Arlington, VA (WorkersCompensation.com) – The U.S. government is saving it to the Cloud.
DRT, a technology and strategy agency based out of Virginia, has been awarded a very significant contract. For the next seven years at a $52 million service cost, the company will create a workers’ compensation Cloud computing program for the Department of Labor (DOL).
According to a Washington Technology report, the government wants to arrange “systems into a single environment for the review, distribution and administrator of benefits for workers covered by the DOL’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.”
Lani Cathey, Executive Vice President of Insurity, who has more than 25 years of experience in technology, software sales and management and consulting, said there are pros and cons to Cloud computing. Some pros include the concentration and sharing of specialized and complex technology skills; establishment and maintenance of sophisticated security; smaller upfront investment in hardware and network infrastructure and inherent remote access from any location.
As for the negative side, Cathey said the cons include dependency on Internet or private connection that may at times impede on response time and trusting private data with a third party organization.
A web-based management company out of California, handling workers’ compensation and automobile, liability and property claims, was breached by a single individual. According to a Modern Healthcare report, the hack made public “police injury reports, drug tests, detailed doctor visit notes and Social Security numbers,” of California, Utah and Kansas public entities.
However, that has not stopped the Cloud, noted Cathey. “As more and more carriers realize that maintenance of sophisticated computer network infrastructure requires a team of highly skilled technicians, they become convinced that Cloud Computing technology is becoming more desirable,” said in an email interview with WorkersCompensation.com.
It’s been all good for a pharmacy-benefits management company, out of Florida, according to BaselineMag.com report “Data Integration Enables Cloud Success.”
“In 2010, we deployed a new Cloud storage infrastructure solution and replaced Cast Iron with Jitterbit, flexible, powerful Cloud application integration software,” said Jay Roy, CEO of AWPRx. “As a result, we are now completely in the Cloud, and prescription approvals are being performed in real time.”
According to the chief executive officer, there has been serious savings since implementing Cloud storage. “We have cut our allocated integration budget by more than 80 percent and seen a large return: up to $400,000 in savings by the end of 2010, based on the savings realized by partnering with Jitterbit and Salesforce.com,” said Roy, adding reduction was also seen in internal training and support and development costs.
Cathey, the former principal with Critical Path Strategies, a sales and management consulting firm that has worked with Insurity as well as LexisNexis Insurance Solutions since 2004, said the insurance industry in general and workers’ compensation in particular may not use public Cloud such as Amazon.
“This is especially true for the large and medium size insurance carriers. However, they will very likely move to a private Could. In a Private Cloud environment, although the hardware and infrastructure may be shared, the databases are kept private. Therefore, the integrity and privacy of data is not compromised by sharing the data of multiple carriers in the same database,” she said.
Roy said the Force.com Cloud enables staff “to access applications and on-demand systems seamlessly, delivering improved data management to all authorized personnel,” as well instantly deny drugs and medical equipment for uninsured subscribers. “The integration helps us quickly identify which injured workers are eligible for certain medications and which are not, while simultaneously keeping our clients updated on pharmacy activity.”
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