There are several triggers – or what we call cloud archetypes – that usually force clients to move to the cloud. Most revolve around the need for greater speed and to create greater value, although the actual mix varies depending on each client's circumstances.
These archetypes are divided into three categories: Migrate, Accelerate and Grow and Innovate in the Cloud (MAGIC).
You can read more about cloud archetypes in my white paper, which looks at why moving to the cloud is absolutely necessary for APAC-based insurance companies, and some ideas on how they can achieve this.
Let us now focus on one benefit of the journey to the cloud that is perhaps less obvious: how it can help insurance companies meet their environmental, social and administrative (ESG) commitments.
As ESG commitments become more urgent, sustainability is a growing concern for customers – including those in the insurance industry. Keep this in mind: seven of the world's leading insurance and reinsurance companies, including AXA, Allianz and Swiss Re, are setting up the Net Zero Insurance Alliance, which will be launched later this year to support the transition to a zero-economy economy.   Cloud computing, also known as green computing, is a way for companies to meet certain ESG goals, as some global players have done by moving their business to the cloud.
Although customers usually understand the efficiencies of a move to the cloud, they are often less confident about the sustainability benefits. Questions I often hear are: What sustainability benefits can such a move bring? How can we minimize the carbon footprint of our IT operations? And how can we maximize the sustainability benefits of migrating to the cloud?
I can not answer all the questions here (although I would be happy to hear from those who are interested in knowing more), so for now I will describe several reasons why clouds are more sustainable:
- Migrate reduces IT energy consumption by eliminating the need to operate and cool data centers on site, for example, and by increasing the efficiency of existing hardware.
- Stage Accelerating reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions beyond IT. How? By utilizing clouds and data, and by using new ways of working throughout the business. of low-carbon virtual products with virtual equivalents, powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and using in-cloud computing solutions. Across industries, optimization of apps for cloud architecture, for example, can reduce associated carbon dioxide emissions by 98 percent. 
More is less: The greater the ambition, the greater the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions
graphics show the gradual levels of carbon dioxide reduction that insurers can achieve with a move to the cloud — although this partly presupposes that they choose a hydrocarbon cloud service provider.
Source: The Green Behind the Cloud, Accenture (2020)
Although APAC-based insurers know that ESG considerations are growing in importance, and while many ensure that their assets are invested responsibly, few have taken significant steps along the path of sustainability when it comes to technical solutions. This is a door that is easy to close, and it is one that green computer provides.
Journey to the Cloud
Before I close, I will briefly describe how insurers can move from one archetype to the next, and how they can build on their journey.
- Step 1: For many insurance companies, this process can begin with a reassessment of what is available in private data centers and move to a cloud-based application that modernizes front-end.
- Step 2: Then they could migrate their back office software to the cloud. In this way, they can focus on enabling cloud services from platforms. They could follow that with a digital insurance ecosystem to expand the reach of sales and improve the agent's efficiency.
- Step 3: A logical next step might be to disconnect their old backend policy administration system (PAS), move them to the cloud to take advantage of advanced technical solutions such as data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning in the cloud to transform their underwriting, statements and related processes.
As this series has shown, and as my colleagues have written, the journey to the cloud is imperative for insurers – in APAC as elsewhere in the industry.
So, if you think it's time for your insurer to move to the cloud, please contact. At Accenture, we have helped large and small insurance companies overcome the challenges they faced on their travels, and we can help you too.
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Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used on site in consultation with our professional advisors.
 The world's leading insurance and reinsurance undertaking and the United Nations Environment Program to establish the groundbreaking Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme's Financial Initiative (21 April 2021). See: https://www.unepfi.org/climate-change/un-convened-net-zero-insurance-alliance/
 Green behind the cloud, Accenture (2020). See: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/strategy/green-behind-cloud