A recent Accenture study indicates insurers recognize the many benefits of cloud adoption and are ready to get started, as I detailed in my previous blog post. That’s very good news! However, readiness is only one part of the equation. Effectively migrating to the cloud and reaping the benefits requires thoughtful planning and the right steps. In this post, I’ll address four key areas for expanding and accelerating cloud adoption and provide the appropriate steps toward making the most of your cloud transformation.

Four areas for expanding and accelerating cloud adoption

By focusing on the following four key areas, you can expect your cloud adoption to deliver the important benefits with the least disruption.

  1. Designing a cloud strategy. Cloud capabilities have become foundational to product development, operations and customer service. Thus, a cloud strategy is integral to enhanced organizational performance and should be considered an enterprise-wide endeavor.
  2. Tackling cloud applications. Many insurers have held back from fully migrating to the cloud due to concerns about maintaining core systems functionality. A planned approach, with assistance from experts, should allow you to migrate key applications while maintaining core system effectiveness.
  3. Organization and talent. Only half of insurers feel confident of their organization’s maturity level in terms of the skills needed for full-scale cloud adoption. Most insurers are addressing this issue by establishing a dedicated team for managing cloud strategy. However, upskilling and reskilling should remain a high priority.
  4. Managing the cloud. A comprehensive cloud use inventory is fundamental to an effective migration. This is critical work that should be done before undertaking a migration. Cloud security remains a top concern for many insurers. However, as insurers begin to work with cloud providers, they are finding that cloud offers significant security advantages.

Key action steps to an effective cloud transformation

By taking the following four key action steps, you can benefit from a smoother migration to the cloud.

  1. Set priorities. Select the applications that are most ready to move to cloud, then within that set identify those applications that have the most immediate business impact. These are your migration starters.
  2. Build skills. Cloud migration is about much more than making a technology investment. Make sure you also invest in talent and training. Without qualified cloud-ready employees, even the most technology-robust migration fails.
  3. Assess processes and tools. Examine how to fine-tune processes and tools with automation and self-service options. Then orchestrate your migration based on a rapid production-oriented mindset.
  4. Strengthen the links between IT and business. For an effective cloud migration, the endeavor should be holistic. Make sure to strengthen the relationships between IT and your business functions, rather than operating within silos, and extending cloud into under-represented business areas.

The silver lining on cloud migration

Our study on insurer cloud readiness shows that good progress has been made in terms of insurers planning and preparing for the cloud. Several insurers are even taking some strong steps along the migration path. As an insurer, the ultimate goal with cloud should be to increase efficiency and accelerate the development of profitable new products and services.

However, the study also indicates there are still barriers to overcome in the areas of acquiring key talent, addressing ongoing security concerns, and harmonizing the efforts between IT and lines of business. The good news is, you don’t have to do this on your own. There are numerous third-party resources that offer abundant help, including training employees and applying specific implementation skills. Use them.

The barriers to cloud implementation are falling quickly. Readiness is the first step. Insurers who take the right next steps can exploit this transformative technology to bring greater value to the business.

For more information about insurer readiness for the cloud, read the Accenture Cloud Readiness Report.

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