The challenges facing the insurance industry and Canadian brokerages can be daunting. The manner in which insurers address many of these challenges depends to a large degree on the ability of the firm’s IT infrastructure to scale, adapt, and otherwise adjust to the changing landscape.
Earlier this year, insurance firm Stikeman Elliot listed what they viewed as the top ten challenges facing Canadian insurance brokers. While all of these developments have an impact on a firm’s IT strategy, some being impactful than others. Here are some that have a direct impact on the IT department.
- The 2014 ORSA (Own Risk and Solvency Assessment) Guideline came into effect at the beginning of the year, burdening IT with unforeseen data management demands. Firms with old, inflexible data storage systems may have struggled to comply by the March deadline.
- Compliance with new regulations almost always has an impact on data management. Intelligent tiering of technologies for backup and recovery and more powerful analytics is critical for compliance.
- Capital requirements are forcing firms to look for cost savings, much of which can be found in the data center. Technologies and solutions, such as virtualization and cloud, can reduce physical data center footprints by requiring fewer servers and related appliances, less office space, lower energy consumption, and fewer management hours.
- Mitigating security threats, especially in mobile environments like insurance sales, can be expensive and time-consuming. The OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) cyber security self-assessment guidance lists many preparatory measures that require additional IT focus and expense.
- Emerging technologies will continue to reshape Property and Casualty personal lines business. The potential of telematics will become clearer, big data will get bigger, and internet-based distribution will continue to gain market share.
One local insurance firm with 6 branches and 40 employees addressed these challenges by turning to Advance Micro Solutions, whose team of experts implemented a solution that continues to help control costs and increase flexibility, reliability, and efficiency.
The solutions consisted of:
- x3550 M4 server with 32G memory,
- 2 x 900G hard drives with Raid 1 mirroring
- Windows 2008 R2 server standard
- Microsoft remote desktop service
The insurance firm received a scalable global solution with a highly secure and internally controlled data center that their existing IT staff could monitor, update, and operate remotely. There was no new need for additional internal employees to support the server since everything was set up and customized by Advance Micro Solutions based on the insurance firm’s specifications.
If you are looking for ways to control IT costs in a dynamic, highly regulated industry like insurance, reach out to the experts at Advance Micro Solutions for a free technology consultation.