Managed service providers (MSPs) have become a necessity for some insurance companies. MSPs ameliorate the challenge of implementing the latest technology to maintain a competitive advantage and remain compliant. However, some insurance companies will find retaining the services of a MSP is unnecessary. Let's take a quick look at five key considerations to ponder before committing to an MSP.
1) Consider the Monthly Cost
MSPs and insurance companies are alike in that they each require a monthly payment for services rendered. Do not shy away from MSP services simply because your insurance company is hesitant to pay a monthly fee. The services provided by most MSPs are worth the cost and then some. As an example, if your organization needs new applications, upgrades, additional hardware or more computer stations for a month or two, it might be covered by the MSP. Perform a cost-benefit analysis after a couple months of MSP service to determine if it is worth the money.
2) Mind the Service Level Agreement Details
Also known as the SLA, the service level agreement is a contract between the MSP and the insurance company. This contract explains how the provider will respond when tech issues arise. Review the SLA, come to an agreement on terms with the MSP and you will find your team experiences less downtime while enjoying the benefits of highly specialized digital monitoring applications. The SLA provides you with an invaluable peace of mind in that you can move forward knowing tech issues will be addressed as soon as they arise. SLAs also ensure tech equipment is regularly maintained.
3) Accept the Challenge of Finding the Right MSP
Too many insurance companies make the common mistake of hiring the wrong MSP. It is awfully convenient to hire the first MSP you come across. However, the chances of the first MSP you find on the web being worth its keep are slim. Take some time to research local MSPs, read reviews and analyze service offerings. Zero in on MSPs familiar with the needs of entities similar to your insurance company. These tech aficionados should also understand how to restrict access to client data. Do not hesitate to ask candidates if they have served clients similar to your insurance company in the past. If the candidate fails to rattle off several names without delay, do not do business with them.
4) Assess Backup and Disaster Recovery Support
One of the best reasons for insurance companies to ally with a MSP is backup and disaster recovery support, also known as BDR. Preparing and implementing a comprehensive BDR plan with in-house staff would be quite the massive project. If you have no such plan in place, give serious consideration to hiring a MSP to prepare you for the unexpected. Whether it is a hardware failure, a power outage or a flood, all sorts of emergencies are possible. Ally with the right MSP and your system will be restored as quickly as possible so your team can work and your clients can take full advantage of your services.
5) Perform an Honest Assessment of Your Workload
If you are still on the fence as to whether using a MSP is a good idea for your insurance company, step back and assess your business as a whole. Consider whether your plate is full. Between customer retention efforts, maintaining compliance with regulations, managing risk and marketing your insurance company, you likely have more than enough to worry about. The last thing you need to deal with is a network breakdown or another major tech issue.
If your insurance company is like most others in the industry, you might have a few in-house tech staff available for basic maintenance. But a major network issue has the potential to bring your entire operations to a grinding halt. A MSP will regularly monitor and update your company's technology needs so you are armed with the solutions necessary to handle new challenges as they arise.