Even though it seems an abstract concept, the use of cloud computing is increasingly common as it allows us to store data remotely rather than in a physical format. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox are perfect examples of the evolution that involves saving information in a space with enormous capacity via the internet, instead of on a hard disk with specific capacity.
It was Professor Ramnath Chellappa was who coined the term ‘cloud’ more than twenty years ago, and defined it as “a new paradigm of computing.” During this time, its growth has increased the possibilities for accessing information from any device that can connect to the network and, at present, some projects that rely on the cloud are already pointing to handling that goes far beyond storage and that can be applied to technologies such as insurtech.
The PwC report How InsurTechs are transforming (re)insurers states that more than 70% of insurers and reinsurers already use cloud services because its infrastructure provides them with faster and more efficient access to the market. The study points out that insurance companies gain relevance by using technologies applied to the cloud, and that they become more competitive in the marketplace and attract more customers if they apply innovation to transform their digital experience.
In addition, cloud processes are less expensive and more sustainable than physical analogues: this reduces costs and saves energy. Microsoft’s report The Carbon Benefits of Cloud Computing: A Study on the Microsoft Cloud explains how its cloud services are up to 93% more energy efficient and up to 98% more carbon efficient than traditional data storage centres. As an example they suggest that, if just 20% of the US market was switched to their cloud, it would be possible to eliminate emissions of polluting gases from cities such as Seattle or Washington.
A connection to the cloud is one of the drivers of the Internet of Things (IoT). Thanks to the union of these two technologies, the processing and analysis of data on the devices and projects that rely on the IoT is more efficient.
However, in spite of its many benefits, this technology also involves risks, especially with regard to hacking or information leaks that can compromise users. The Guide to Cloud Computing from the National Institute of Cyber-security points out that these threats can be prevented if protection policies are maintained, with regular backups and isolation of equipment that can compromise the system.
The cloud is expanding and offers new possibilities in an increasingly innovative environment, in which the challenge for companies is to learn how to manage their infrastructures in this delocalised world of digital progress.