By R. Christopher Haines, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer

You Get (Only) What You Pay For

Usage-based insurance (UBI) is currently one of the more popular topics in insurance. (It already has its own abbreviation.) Pretty cool concept. You pay only for what you use. Drive 100 miles per year, pay a little. Drive 50,000 miles a year, pay more. Makes sense, right?

Imagine if you could do this with your insurance IT management needs? In any company, the smaller you are, the less you can afford. Or maybe your company is large enough to afford all the management you want, but doesn’t have enough work to justify filling certain positions. Why pay someone a large salary to stare at the wall or surf the Internet half the time when you could get only what you need and pay only for what you use? Well, you can.

Many former insurance CIOs, CTOs, VPs of IT, and IT managers have moved to the consulting side and share the knowledge acquired in the trenches hourly and on demand. These professionals have experience in policy administration implementation, operation, and replacement. They’ve vetted, selected, and integrated third-party providers. They’ve worked through audits and compliance. They’ve even worked through general IT issues like phone systems, computer equipment, and Internet connectivity.

As with other services your organization may look to purchase, you need to employ some serious buyer beware when looking at on-demand CIO/IT Management services. For every one or two qualified providers, you’re likely to find a few that aren’t so qualified. They may know a little about a lot but not enough about anything to be helpful, let alone what you might pay for them.

One more thing: Egos. If you’re hiring former C-level and management professionals, they might think they know more than you do. Even if they’re right (not likely), they can make things uncomfortable. It takes very special people to have a great deal of knowledge — to know they know more than you do — and not wear it like a badge. You’re better off with people who listen to what you need, take direction from you, and to use their knowledge to help you, rather than to control you.

Do your due diligence, and find the right provider. You’ll get what you need — and only what you pay for.