Client-Based vs. Cloud-Based
If you’re considering adopting an agency management system (AMS) this year (15% of insurance agencies are) or switching from Excel or paper files, you may have seen through your buying research thus far that some systems are “cloud-based” and some are “client-based”.
Though cloud-based systems are taking over, client-based systems still exist. So, let’s discuss the difference between the two and what you should look out for throughout your buying experience.
Client-based systems are ones that you physically download onto your computer’s hard drive. Sometimes the download is from a CD or USB (flash drive), and sometimes you download the software from the Internet.
Client-based systems do not allow for automatic updates; they have to be manually downloaded and, sometimes, the new update has to be purchased. Client-based systems are also disadvantaged when it comes to data recovery in the event of a natural disaster or other form of data loss. Without continual backups on other storage devices, severe data loss can occur. See what we mean in our blog, "Is Your Agency at Risk for Data Loss?"
Client-based software is quickly becoming replaced by cloud-based software across the board. However, anyone still solely using Excel spreadsheets are definitely at risk for the data loss issues we discussed above.
Cloud-based systems are hosted “in the cloud.” This means that they are available on any device via a secure login wherever you have an Internet connection. No downloads are needed.
Cloud-based systems are at an advantage when it comes to data storage because they’re generally backed up often, so the newest version is always the “live” version. In other words, updates are made in real time. This way, in the event of a natural disaster, your data can always be accessed. In addition, your team is always on the same page, working off the same version of data.
Again, you can read more details on this in our blog, "Is Your Agency at Risk for Data Loss?"
An example of a cloud-based agency management system (AMS) is AgencyBloc. AgencyBloc allows you 24/7 access to your data from anywhere you have an internet connection. It provides unlimited, off-site storage, and your data is backed up every 4 seconds.
One concern some insurance agencies have about cloud-based systems is, are they secure? It’s a fair concern, and that’s where your research into an AMS vendor is incredibly important. AgencyBloc’s data storage is HIPAA-compliant, has bank-grade encryption, and two-step verification is used for a secure login process.
If you’re considering switching to a new AMS or adopting one for the first time, check out our eBook, 5 Steps to Choosing an Agency Management System. In it, there are tips on assessing your team’s needs, working out a budget, and what to look for in vendors.
[eBook] 5 Steps to Choosing an Agency Management System
If you choose the right one, your agency management system can transform the way you do everything from tracking policies, communicating with clients, and even processing and splitting commissions.