The so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) is nothing new to the insurance industry. Telematics — the placement of sensors within policyholders' vehicles — has been around for a few years now. Now, property/casualty companies also are investigating the employment of sensors in conjunction with geolocation systems to build risk profiles across various properties.
That's why the Internet of Things means a great deal, and is poised to change the way we look at data. As Mike Kavis explains in a recent Forbes article, the challenge is that most data centers aren't ready to handle the impending explosion of data that IoT will bring.
As Kavis observes, many companies may be in a “state if denial” in terms of believing that they can handle all this new data in their own data centers versus relying on a cloud provider.
“This state of denial should all but go away when the influx of petabyte scale data becomes a reality for enterprises,” he says. “Enterprises are going to have to ask themselves, 'Do we want to be in the infrastructure business?' because that is what it will take to provide the appropriate amount of bandwidth, disk storage, and compute power to keep up with the demand for data ingestion, storage, and real-time analytics that will serve the business needs.”
Never mind the skills that will continue to be needed to manage all this.
The time is coming, then, when many insurance companies will have to start asking themselves whether it pays to remain in the infrastructure business, or begin to turn some of the heavy data lifting over to specialized third-party services.
As Kavis observes, “the value of IoT is in the data.” For companies to fully leverage telematics and other initiatives, storing and running it all onsite may be too much to handle.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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