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Cloud ComputingThe offices of 2013 are going unplugged. Look around any semi-modern independent insurance agency and you’ll see laptops and tablets have replaced desktops. Printers and scanners are wireless and cell phones have made handsets a thing of the past. What you don’t see is another part of this trend to unplug: the cloud.

The cloud had its time as the wave of the future, but now the future is here. Cloud based applications are the new norm; allowing successful agencies to be more flexible in their workspace, offering greater data security and keeping up with ever increasing bandwidth needs. And the cloud isn’t limited to online data backups or document sharing; more and more daily business operations are moving to cloud based systems.

Here’s why so many forward-thinking independent agency owners are choosing the cloud to help them weather the storms:

1. Flexibility in workspace

Using cloud computing systems allows you to access what you need anywhere using almost any device with an internet connection. This means you can access and edit documents on your work computer, at home or even from your mother-in-law’s basement. And, you don’t need to buy new systems to keep up on cloud based applications that help with your day to day operations, meaning there is no interruption in your workflow.

2. Innovation through communication

Giving your employees the ability to access projects anywhere at any time means they can put good ideas to work whether in the office or not. Communication cloud applications allow employees to share these ideas with their co-workers – even if they aren’t in the same city or even country. There are dozens of new ways to communicate via the cloud, making it easier for agencies with multiple locations to talk face-to-face at a moments’ notice, which helps foster innovative ideas that may be the next big thing in the industry.

3. Data security and recovery

Just like the postal service, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can keep you from accessing the information you need in the cloud. Your data is stored in a remote location and, since cloud computing itself has innovated, many cloud-computing companies have data stored in different locations. If one is knocked out, the others will continue to maintain your access. This means a power outage at the office doesn’t shut you down for the day, and a stolen laptop doesn’t mean your data is lost or even at risk of being shared. Since data isn’t stored on individual devices, you can also upgrade to new technology easily without the hassle of transferring thousands of files and can easily access it on the go.

4. Staying ahead of the curve

Cloud computing applications have a “set it and forget it” way about them. As cloud applications are upgraded, you automatically receive patches to keep your version up to date. These auto-updates mean your agency has the latest technology without an increase in cost and you can stop worrying about whether or not you’re using cutting edge tools. Cloud applications also easily increase bandwidth as needed, so your technology can grow with your agency instead of holding back growth.

5. Low cost, high yield makes your budget happy

One of the best aspects of cloud computing is its ROI. Many cloud-based applications, especially marketing applications, are free and the rest certainly won’t break your budget. Most fee-based applications allow you to budget out monthly costs, making your investment predictable. And it’s easy to customize each application to your needs so you only pay for what you want, and leave out what you don’t.

With benefits like this, your agency is at risk of falling behind if you don’t embrace the cloud. We at SIS know there are hundreds of cloud-based tools out there, and it can be tough to know which are best for your agency. To give you a leg up, we’ll be exploring the best cloud-based tools in our coming posts, so you can be sure to get the right tools to help your agency grow.

To find out more about SIS and how we can help your agency stay on the cutting edge, call us at 800-747-9273 or email sales@sisware.com.

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