The Problem with Looking for Insurance Technology Treasure in Your Back Yard


Is your insurance technology treasure richer when homegrown or outsourced? That can be a sticky question; there are pros and cons to both approaches. Furthermore, there’s little middle ground. Most companies find it necessary to make an either/or choice. In this post, we’ll look at each in turn. Short answer? While homegrown does bring some strengths, the downsides of digging in your own backyard by far outweigh the treasure you can unearth there.

The Homegrown System

Companies with homegrown IT rely on a team of in-house programmers to get the job done.
The risk: you may end up painting yourself into a corner.

In-house teams have a lot of power – probably too much. It’s easy for staff programmers to say no to new requests, and if they choose to be dishonest about how hard or possible a project is to achieve, there’s little that management could do to fact-check it. Execs simply don’t have the technical expertise to hold IT staff accountable: they don’t know what they don’t know. As a result, an unreliable team has the power to hold a company hostage by limiting what gets done.

Then, if a mission-critical team member leaves abruptly – due to illness, injury, termination or an unexpected life change – their company could be hamstrung in their absence.

The risks become more painful when you consider the cost of staffing an in-house team. It’s an enormous investment, representing multiple salaries, perks and benefits packages, built on a foundation of uncertainty. Your IT treasure may be buried in your back yard, but what good does that do if you don’t have the ability to find it?

The Vendor Solution

Companies that outsource their IT typically trust one or more vendors to meet their needs.
The risk: if your vendor neglects you, you may not be able to get what you need fast enough.

Vendor solutions require a large upfront investment, but they build an economy of scale over time. Different clients run into similar problems and may request similar functions and features; as a result, vendors don’t need to staff a full-time programmer for every account they serve.

On the other hand, when working with vendors, you get what you pay for. A low-cost partner is probably cutting corners. Vendors want to say yes to every idea or request you bring them, but if they’re understaffed, the result is that you’re likely to end up neglected. If they’re careless, you may face security exposures. If their focus is too tight, you may have to partner with multiple vendors, fracturing your vantage point for management while increasing your risk of breach and incurring value leakage.

In this approach, the vendor you entrust with your IT treasure can end up slowing you down. If they’re not as strong or fast as they promise, you may have to limit your goals to accommodate them.

The Silvervine Solution

At Silvervine, we offer the certainty that’s missing from the homegrown team, plus the follow-through you look for from your vendor. Instead of burying your treasure or setting a sluggish pace, we make sure that you and your IT are safely buckled into a state-of-the-art ride – and we’ve got your music playing.

We promise only what we can deliver. Our programmers are dedicated to a limited number of accounts. As a result, we offer attentive support and more-personalized service to each and every one.

Strategic load-balance yields expertise. We strategize load so that the clients a programmer serves all operate in a similar space. Translation, we cultivate expertise in our niche, while you benefit from the intellectual advantage of our personal growth and knowledge in your area.

We answer questions you didn’t know to ask. As we work with clients that are similar to you, we’re constantly learning about your industry needs – so we can keep you informed when there are features and upgrades that would make your life easier.

When you come knocking, we say yes. You receive our time, attention and sophisticated intellectual capital when you work with us. And when you bring us a new project or idea, and we will likely say yes.

Want to know more? Request a demo or contact us today.