As we report in Insurance & Technology's latest Digital Edition, cloud computing is the subject of considerable confusion and wariness on the part of insurance CIOs. The term means different things to different people and is subject to considerable hype. However, no major insurance company has failed to explore the option, and the larger IT shops have a firm handle on what cloud is likely to be able to do for their companies now and as the technology evolves over the coming months and years. Allstate is a case in point, and CIO Cathy Brune shares her thoughts on cloud with I&T.Currently Allstate is using cloud computing mostly in the form of software-as-a-service (SaaS), according to Brune. "We're looking at everything from infrastructure services, such as storage and deep archiving, to run-time environments to SaaS," she relates. "Our SaaS model includes an internal ideation tool, learning environments - for employees and agencies - and HR functions."
Allstate shares with other insurers concerns about the treatment of sensitive information, and Brune identifies security as one of the most important criteria when evaluating a vendor cloud-based offering. However, at this stage of the evolution of the market, performance is perhaps a greater concern for Allstate as with other carriers - especially given that it applies to solutions in which no personal policyholder information is involved.
"For a company like Allstate with a data and customer-centric focus, being able to ensure performance, operability and integration are of utmost importance," Brune observes. "The business case isn't always there either - it's not always less expensive or better.""For a company like Allstate with a data and customer-centric focus, being able to ensure performance, operability and integration are of utmost importance," says Allstate CIO Cathy Brune. "The business case isn't always there either - it's not always less expensive or better."
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio