#GuidewireConnections and the cloud part 1: Once taboo, now embraced

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Here at Guidewire Connections 2016, I’ve noticed something incredible. Once a taboo subject in a very conservative industry, cloud computing is now becoming commonplace across the global insurance landscape.

What has prompted this recent change from what was once a very rigid stance against hosted solutions? Let’s review what is happening in the marketplace. According to Property Casualty 360, who states that cloud deployments in insurance have reached a tipping point, the following trends are occurring:

  • 58 percent

This is the first year a majority of new core systems will not be deployed on-premises: 58 percent of insurers made the critical decision to outsource hosting, maintenance, and upgrades.

  • All sizes

Although insurers of all sizes are choosing the cloud, those with DWP under $250M (Tier 4) are most likely to be using core in the cloud, which keeps them abreast of evolving technologies and energizes their customer bases. Core in the cloud also gives insurers access to more advanced cybersecurity than they could easily foster in-house.

  • Cloud functionality

The cloud empowers broader functionality in core systems, like portals and data analytics tools, which are pre-integrated within robust cloud solutions, saving insurers time and implementation costs.

  • Flexibility

Flexibility is the key to core in the cloud’s appeal, and as new digital ecosystems create new demands on insurers (and non-insurers that write insurance), that flexibility becomes ever more attractive.

More than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud computing during the next five years, according to Gartner Inc. This will make cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.

What was originally considered an IT strategy should also now be considered as a business strategy.

Benefits of the cloud

The impact of this shift to the cloud will go beyond IT budgets. It will influence strategies. Working with insurance organizations from all over the world, I think there are significant benefits for insurers to consider in their decisions of moving to the cloud that include:

  • Impact

Beyond the savings related to infrastructure costs, as part of transformation efforts, insurers can get the solutions that have the greatest impact to their business to market faster by use of cloud offerings.

  • Delivery

The cloud opens up new avenues for insurers in terms of how to create, deliver and service products as it provides new ways to reach customers, collaborate with and interact with partners, constituents and others within the insurance value chain.

  • Flexibility

The right cloud solution provides insurers the ability to build a more flexible, nimble and customer-centric business model that drives profitable growth and increases performance capability.

  • Competitive advantage

Providing real promise in developing new markets and services giving insurer competitive advantage in rapidly changing markets.

Partnering with Guidewire to lead the way

Leading insurance core systems providers in this space, Guidewire is a very forward-thinking company that has been working to deliver best-in-breed solutions in the cloud, enabling customers to have more agile, flexible solutions to meet the increased demands of the insurance market. You can hear all about it during Guidewire’s cloud session, Tuesday from 1:15 – 2:00 p.m.

But core systems in the cloud are not the only applications insurers should consider when looking at hosted solutions. There are also major opportunities and benefits from storing their critical business information and content that support their business operations in a hosted solution.

We’ve been providing enterprise content management in the cloud for more than twelve years now, and we have over 700+ customers across 10 data centers in the world who reap the benefit of the expertise behind the Hyland Cloud.

Especially when they integrate it with their Guidewire solutions.

Be sure to catch the next blog post in this series. And come talk to us at Connections in booth P2. Because no two clouds are created equal.

Ruth Fisk

Ruth Fisk has more than 25 years of experience working within the insurance industry and is a foremost expert on the practical application of EDMS technology. In her role as Global Director for Insurance at Hyland, she has travelled to more than 90 countries helping insurance organizations to successfully reduce operating expenses, increase efficiency, and positively impact their bottom lines.

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