Most small insurers are hesitant to move on upgrading their technology because they don’t have an IT person on staff.
This is a convenient and shortsighted excuse. If we don’t have an IT person in-house, we can’t update our technology which means everything can stay the same and we don’t have to spend any money on it.
But here’s the problem with that position: today, upgrading technology – from your portals to your internal systems – does not depend on having an IT person. There doesn’t have to be a single gatekeeper of all things tech. And implementing today’s modern platforms is easier than you think.
Here’s how you do it.
It Starts with Sourcing the Right Partner
Without an in-house IT person, you need a partner. You need a resource that not only knows technology, but also specializes in insurance, understanding the industry’s nuances as well as you do.
As you vet potential partners, look for companies that take a consultative approach, working with you to understand your business goals versus simply trying to force a rigid solution. You also want a partner that owns the technology they’ll be delivering to you as opposed to a group that pieces together different components from third parties or even open sources. They’ll be intimately familiar with the solution and you’ll know exactly where to go for support.
You Don’t Have to Sacrifice on Customization
Without an in-house IT department, you might be thinking that whatever tech upgrades you make will come as is, with little opportunity for customization. However, you may not have anyone on your team with the technical chops to modify software. Fortunately, the reality is that there are solutions out there that don’t require any engineering or technical expertise to personalize, if your software has rich, point-and-click configuration tools. These solutions – ours included – are designed with usability and flexibility in mind. Take our product, Portal, for example. It’s easy for non-technical team members to create reports, update and modify dashboards, add to data models and more – all without requiring technical knowledge, ticketing, statements of work or anything else that slows things down.
Adopt in Phases
Related to the “we don’t have an IT person” qualm is the “this is too much to tackle” position. Most small insurers assume that any sort of technology upgrade will disrupt their entire business and potentially grind work to a halt.
Here’s the reality: tech upgrades should not happen all at once. Smart strategies are planned out and embrace a staged approach so that neither the company or any business unit are heavily impacted. There’s no full “lift and shift,” but rather a phased effort designed around your business.
Your partner can help you prioritize and plan.
Consider Ongoing Support
We’re not saying implementing new technology is a breeze. That’s why small insurers should think about how adoption is supported. Good technology partners are often happy to help onboard, troubleshoot, drive adoption and more – typically at a fraction of what a full-time, in-house IT person would cost.
Ongoing support is key to getting the most out of your tech investment.
There’s nothing stopping you from leveling up your technology – not even the lack of an in-house IT person. Your agents will be more productive, your policyholders will be happier and your board will have to do a double take when they see the positive impact.