new markets fast — meaning the legacy ‘we’ll build it ourselves’ approach simply isn’t going to work,” she explains. “Enter rapidly deployable SaaS options that provide multi-language and multi-currency capabilities pretty much out of the box that stay standalone or run the new business while IT integrates this new business into their legacy systems.”
Donald Light, Senior Analyst at Celent, will be presenting on the topic “Clearing the Air: SaaS and Clouds” at the 2011 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference, February 28, 2011 in Toronto.