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Let’s Be Late Adopters in Reducing Costs and Improving Performance!

Let me violate what must be the first rule in any insurance blog and start with a recent experience in banking. Don’t worry; I’ll get to insurance quickly.

A colleague at Cisco was meeting with a mid-sized bank just last week. Just as he started describing that all banks need to replace heavy client server branch infrastructures by leveraging virtualization, the bank stopped him with “we’ve already done this.”

The common view is that insurance carriers are considering virtualization, moving to the cloud and a nirvana of virtualized desktop integration (VDI). Of course this makes sense, because insurers are cautious, very cautious. So they are considering, but not taking action. But is the common view the right view?

Two weeks ago I met with a mid-sized carrier. They had started their virtualization in the data center. Just today, I was on an email trail describing an Asia Pacific insurance carrier who is implementing VDI across 7,000 users.

I think this is an instance where the common view is wrong. According to Darby O’Neill, VP of IT at Princeton Insurance in the United States, “Our vision was to create a secure private cloud with shared resources that could be quickly provisioned, increasing business agility while also reducing IT overhead.”

Are carriers using 2011 planning for virtualization or as a year for taking action? What do you think?

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