30 Oct 2017

Better Insurance Software Decisions 505 - Avoid the Perfection Trap

By: John Baker

Better Insurance Software Decisions 505 - Avoid the Perfection Trap

So, you're planning to ditch your legacy system and invest in new insurance software. Good move. And you want to be confident that the system you choose is the right fit. Smart. In fact, you'd be willing to wait longer for rollout if you were sure that once it did go live, it would fit like a glove.

Watch out. Breakers ahead.

What matters more: perfection or momentum?

When you're making software buying decisions (especially if you're not a technical person) it can be difficult to assess the pros and cons, the risks and opportunities that such a decision entails. When a vendor says that feature X is an important add-on, and so is feature Y, and Z, it's easy to get caught in the perfection trap: "Let's get this thing 100 percent right before we start relying on it."

Many of our competitors take a year (or often longer) to implement a new system. There's a reason for that. For some insurance software vendors, slow implementation is a profit strategy.

Unfortunately, many insurance clients set the stage for slow implementation and budget amplification. When your team starts seeing what’s possible, it’s very tempting to play the role of architect and artist. Some people on your team will want to redesign screens. Others will want to change navigation or the order of operations.

Suddenly, you’re working with a moving target. The initial implementation budget assumed that you’d be using the out-of-the-box specs. Now, you need meetings and perhaps even outside consultants to help you redefine the scope. The insurance software company will say, “Of course, we’ll customize anything you want … it will just take a little more time and a little more money, or we can give you the tools so you can do it yourself.”

Before you allow feature creep or the DIY trap to sideline your project, stop and ask yourself: Do you want to be perfect, or do you want to be moving forward?

In systems, perfection is an illusion

Systems are a dynamic tool. They have to be, because the landscape around you is continuously changing. Customer expectations evolve. Industry disruption strikes. Underwriting models shift. Even if you achieve a definition of perfection today, would it still be perfect six months from now? How about three years from now? In real life, there's no such thing as a static definition of "perfect" when it comes to insurance software.

Opportunity cost, opportunity lost

Investopedia defined opportunity cost as "a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up to take another course of action."

In the context we're looking at here, this term refers to the potential gains that you miss during the months (or years) that it takes to implement your new system. If, during that time, you're still stuck with legacy software (which, let's remember, was already imperfect enough that you decided it had to be replaced), then opportunities are passing you by now. And you can't start catching them until your rollout is done.

Make no mistake, opportunity cost isn't just metaphorical. We're talking about a quantifiable impact to your bottom line: a negative ROI. (For a case in point, look at this article on minimizing the cost of delay.)

Get it on its feet first - then make it fly

You won't get caught in that trap with Silvervine insurance software. Our strategy is to get you into your new system, fast – sometimes as soon as 90 days – so you can start reaping the rewards of your investment right away.

We know that building a software system is a lot like building a house. You need a solid foundation, strong walls and a good roof. You need the space to flow and function. And just like when you build a new house, some of the aesthetics and decorating can be saved for later. In fact, many times it’s best to live in the space, to see how it functions in the real world, and then decide which customizations will positively impact your ROI.

Once the system is live, you’ve realized some momentum and the benefits are rolling in, we can make enhancements and keep pace with industry change at the same time. Sound interesting? Request a demo to learn more.

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