Trust And Confidence Are Keys To Choosing A Web Services Provider
After 40 years in the industry and as the former president and CEO of one of the countrys largest insurers, Ive heard it all. Here are a few examples.
“Our technology will solve that problem for you” (it was a problem the consultant had identified). “Our technology is cutting-edge, no one else is doing this.” “Well get it done on time and within budget.” “We dont quite have it finished, but when we do its going to be great.”
One of the biggest challenges when considering outsourcing partners is determining what is fiction and what is non-fiction. Im not talking about buying a book on technology for $30 at the local bookstore. This is one of the most important investments a company will make, a major capital expenditure that had better have an excellent return on investment.
What Your Peers Are Reading
When meeting with prospective technology partners, try not to listen to what they say about their technology until you know them as business thinkers and managers. Will they be compatible with the culture and philosophy of your organization? Will they be able to succeed with the IT infrastructure that is in place to manage them? How well do they know your business and the real-world environment? How well do they know the insurance businessnot just today, but what we may be facing two or five years down the road? Are they problem-solvers or tech geeks? Do they know what a business strategy is, or do they live in the world of tactics only?
The most critical criteria for evaluating technology vendors are “trust” and “confidence.” Leave it to the CIO and CTO to evaluate the vendors technology and make sure its right for the company.
You want to know if the consultants can recognize risks, if they understand how their technology fits into the companys short- and long-term business objectives, and do they really understand the problems and opportunities the company is facing. Will they be able to integrate their product within the current environment easily? Do they seem like the kind of people who will be able to fit in well with other consultants that are assisting the company, especially when they have to come together to solve a problem?
Then theres the big question as it relates to trust and confidence. If the partner has a particular expertise that is unfamiliar to my organization, do you trust and have enough confidence in the technology solution provider to follow their guidance? If the answer is “no,” then there is no choice but to keep evaluating providers.
One thing every CEO (who is paying attention) knows is that no matter how great the product might be, if the company cannot executeon time, on budget and with no bugsthen the endeavor will be a very costly failure in time and money.