The use of the term “Cloud” originated as a metaphor for how data moved from one, rigid, local area network to another (you know, the Internet.) When you pushed an eligibility file from your server to your health insurance provider’s location, the data probably traversed a network of interesting paths, through routers and switches, and wires and satellites. Those of us in the industry have historically used the soft, fluffy Cloud image to represent the network that can link all of us together.
The Cloud has evolved from being a network of networks to so much more. Today's term is "Cloud computing". Microsoft’s beginner’s guide to Cloud computing, they simply state: “Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”).” https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/what-is-cloud-computing/
So if you are considering the Cloud, don’t fret that your data will be “up there in the Cloud, somewhere”. Your data (most likely; be sure to do your homework!) will be stored in secure, high performance data centers with redundant power, Internet access, and data storage – the likes of which most businesses cannot afford.
JBM develops Cloud applications for multiemployer benefit funds. If you are considering a change to your benefit administration system, drop us a line and we can schedule a conversation.