Anthem has signed a five-year, $500 million hybrid cloud deal with IBM, according to Healthcare Payer News.
Under the agreement, the Big Blue of technology will help the Big Blue of healthcare manage IT operations. It's a "hybrid" approach because Anthem will use both the IBM Cloud product as well as its in-house mainframe and data center, the article said. Over time, this will help the insurer consolidate its infrastructure.
"Our partnership with IBM will help provide the infrastructure and IT capabilities we need to respond rapidly to market demands, launch new products for plan members and deliver on Anthem's mission to transform healthcare with trusted and caring solutions," Anthem CEO Tom Miller told Healthcare Payer News.
The agreement follows Anthem's effort last year to move its individual and small group data from health plans in 14 states onto a single platform.
Technology purchases in the healthcare industry increasingly focus on value, and lightweight cloud services come with far fewer fixed maintenance, operations and hardware costs than traditional, physical IT products. This brings both cost savings and flexibility.
As a result, FierceHealthPayer previously reported, going digital can help make insurers more consumer-centric by taking an "outside-in" approach that focuses on what customers want and not simply on what payers can offer.
Cloud vendors such as IBM are all too happy to oblige. All told, IBM has signed more than $4 billion in multi-year enterprise cloud deals, with Anthem joining clients such as Lufthansa and Thomson Reuters, VentureBeat reported. The company hit its goal of $7 billion in cloud revenue by the end of 2014--one year earlier than planned.
Editor's Note: This article has been corrected to fix a typographical error.
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