At a conference I recently attended, I was delighted to hear the CIO of a major insurance company report that he has been leveraging cloud computing for speed, efficiency and reduced cost. For the last several months the Cloud Computing Consortium at Stevens Institute has sponsored several committees studying various aspects of this innovative form of computing from a business perspective. I have been on the committee examining the value proposition including the economics and benefits that can be achieved. We have almost completed our first report and constantly look for real world examples to support and illustrate some of our findings.
Hypothetical situations can help explain what may happen, and theories are useful to discuss as well. But nothing drives home a point quite like a real world story. Here was someone talking about actual use of the cloud.
The insurance company CIO described how an important business process required to compute their actuarial models had been reduced from taking over eight hours to complete to approximately one hour. The in-house system had been replaced with cloud based resources exactly as Tim Chou had described - only this was for real.
As if this wasn't exciting enough, the CIO later revealed their plan to move electronic mail and office automation to a cloud based service as well, citing dramatic reductions in operating costs. He estimated the service was to cost the company less than half of the current in-house system.
There were several other interesting presentations, some great stories and an extensive vendor exhibit at this conference. But hearing this particular success story had me on cloud 9.
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