Insuring the cloud – A wave of innovation Most companies will agree that data or information is one of their most important assets. Yet, some might not realise that a standard property policy might not respond to a loss at cloud level. Jillian Raw defines what is cloud computing, the types of cloud computing available and also identifying where the insurance market in developed countries are already recognising changes in the cloud computing market to form specific cloud provider policies and customised products.
According to The Economist, "the cloud will transform the information technology industry, profoundly change the way people work and companies operate.” Microsoft refers to "a wave of innovation" that has been powered by the cloud. But first, what is cloud computing? Cloud computing is a special form of outsourcing, in which parts of the IT environment are rented as a service, instead of being operated by the company itself. Cloud computing is a buzzword. "The concept, quite simply, is that vast computing resources will reside somewhere up there in the ether (rather than in your computer room) and you will connect to them and use them as needed.” ( The Times online). Cloud computing, at the broadest level, therefore, is the provision of computing as a service over a network, typically over the Internet. The term "cloud" refers to the Internet because of the practice of drawing a cloud shape to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams. Networks were cumbersome to draw, so engineers represented them as clouds and, in time, the cloud shape was adopted as a symbol for all networks, including the Internet.