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Gary Plotkin, One Beacon Insurance Corp.
Gary Plotkin, One Beacon Insurance Corp.
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Not Ready for Prime Time

Consider using cloud on the periphery of your business.

Gary Plotkin

In some ways, cloud computing is somewhat immature. It's a bit of a solution looking for a problem. In general, the property and casualty industry is underserved by software.

The benefits of cloud are about ease of use, quick rollout and ubiquity around the world. There's a physical advantage. And if I'm using someone else's hardware and software, there's a nice capital relief for me.

The risks, however, currently outweigh the benefits. The risks are things like managing personally identifiable information (PII). Who's managing my data? Who manages the liability -- especially given that every state has its own rules and regulations and ultimately, I'm now dependent on somebody else?

General availability is an issue as well. I know how I operate in my own data center and my own service levels, but now I have to worry about each of the cloud providers. Continuity can also be an issue. Given the immaturity of the space, particularly in the P&C area, what happens if the cloud providers go out of business? Where does my data go? How do I get it back? What does it do to my credibility, policyholder relationships, etc.?

Cloud is exciting, but to me, it's a bit of a buzzword right now. I would consider using it on the periphery of my business for functions such as billing and maybe for some human resources functions. We're currently researching some cloud-related solutions right now with companies such as ADP and our benefits provider, but that's more for our own employees than for our policyholders and agents.

Not Ready for Prime Time5 Variables to Consider in the CloudEarly Days of EvaluationImagine the Possibilities

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