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What is Required to Support a Cloud Service?

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What is Required to Support a Cloud Service?

One of the newest buzzwords in business technology is changing the landscape of how small to mid-size insurance companies are operating and that buzzword is the “cloud”. Cloud computing has already begun to have a tremendous impact on how these companies do business, but a lot of confusion still exists as to what the cloud really is, how it functions, and what is required in order to support it.

Cloud computing is not revolutionary. Instead, it can be thought of as evolutionary with origins dating back to the very advent of network computing. It is not going away and is poised to become the industry standard for insurance technology as well as insurance software companies.

So, what is required to support a cloud service? We are glad you asked.

Configuration Control

Just as no two businesses are alike, no two cloud applications are identical. These applications must be configured to interface and function correctly within any given client’s technological parameters.

Cloud computing providers must have a configuration control system in place to monitor any changes in coding that are needed and to ensure that such changes do not create problems for other aspects of the application.

Trained Staff

The very flexibility that makes cloud technology so attractive can also contain a maze of pitfalls. For this reason, providers should provide a means for solid and detailed documentation for logging errors during the development and implementation phases of the applications.

Staff members should be kept up to speed on diagnostics and troubleshooting with centralized records available to all support employees at all times.

Deployment Efficiency

Deployment is a process that does not have a standard protocol at this time. Therefore, companies providing cloud applications should be not only adept but quite skilled in developing specialized scripts and checklists that evolve as needed. The steps employed should be solid, dependable and easy to replicate.

Prioritization

It often seems as though Murphy’s Law comes into effect when it comes to customer support problems coinciding with important business deadlines. Cloud providers should have a priority list that outlines specific criteria for handling these problems in as timely a manner as is possible. An additional item that should be included on the list is a system to analyzing the severity of bugs in the system, along with the estimated time to fix them and the projected impact upon the client’s ability to continue business operations.

Summing It Up

Insurance software companies are no longer sellers of software. With the development of cloud computing as a part of a SaaS (Software as a Service) contractual agreement, insurance companies can focus on business growth rather than technology.

Breanna Schmidt