We all know SAP For Insurance or do we? Our recent poll at US Insurance Agents among our listed independent and captive agents suggests that only 25% of agents are in cloud, while 45% plans to move within next 1-3 years. We are moving closer and closer to the era where cloud will be the only solutionto store backup copies of computer files for insurance agents who would be severely inconvenienced if important information was not available.
With the primary concern for the customers being the need for security and mobility there are five important reasons for using cloud computing:
Backup Copies of Files
As simple as it gets – backup copy of a file should be saved on a different device because a hardware tends to break down and software is known to crash. Users could store file copies on a secondary hard drive or upload the copies to a cloud. Some users may save file copies on a flash drive or on a computer disc. An insurance agent may require more than 600 GBs of storage space for file copies, which would require several flash drives or computer discs.
A cloud should be used not only as a secondary location for saving and for retrieving files but Internet connection while retrieving the files and may have a contract with a broadband service provider that offers limited coverage in several areas. If the customers are forced to connect to the Wi-Fi signal from a hotel or a coffee shop, then there could be serious problems with regard to security.
An external hard drive can be used to save backup file copies and will not be affected if a computer crashes. The files on a hard drive cannot be accessed with a Wi-Fi connection. A cloud could be used for remote access with a smartphone or a computer. A hard drive can be damaged by excessive heat or by exposure to moisture. Users could accidentally spill a cup of coffee or a soft drink on a desk, which would damage the hard drive.
An insurance agent is responsible for protecting the personal information of each client and should be aware of any potential problems that could be caused by an online backup service. The files should be protected with passwords and with a personal key code. The security features of a cloud will be controlled by the company that provides the online backup service. The passwords may not be secure because information on the Web could possibly be seen by other users on a computer network.
Online Backup Services
There are multiple parameters for cloud computing. A user may want to choose the different files that will be uploaded to a cloud. Some online backup services are used to continuously copy the files from a computer. An important aspect of the process for uploading a file is the transfer rate for the data. If a user has a slow Internet connection, then the time period for uploading a file will be longer than the time period that would be possible with a high-speed Internet connection.
There are additional costs for uploading computer files to a cloud because a user will be transferring data over an Internet connection. Many users may have a monthly limit for data transfer such as 10 or 12 GBs. An insurance agent should carefully monitor his or her data usage and may prefer to control costs by choosing the individual files to upload to a cloud.