Best use of cloud technology: FIS, Prophet
Cloud computing offers obvious efficiency gains for insurers, but the sector has been slow to take advantage of the technology.
Most insurers need to perform intensive risk modelling calculations at certain times of the year and in larger firms this requires supercomputer-levels of performance. Cloud technology offers huge flexibility in levels of performance, and avoids the expense of having to maintain internal IT infrastructure.
On the other hand, insurers have been concerned by security and privacy issues, and have been reluctant to sign up to cloud contracts where the pricing structures could make it hard to control costs.
But FIS is making progress in breaking down those barriers, having deployed the cloud solution for its Prophet actuarial modelling system at 25 client sites.
"Insurers are naturally concerned about the security of their data. But when we show them our solution's security features, and the auditing and penetration testing that we perform, many have said that managed cloud is as secure as, if not more secure than, their current data centre," says Martin Sarjeant, global solutions leader for insurance at FIS.
He says larger insurers are most keen on the solution, as they have bigger computing needs and tend to have clearer strategies for moving to the cloud. But it has also found appeal among smaller insurers, which have also been taking advantage of the application management service.
"Actuarial modelling is such a good fit with the flexibility that the cloud gives you. Clients can see the cost savings, and those that have moved to the cloud have not looked back."
AIA, a major Asia-Pacific insurer, is among those to have chosen the FIS Prophet managed cloud service.
"Increasing modelling agility is vital, and we look forward to the flexibility of creating virtualised model environments in the cloud when we need them, and turning them off when we do not. A further benefit is removing the day-to-day maintenance of the application and supporting infrastructure," says Garth Jones, group chief financial officer at AIA.