First, it was your data is in “The Cloud”. Now, the hype is cloud computing! Sounds like a storm is brewing. Well, many of you already know these are not weather terminologies, but rather technological.
In simple terms, “the cloud” denotes services and software which do not necessarily require your physical computer but rather rely on access to the internet. Access to cloud services is typically through web browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox. The cloud can be public, private, hybrid, or community. Some cloud services you may be familiar with are Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and even Netflix. As long as there is an Internet connection, the cloud allows you to access that information from any device.
Working hand in hand with the cloud, cloud computing utilizes the internet not only to store information, but also to run different applications and programs. By allowing access from any device, an individual can greatly increase collaboration and efficiency. Productivity is maximized when the team is allowed to access, edit, and share documents at any time from any place. In addition, rather than having to spend an enormous amount of money on a particular software or application or data center, businesses can rent their access. Below are other benefits:
- Flexibility– Since employees are able to access information anytime, they are able to have more control over their working hours.
- Scalability– Sometimes changes can be sudden and large. Cloud based applications are one way to ensure the company’s demands are met.
- On-demand availability– Instead of waiting on your IT personnel to provide assistance on a process, servers are able to do it then and there.
- Recoverability– When a disaster strikes and you lose service in one area, you are able to recover data and work in another area.
Now before you jump on the cloud computing bandwagon, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. As with anything, there are drawbacks. Contemplate the following:
- Security– With the increase in cybercrime, security is a huge concern. How is your data being protected by the server?
- Ownership– Your ownership rights could be compromised. Therefore review the contract with the provider before signing. What information is considered yours and what can the servers claim as theirs?
- Control– If all your programs and data are processed through the cloud, what happens to your business if the cloud provider has technical issues?
According to Gartner, in 2019 the global public cloud service market will be in excess of $200 billion. Insurance carriers’ adoption of cloud computing can be beneficial for you, the insurance consumer. Potential benefits:
- Faster turnaround time: As carriers have the infrastructure to support the needed applications, service and new products can be provided in a timelier manner.
- Premiums: If carriers are able to reduce their IT cost, premiums may be more stable.
So, this April don’t be fooled into adopting the newest and latest trends without considering the repercussions and don’t be fooled into thinking those trends will not have any implications on your business either. Instead, weigh out the pros and cons before you decide to adopt and implement.
If you have any questions about the security of your cyber environment and would like to better understand your cyber liability insurance options, please contact us at 800.899.9810.
Freeman, Shawn. (2018, December). Cloud computing for small businesses: What you need to know. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/12/18/cloud-computing-for-small-businesses-what-you-need-to-know/#43ce1af360e5
Lewis, Scott. (2018, May). Cloud computing, data, security. Retrieved from https://winningtech.com/who-actually-owns-your-data/
Papolu, Rao. (2018, October). How to secure your data in the cloud. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/10/11/how-to-secure-your-data-in-the-cloud/#c448c45507c4
Author: Abigail Jenkins has worked in the insurance industry for almost 10 years. She has achieved numerous professional designations including Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Claims (AIC), Charted Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), and is currently pursuing her Certified Insurance Counselor designation. She has worked both on the agency and carrier side which has provided her with working knowledge of risk management as well as experience in claims handling.