Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Do you know the biggest problem for customers when buying technology for their insurance businesses?
It's that, as visual beasts, pretty screens and fancy user experience can mask an awful lot of missing functionality and make a terrible system look like a world-beater.
Every year that goes by I watch people buy gorgeous looking systems that do next to nothing and overlook systems of vast depth and functionality because they don't like the colour scheme or the way a screen is laid out.
It's like trying to buy your first car and ignoring everything other than the paint job. We'll just ignore the fact that there's no engine and it's running on flats, right?
But trust me, it's easier to make a good system pretty than make a pretty system functionally complete. To continue the analogy, it costs very little to respray a car, compared to acquiring and fitting an engine and replacing the wheels - so worry about the things that cost the money and take the time.
This is why people need help procuring systems.
That's not to say you need to undertake a grotesque RFI process run by IT - everybody knows that's a waste of time designed to create a pretence of good practice. Instead, you need to undertake a deep dive into your true requirements of your business users and then assess how your proposed systems measure up to it.
I'm always amazed at how few actually document these decisions. I'm equally amazed at how few really take the time to understand what they need before they start looking and each and every time they fall into the same trap of picking the system that looks the best.
Don't be that company.
The technology you put in place will be the fundamental difference between your success and failure as a business. Treat it as such and stop judging everything on looks.
WRITTEN BY ED HALSEY
Any opinions expressed here are my own and not the views of any of my employers. They are personal views based upon a 15-year career in insurance across underwriting and sales roles at mainstream insurers, consultancy firms and technology providers.