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June 14, 2017
To outsource or not to outsource – that’s the question for insurance companies of all sizes.
According to Gartner, the biggest enterprise-level insurance companies have been outsourcing their critical business functions to cloud providers in record numbers this year. So it makes sense that the small to mid-size insurance agency would be attracted to the benefits of outsourcing their critical business functions.
Before you make the leap into IT outsourcing, here are some of the things you need to know.
IT Outsourcing – The Good
It’s likely that many of you are already outsourcing some of your IT functions. If you have a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 or any other online service, you’re already outsourcing. But what about the maintenance of your computer network or data storage?
Small to mid-sized insurance agencies rarely can afford a full-time IT staffer. Most rely on those call-us-if-you-need-us consultants that are often frustratingly unavailable when a crisis hits. Outsourcing the maintenance of your network infrastructure means that you can rely upon 24/7 maintenance and the shared knowledge that comes from leading industry experts — instead of a local resource.
Outsourcing technology functions also can reduce costs. IT outsourcing models are offered as a budget-friendly monthly subscription. Your agency will avoid the fees associated with maintaining and upgrading old platforms or buying new equipment. Download the white paper IT as a Utility for more on this topic.
Speaking of legacy platforms, utilizing SaaS (software as a service) or IaaS (infrastructure as a service) means you won’t have to wait for a visit from an IT staffer to receive the latest upgrades. Outsourcing IT means you benefit from real-time upgrades that can help keep you ahead of the competition.
Outsourcing any service means you’re relying on experts who focus on one thing – taking care of their customers. The benefit for a small to mid-size insurance agency is simple; you’ll be able to do exactly the same thing. At its core, IT outsourcing means you’ll be able to take care of what matters most – growing your business.
IT Outsourcing – The Bad
Sending some of your critical business functions to external resources means giving up a little bit of control. That’s why it’s so important to select a vendor that you trust.
While it may be tempting to believe that you can sign a contract and forget about it, you will have to manage the vendor relationship. As you’re reviewing these subscription contracts, make sure you’re looking for hidden costs, and always ask about what happens if there is a problem. Will you have one account manager to help you fix the problem, or will you fall victim to a remote overseas call center? What’s the process for fixing the technology after hours or on a holiday?
An insurance agency must always weigh IT outsourcing against the security risk. Protecting your data is always job one, and how the IT vendor handles encrypting personal information will be important to you – and your clients. Staying compliant with state and federal regulations like HIPAA should be part of your initial due diligence in selecting an IT outsourcing provider.
IT Outsourcing – Call TOSS C3
For more information on IT outsourcing, download the white paper: Managed IT Services For Small Businesses.
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