Outsourcing managed applications

What makes a Cloud Service Provider unique?

October 8, 2019

If your business has been searching for a way to outsource your IT to a third party, you’ve probably heard a lot of terms thrown at you that sound very similar. Two of these terms you’ve probably heard are managed service provider and cloud service provider. Each one says they will handle your IT and make sure you won’t have to worry about server maintenance or software updates again, so what’s the difference?

The difference is how your company’s data is being hosted. A cloud service provider uses, obviously, the cloud, which is a network of servers hosted on the internet. A more traditional managed service provider will host your data on a local server or personal computers. Either is a fine option if you find a reputable provider to work with, but the cloud has several distinct advantages.

A cloud service provider can easily implement additional security software and work applications to improve your company’s day-to-day. These services could include the network you’re surfing on, business tools such as Office365 that you access through the cloud or infrastructure.

You’ve probably already heard of the categories that these additional features fall under. For a quick refresher, they are:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) includes any business tool such as your online agency management system or some of these other examples.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which takes a portion of your IT infrastructure and places it in the cloud. If you’re storing data in the cloud, that’s an example of IaaS.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) that you use to build or maintain an application like your website. Examples include Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, or Microsoft Azure.

While we’re on the subject of terminology, now is a good time to run through the different types of cloud that businesses can utilize. Yes, there are different clouds!

  • The public cloud is the most common way to access the Internet. Businesses share access to the public cloud, which is managed by the cloud service provider.
  • A more expensive model typically utilized by enterprise organizations is the private cloud. That’s where the business (usually with an IT staff) can manage a solo or private connection to the cloud.
  • There has been a rapid increase in a hybrid cloud model, which is a combination of the private and public cloud. It’s safe to say that all major insurance carriers access the Internet via either a private or hybrid cloud model.

A managed service provider is particularly helpful to the small to medium sized insurance agency that cannot afford a full or part-time IT staff. Typically managed service providers offer this service as a subscription, which makes for a budgeted line item each month.

For more information on how the cloud can help your business, check out the TOSS C3 website or call us anytime at 1-888-884-8677.

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