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Towers Watson vGrid Solution gives Insurers IaaS Computing Power

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Towers Watson vGrid Solution gives Insurers IaaS Computing Power

September 15, 2015
By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

With computers now playing an integral role in the insurance industry, Towers Watson has launched vGrid, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) software to give insurance companies the computing resources they require on-demand when they need them.  

The context for this is that the regulatory requirements for the insurance industry seem to increase every year, and companies must be aware of these changes and ensure they are compliant in order to fend off regulators. As stated by Tom Rollauer, executive director, Center for Regulatory Strategies, Deloitte (News - Alert) & Touche LLP, on the Risk and Compliant Journal, “Regulatory bodies in the U.S. and abroad have been significantly expanding their compliance oversight and enforcement activities in recent years. This is a trend which is expected to accelerate and add to rulemaking and overlapping of regulatory roles.”

The vGrid platform is designed to give life insurers the ability to run their models via an on-demand, cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform that provides insurers increased computing power resources so they can meet demand during their peak period. And, because this is cloud-based this relieves insurers of the costs of  investing in on premises infrastructures.

According to Joel Fox, Towers Watson’s global Life Financial Modeling and Reporting leader, insurers are finding their outdated systems are not capable of handling the increasing regulatory reporting requirements. This is forcing them to adjust their business infrastructure.

Fox went on to say, “The management of large computing capacity can be time-consuming and expensive for life insurers, especially when demand heavily fluctuates from daily use to peak periods. Our pay-as-you-go vGrid software makes it easier for insurers to tap into extra computer power to meet peak demand periods. This not only avoids the expense of an in-house system that is idle during off-peak periods, but removes capacity constraints during heavy demand.”

The vGrid for financial modeling challenges is fully integrated with RiskAgility FM software, which helps life insurers develop and run financial models to better manage risk and safeguard solvency. As noted, it provides scalability on demand with high availability and reduced complexity and cost associated with hardware and ongoing maintenance. The software delivers high degree of controllability by allowing users to manage the platform through a user friendly portal with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week support. In addition, The Towers Watson vGrid is offered through as a  subscriber service can be accessed using a simple sign up service.

The insurance industry is in the business of risk assessment and management, and a big risk for them is not being in compliance in a regulatory landscape that is constantly changing and the penalties for not complying are substantial.  For example, in the U.S., The Federal Insurance Office (FIO), the Federal Reserve, the Financial Stability Oversight Counsel (FSOC) as well as international bodies such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) all have some say in the U.S. insurance sector regulation.

The insurance industry in general has been identified and lectured about the reliance of out-dated technology in almost every aspect of their operations from back office to customer facing.  At least when it comes to handling the complexities of compliance the cloud now provides a way to stay current and avoid the risks of being in noncompliant. 

Edited by Peter Bernstein

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