(Image credit: Geralt.)
Ask people about their most valuable possessions and chances are they’ll focus on high-ticket items such as homes, jewelry and automobiles. Ask what they’d grab with only moments to spare before evacuating and odds are that mobile phones and computers top the list. It’s not that the electronics themselves are so difficult to replace. It’s the digital content saved on personal electronics—videos and photos of family and friends, resumes and receipts, phone numbers and addresses—that is simply irreplaceable.
To give themselves peace of mind that their most precious digital content is secure no matter what happens to the devices where it resides, consumers increasingly back up their data in the cloud. This has opened the door of opportunity for insurance providers. With research from management consultancy Arthur D. Little showing the personal cloud market to be worth $1.5 billion by 2025, the insurance market finds itself in prime position to take advantage of this opportunity. Insurers willing to transform themselves from enterprises that simply protect tangible items into trusted guardians of their customers’ most cherished electronic data will build a true end-to-end customer relationship that grows brand loyalty, customer satisfaction and revenue.
The Personal Cloud Light is Green
A confluence of trends has come together to give insurers an opening to grab a share of the personal cloud pie:
- Consumer expectations. The foundation for a successful insurer personal cloud offering already is in place. Consumers trust insurers to safeguard possessions, so adding digital data protection is a sensible evolution. Consumers also are increasingly comfortable interacting with their insurance companies via mobile devices and computers, whether filing claims, accessing or modifying policies, or chatting with customer service reps. This, too, bodes well for a successful personal cloud solution offering.
- Internet platform provider changes. Today, the personal cloud marketplace is ruled by internet platform providers such as iCloud, Amazon Drive, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. However, the exponential growth of saved digital data – one report noted that individuals have on average 630 photos and 24 videos stored on their mobile devices – means many of those platforms are close to capacity. The likely result will be coming limits on low-cost or free storage. Google already announced it is killing unlimited free storage and capping what may be uploaded beginning in mid-2021. And where Google goes, others will follow, with consumers forced to reconsider their cloud providers.
- 5G network availability. The growth of 5G is changing how consumers think about personal cloud. 5G allows users to instantaneously back up all content, including massive files associated with HD and 4K videos. It also makes searching for and viewing content directly from personal cloud accounts instantaneous. In other words, 5G allows consumer to move beyond simply archiving data by allowing new ways to interact with their content while it resides in the cloud. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for access to a feature-rich personal cloud offering that capitalizes on the speed of 5G.
The Time to Act is Now
Few disagree that insurers are well positioned to complement existing protection solutions with bundled content protection offering. Why wouldn’t a consumer want an all-in-one insurance plan that protects both tangible and digital possessions? And why wouldn’t an insurer not want to leverage personal cloud to both add incremental revenue and build more comprehensive customer relationships?
The challenge for insurers is the actual launch of a personal cloud. One option is to build their own cloud infrastructure and software technologies but, let’s face it, the in-house expertise to do this is likely not available and the cost would be prohibitive. A more sensible option is one that doesn’t require insurers to become personal cloud specialists. A white-label SaaS personal cloud platform eliminates the responsibility of building and maintaining new cloud infrastructure. The bottom line: Whatever option an insurer chooses, the offering must be feature-rich and able to integrate with legacy software systems, accommodate all data classes, and allow for unlimited and continuous data backup and syncing across all a customer’s mobile devices, laptops and even home desktop computers.
The integration of a personal cloud into premium insurance bundles—whether a bundle is limited to mobile device protection plans or incorporates some combination of home and auto coverage—is a win-win for everyone. Customers gain a secure option for organizing and interacting with their content via a company that has already earned their trust. Insurers will find themselves building stronger connections with their customers while gaining a new way to generate additional revenue. The opportunity is there for insurers ready to make the magic happen.