Tag Archives: cloud computing

The new ABCs: AI, Blockchain, and the Cloud

Insurance customers expect personalized, agile, and on-demand delivery from carriers nowadays. Insurers must keep up with technological advances and implement them to provide solutions that address these expectations. In her Best’s Review article “Mind your ABCs,” Milliman’s Pat Renzi explores why insurance companies must center their strategic initiatives on using emerging technology like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and the cloud. She also explains how partnerships that feature diverse experts will see faster, smarter, and more successful disruption.

Parallel cloud computing enhances actuarial analyses

Parsing a large computational process into smaller independent tasks that run in parallel to each other can help actuaries benefit from the time-saving efficiencies of cloud computing. Machine learning has parallel compute capabilities to assist with these tasks. In this article, Milliman’s Joe Long and Dan McCurley discuss how they were able to cut a three-month machine learning project down to four days using open source tools and the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Milliman named “Best Tech Vendor for Actuarial Modelling” by Risk.net

renzi_patMilliman today announced that it has been selected by Risk.net as the best tech vendor for actuarial modelling. For the second time in three years, Milliman is being recognized for its software solution Integrate™, which provides an innovative approach to support fully automated, end-to-end financial and risk modelling.

Integrate, which runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud, provides clients with best-in-class software for managing data input and complex modelling flows on the front-end, as well as robust business intelligence analytics and reporting capabilities of output with the recent addition of Microsoft Power BI Embedded. Additionally, Integrate provides a collaborative and governed process to support the model change process.

We are honored to have received this award as a recognition of Milliman’s innovative approach to client work, one that focuses on collaboration between experts in technology, actuarial, and risk solutions, and that drives value for not only the organization, but the policyholders, shareholders, and employees as well.

For more information on this year’s award, visit www.risk.net.

Integrate is a trademark of Milliman, Inc., registered in the U.S., U.K. and France. For more information about Integrate, click here.

Microsoft Azure upgrades enhance Integrate

Microsoft rolled out several Azure upgrades to improve its cloud platform’s performance. This TargetTech article quotes Paul Maher discussing how the upgrades can enhance Milliman’s Integrate® which runs on Azure. Here’s an excerpt:

Microsoft also released the L-series and H-series of VMs, which are tailored for high storage and CPU speed, respectively. These join other new instance types Microsoft has rolled out over the past year, including its GPU-based N-series and large instances for SAP HANA.

Milliman, an actuarial service provider based in Seattle, runs its platform-as-a-service offering on Azure and often runs different instance types to meet its clients varying needs.

“Matching the hardware and processing requirements at a price point and having a bastion of options is really important to us,” said Paul Maher, principal and CTO of life technology solutions at Milliman. “If you’re trying to run across a diverse client range, with varying price sensitivities, the last thing you want is a one-size-fits-all scenario.”

Another important upgrade for Milliman is the increased transparency from the preview release of Azure Monitor. The company wants to do more around diagnostics on the health of their workloads, and pass more feedback to customers about uptime, resiliency and performance analytics.

“For heavy users, which we are, it’s really important that we feel like we have granular control,” Maher said.

To learn more about Integrate, click here.

Milliman releases new analytics, dashboard, and reporting capabilities in Integrate™

Milliman today announced the release of Integrate™ with Microsoft Power BI Embedded, a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights.

Integrate is Milliman’s award-winning, end-to-end financial and risk modeling technology platform, powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Integrate utilizes Power BI to enable its users to quickly create and share data, through interactive dashboards and reports. Power BI provides a rich immersive experience that allows Integrate users to visualize and analyze data in one place, simply and intuitively. Using Power BI, Integrate delivers a scalable and cost-efficient solution that meets the ever-growing BI demands of users.

Pat Renzi, Milliman Principal, says, “We are thrilled to provide our clients with industry-leading business intelligence technology, seamlessly embedded within the Integrate platform. These new capabilities will provide our customers with the ability to quickly and clearly visualize, analyze, and collaborate on mission-critical information on any device.”

James Phillips, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Business Applications, Platform and Intelligence (BAPI) Organization adds, “At Microsoft, we’re committed to enabling our customers everywhere to get insight from their data. We’re delighted that Milliman is embracing the opportunity to build an intelligent application with the completely new Power BI Embedded service to bring this same value to their customers and partners.”

For more information about Integrate, click here.

For more information about Microsoft Power BI, click here.

ERM, the cloud, and contractual cyber risk

Mark GreisigerFounded in 2011, the Milliman Risk Institute provides scientific-based thought leadership on all facets of enterprise risk management (ERM). Composed of senior risk executives, actuaries, and university professors, the Milliman Risk Institute Advisory Board meets semiannually to discuss ERM trends, research, and key topics.

In this blog series, members of the Milliman Risk Institute Advisory Board share their views on ERM research and development and how it can support business insights.

Cloud solutions provide many advantages for corporations looking to offload some costly in-house management aspects of their data to maintain its integrity and security. Cloud solutions also present challenges related to enterprise risk management (ERM) that continue to grow. Just a few years ago clouds were not even on the radar screens of most ERM programs, but that has flipped 180 degrees in the past year. Now, with all or part of their computing outsourced, many corporations are able to see some of the very serious risks.

Cloud risk starts with contractual risk. If you look closely at the contracts cloud services providers offer, most are nearly always one-sided to their favor. It can become incredibly one-sided, but information technology (IT) teams are in such need of the perceived advantages that they have just been checking the boxes and agreeing to these terms. Their motivation is to reduce costs, but now there are new issues.

For example, the cloud services provider may not have a duty to report a breach within an appropriate time frame. Many statements of agreement (SOAs) give no assurances about security controls, or safeguards. There’s no indemnity for negligence on their part in the event of a security failure. In fact, they often say the opposite—that if they screw up, you agree to defend and indemnify them.

The protocols are often unclear in the event of a breach. A breach is not necessarily a bad guy breaking in, it could be many things. It could just be some insider who did something by mistake, which led to your data being leaked out. Companies need timely notices concerning any breach of their data and may want the ability to forensically investigate a breach to report it to insurance companies and learn whether a claim can be filed and covered.

But cloud services providers might not notify you for six to eight months or longer. That can be a real problem if, say, the state attorney generals of 20 different states now have the ability to come after you legally. You are under certain specific requirements to report to them and to your customers should a breach happen. State attorney generals don’t care that you outsource. In their opinion, the onus is on you to make sure your cloud services provider notifies you in a timely manner when a breach occurs.

These issues and others like them are playing out right now in the cloud services sector, and they could cause you trouble because so much of it is happening on third-party networks. There could even be legal questions about who owns the data that is sitting in those systems. The bottom line is that insurance companies may be formally insuring ABC Company, but in effect they are also insuring ABC Company’s third-party cloud services provider. It is effectively a third-party network.

And here’s one more issue to think about. Cloud services providers often outsource to other cloud services providers. Even experienced IT teams are often left trying to figure out the spider web of where specific data actually is, who has access to it, and whether or not all those clouds have reasonable controls in place. Those are some important questions to address. Expect cloud solutions to continue to be a major ERM issue for some time, as companies continue searching for tools and processes to help demonstrate to a regulator, or to a court, that they have put some reasonable due diligence into reviewing their clouds and vendors. It’s turning out to be much easier said than done.

A cyber pioneer and thought leader, Mark Greisiger serves as the President of NetDiligence, a cyber risk assessment and data breach services company. In October 2015, Mark presented at the Milliman Risk Institute Advisory Board Meeting as a keynote speaker. His remarks were well-received and followed by a robust Q&A session. As part of this blog series, we invited Mark to provide some additional commentary to his speech and share his views on trending topics in ERM.