The Record - Issue 9: Summer 2018

74 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om F E ATUR E I n a world of rapid technology innovation, seam- less engagement across web, mobile and social media has transformed the way people connect socially, professionally and as consumers. This rich mix of digital engagement yields volumes of valuable data for businesses, while driving ever- higher consumer expectations for a faster, slicker and more personalised customer experience. Insurance companies are leveraging the cloud to gain the insights and efficiency they need for suc- cess in an increasingly dynamic industry. “Insurance firms know they need to make every aspect of their business more customer-centric to attract and keep customers,” says Dennis Vanderlip, director of worldwide financial ser- vices at Microsoft. “They understand the value of good data, and they know they need fast, deep and accurate insights if they’re going to deliver timely products that meet customers’ needs. As they look to compete successfully in this envi- ronment, insurers are taking advantage of the cloud in three key areas: risk modelling, core systems in the cloud and customer experience management.” Today’s global risk and regulatory environment has brought increased demand for risk model- ling and driven insurance firms to look beyond on-premise compute capability for the compute power they need for actuarial and catastrophic workloads. “Insurers face a fast-moving risk landscape in which they need to manage grow- ing quantities of data and complex parallel com- putations – with time-critical spikes in demand often exceeding available on-premise compute power,” explains Vanderlip. “By moving actuarial and catastrophic risk modelling workloads to the cloud, insurers are empowering the business with faster real-time insight into risk exposure.” Munich Re, a pioneer in risk models to sim- ulate possible natural disasters, exemplifies the power of the cloud in a data-driven business. The company is testing Microsoft Azure to ena- ble deep and comprehensive analysis of huge volumes of data. With the help of in-memory processing, it has reduced the time it takes to cal- culate weather and climate data scenarios. Data has become a strategic success factor for Munich Re, as the capability for increasing data analyses and collaboration enable it to better understand climate change and provide support to help min- imise risk and build resilience to disasters. Insurers are also gaining strategic benefits by moving their core systems to the cloud. “Moving core systems to the cloud enables insurers to respond to market changes with new products Insurance firms are leveraging the cloud to manage risk, increase efficiency and enhance the customer experience – and Microsoft solutions are making this possible BY J ACQU I GR I F F I THS Cloud-powered insurance “Insurance carriers are investing in bots, cognitive services and machine learning to enhance the customer experience” DENN I S VANDE R L I P, M I C ROSOF T