Pointers on selecting solutions

A change may be necessary, since a problem has been identified. The answer may be a technology solution – but how do you ensure that the solution you are considering is the correct one? Here are a few tips to consider when selecting a solution.

  • Identify your immediate needs, then ask if they are genuine needs, or simply wants. This sometimes requires an external specialist review to confirm.
  • Consider all the ways to address actual needs, perhaps by changing the way people approach a problem, or through procedural change. Maybe the problem really does need a new technology, or perhaps existing technology is so fragmented it is adding needless complexity to your business.

In my experience, the majority of problems in the Insurance market are due to fragmented technology architecture, with legacy systems simply too difficult to connect, making it virtually impossible to deliver a friction-less operating model.

  • Understand the longevity of each need identified in the light of possible future developments. Carefully consider future change that may render some solutions irrelevant in a year or two. This step can help point towards the right solution and avoid binding long-term contracts or heavy investment in solutions that will not deliver enduring value.
  • Try to choose a solution that gets you started and focuses on the immediate need, but is scalable and can be extended. For example, the majority of insurance carriers and brokers are wedded to a policy administration system for many years, because it is difficult and disruptive to shift away from it. It will inevitably turn into a legacy system that hinders organisations’ ability to evolve freely.
  • Over reliance on a vendor’s roadmap will mean that your firm will move only when your IT developer moves, unless you pay a large sum of money to have the changes you need incorporated into their road map.
  • Avoid vendor over reliance by choosing a solution that allows maximum self-serviceability and therefore the ability to manage change at the pace required.
  • Consider solutions that provide the minimum viable product and the largest facility to be shaped according to your specific needs. Initial implementation may take longer, but such a model may be preferable to a fully built product that is difficult to change with the times.
  • Choose an established product for standard sets of services such as regulatory checks and weather warnings. You should be able to control what you do with the results, since outputs may be part of your differentiating approach. Find a standard way to get your facts right.
  • Choose an implementation partner that understands your business well; its position and relationship with the wider market and the technology that supports it. That insight will help you set benchmarks and identify best practices. A good partner will be able to help you to translate your needs into a suitable solution based on your appetite for change, and deliver it alongside you.

By Parminder Kaur