Last week I discussed the growth of cloud computing in insurance and its extension into new areas. Earlier this year, we announced an agreement with Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) to deploy the Accenture Duck Creek Suite through a Software as a Service (SaaS) model to support the BHSI’s policy, claims and billing functions.
The fully integrated system will be hosted by the Accenture Cloud Platform and will enable BHSI to consolidate and streamline business processes on a single hosted platform. This will help BHSI in a number of ways – adapting quickly to changing market demands, for example, or improving customer service – and is a good example of how cloud is helping insurers of all sizes.
The potential for cloud is essentially limitless. Some insurers are using cloud to improve speed-to-market for new product offerings. Others are introducing broker management systems to increase the effectiveness of their independent and captive agency partners. We recently unveiled the Accenture Insurance Agent Effectiveness Solution, an innovative cloud-based application built on the Salesforce platform and designed to help insurance field sales organizations in their efforts to prospect and recruit agencies, agents, and brokers and to improve the performance of this critical distribution channel.
Of course, moving to the cloud presents challenges of its own, including vendor capacity and reliability, security, and getting information in the right format at the right time to the people who need it. A cloud-based IT infrastructure, however, can provide insurers with much-needed flexibility and agility, key ingredients for success in a rapidly evolving marketplace.