Who Owns Your Data? Breaking Up With Your License Software Provider

There are a variety of reasons why your agency may consider breaking up with your license software provider. Sometimes, you simply outgrow the platform. Maybe you’ve discovered you have new needs that your existing software can’t meet. Whatever the reason, managing your data when switching to a new license software provider can be a real headache.


With this guide, you will understand exactly who owns your data, how you can take control of it, and what to ask when you make the switch to help make the transition as seamless as possible. We sat down with our Chief Technology Officer, Rich Richbart, and our Vice President of Technology, Domenic D’Andrea, to cover everything you need to know. 

Who Owns Your Data?

The short answer is that you probably own the data you create.  Unless your contract with your insurance license software provider states otherwise, your data is yours. In a perfect world, when switching software providers, you’d be able to get an export before moving on to your new software. 

Unfortunately, some software providers don’t make it easy. At 3HCS, we’ve worked with clients transitioning from other licensing software providers to our Creative Compliance Hub where it took multiple sets of exports just to get all of our client’s data. But this doesn’t have to be the case for everyone.

A laptop on a compliance expert's desk with a phone and plant

Questions You Should Ask

What To Ask Your Current License Software Provider When You Prepare To Switch

If you're breaking up with your current provider, Richbart recommends the following:

First, review your current contract looking for any provisions regarding your data. These could include termination provisions if you leave and data retention policies.

Next, ask your current provider if you can export every single one of the pages on your own or if you will need the provider to supply the export.

If the provider will be exporting the data, ask these questions:

  • How easily can my team sort through everything in these data exports and/or tables? 
  • Are there unique ID numbers (NPN or Local ID) we can sort by? Note: names are not considered unique IDs.
  • What items are lumped together with licensing? Can each type of data be exported separately?
  • If the data needs to be re-exported is that possible and is it included in any required fee?
  • How long will it take to provide the export?
  • How long will I have access to everything?

Richbart and D’Andrea also recommend that, when switching, you keep your old system for about six months to play it safe. This way, if something was missed or goes wrong, you can refer to your former system.

online documentation database

What To Ask For From a New Software Provider To Ensure You Own Your Data

When you talk to the sales representatives from SaaS providers, they will likely assure you that you own your data and there won’t be a problem in the future — but this isn’t always the case. 

To prepare for a smart exit strategy before you even sign on, you should review the service level agreements (SLAs) with the provider.  These should define your company's ownership and ability to retrieve your data. They should also disclose if there are fees for the report and what data can be exported.

It’s crucial to bring these up before you sign a contract with a new provider. There is no foolproof way to move from one system to another — but being prepared can make it a whole lot easier.

Should You Expect to Pay For Exports?

It's common for companies to charge you for an export (sometimes referred to as a data dump) when you want to cancel a contract with a software-as-a-solution (SaaS) provider. SaaS customers are often unaware of this cost.

Generally speaking, exporting is both time-consuming and far more difficult than onboarding and importing — hence why you should expect there to be an export fee. However, you should be able to get your data, and the fee to do so should be reasonable. 

Cloud computing technology and online data storage

Looking To Switch Software Providers?

Before we at 3HCS founded Creative Compliance Software Solutions and launched Creative Compliance Hub, we were customers just like you — and went through the same struggles with the process you may be experiencing. We created Creative Compliance Hub to serve all of our clients’s needs and to help make sure all of the pain points we experienced were addressed. 

This includes our exit strategy. Because we built our own software solution around the shortcomings we experienced with our competitors, we prioritized an easy-to-use user experience and, above all else, convenience. All of Creative Compliance Hub's pages have the option to export all of your data, which makes the process easier for users, and we provide unique ID numbers for the various exports and tables.

But we’re confident you’ll love the user experience — so if you’re looking to switch to a new licensing software solution that acts as a centralized hub for everything you need, contact us today to see how we can help.

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