This is the last in a series of posts about cloud computing for the high performance insurer. In part one, I provided an overview of cloud computing. In part two, I discussed two types of cloud computing: infrastructure and software. And in part three, I talked about hardware and desktop cloud computing.

Download the video transcript here.

Today, I want to talk about the benefits of cloud computing, and how this technology may transform the workplace.

The effect of cloud computing on enterprises

There are six key areas that cloud computing can be useful for the enterprise:

  • Companies can obtain raw computing resources to augment in-house infrastructure. These resources are typically obtained from outside sources, on an on-demand basis.
  • Cloud-based integrated environments, also called platform-as-a-service, support the entire application lifecycle. These platforms can enable third-party developers to develop and deploy web applications quickly and cost effectively.
  • Many enterprise applications, such as customer relationship management and human resources management tools, have gained maturity as Software-as-a-Service, and will continue to be relevant.
  • Desktop tools, such as word processing, spreadsheets and email are increasingly stored in the cloud. This provides opportunities for increased collaboration and remote access.
  • Web services, such as those offered by Amazon, eBay, Google and Microsoft, can be leveraged to create higher-level applications. Most leading internet companies have opened their API to allow modular application development.
  • Cloud-based business process outsourcing, or business process utility, can allow a business to manage an entire business process virtually and as a highly automated function.

Implications of cloud computing

Insurers must be prepared to re-assess their IT spend and shift their understanding of IT as a variable, rather than fixed, cost. This shift from

How do you see your business leveraging cloud computing? Will it change the way that you view IT and IT spend?

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