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Your Make vs. Buy Software Decision Greatly Impacts Your Business Success

Let’s compare off-the-shelf with custom software for insurance adjusting

Key Takeaways:

Your choice of software should be strategic
What works for you now may not work well in the future
At stake are scalability, customer satisfaction, employee retention, and the bottom line
Assess your needs – which solution will meet them best in terms of productivity and growth potential?

One of the most difficult aspects for insurance adjusting firms seeking digital transformation is the decision to make or buy software. It’s a strategic dilemma: Do you develop a custom software solution or purchase an off-the-shelf insurance software solution? What aligns best with your business goals, budget, and long-term operational success? 

There’s a lot at risk. Making the wrong decision can cost you now and later. In this article, we’ll help you make the right decision for your adjusting firm, including assessing business needs and goals, the benefits of custom and off-the-shelf solutions, and how to balance cost, time, and quality when choosing.

The make vs. buy software decision: It’s a strategic choice

In the landscape of insurance adjusting, technology plays a pivotal role in streamlining processes, enhancing efficiency, and ultimately, driving business success. At the heart of this technological evolution lies a critical strategic decision: whether to develop custom software solutions in-house (make) or to opt for off-the-shelf products (buy). This decision carries profound implications for insurance adjusting firms, influencing not only their immediate operational efficiency but also their long-term scalability and competitiveness.

That’s why you need to assess your business needs and goals

Before deciding on custom software for insurance adjusting or buying an existing product, you must deeply understand your business needs and goals. You may think you have it, but businesses evolve, markets change, and where you thought you were going when you first started may be the road to nowhere.

Software is the engine that powers your business. What do you want it to do? Help increase revenue? Boost productivity and efficiency? Do you want to expand into new markets? And you should also take a cold, hard look at the level of customer satisfaction.

Assessing needs and goals helps keep you focused. Although you may feel like you’ve already taken these steps in the past, it’s important to reassess.

  • Define your desired outcome.
  • Analyze workflows and performance.
  • Gather documentation on all current software.
  • Talk to your team – what works and doesn’t work?

Your choice of software solution will determine how big you can get (scalability), how much you can customize to exactly fit the needs of your business and the efficiency and productivity of the end-user experience.

The advantages of custom software (make)

Custom software for insurance adjusting offers the following benefits:

It is exactly tailored to your unique business needs.

Your business isn’t like anyone else’s. What works for them might not work for you. Custom software is specifically designed to meet your business requirements. It is built from scratch to fit specific workflows, processes, and functionalities. This means that it can perfectly align with your overall goals.

Scalability

Custom software can be easily scaled up or down as you grow or contract according to your business needs. It can also be easily expanded to accommodate additional users, features, and data volume. This flexibility allows you to adapt and grow without being constrained by off-the-shelf software limitations.

Integration and Compatibility

Custom software can be seamlessly integrated with your organization’s existing systems or third-party applications. This ensures smoother data flow, eliminates duplicate entries, and streamlines operations. It also vastly reduces the need for manual input and intervention, minimizing errors and improving overall efficiency.

Robust cybersecurity

This is a big one. The growing sophistication of cybercriminals is frightening. Because of its widespread use, off-the-shelf software is a common target for hackers. On the other hand, custom software can be equipped with state-of-the-art security measures tailored specifically to your business needs. This reduces the risk of data breaches and keeps your sensitive information safe.

Cost Effectiveness

While custom software development may require a higher upfront investment and take more time compared to off-the-shelf solutions, it results in long-term cost savings. With custom software, you only pay for the features and functionalities that your business needs, avoiding unnecessary expenses on bloated software packages. It also reduces the need for manual workarounds and boosts productivity, which saves both time and money in the long run.

Support and Maintenance

Custom software development companies provide ongoing support and maintenance for their software. This means that you can rely on their expertise whenever you encounter issues or require updates. Dedicated support ensures that your software remains up-to-date, secure, and free from bugs so you can focus on your core business activities.

Overall, custom software offers a personalized solution that can give your insurance adjusting firm a competitive edge, improve efficiency, and enable innovation. 

The benefits of off-the-shelf solutions (buy)

No stone should remain unturned in the decision to make or buy software. Buying a solution has both advantages and disadvantages.

On the plus side, off-the-shelf software:

  • Has a lower up-front cost
  • Can be installed quickly
  • Can offer a wide range of features
  • Offers ongoing support (usually with an additional cost) and regular updates
  • Some integration capabilities

The other side of the coin:

  • Limited customization
  • No scalability
  • Unnecessary features that make it complex and cluttered and create a bad user experience that impacts productivity.
  • You depend on the software vendor for updates, bug fixes, and ongoing support. You’re stuck if the vendor decides to discontinue or no longer offer support.
  • Security risks. Never assume that because software is popular, it’s secure. Every interconnected app, if not correctly secured, decreases the security posture.

Then, there’s cost. While something off-the-shelf may seem more affordable, they carry additional costs for licensing fees, additional modules or functionalities, ongoing support, and upgrades. These costs accumulate over time, which can make this solution more expensive over time. 

So, which solution is better for your insurance adjusting firm?

The right decision balances cost, time, and quality. This requires a cost-benefit analysis and ROI estimation. To figure this out:

  1. Go back to your assessment – what is the objective to be met with the software?
  2. How much will each solution cost, taking all factors into consideration?
  3. Quantify the benefits that new software will bring to your firm. That can be time savings, productivity improvement, error reduction, and reduced operational costs. Put a monetary value to each of these if possible.
  4. Assess the risks for each solution. Think about implementation issues, compatibility issues, user adoption, and any changes you think may be coming to your business. How will these impact your ROI estimate?
  5. Compare the alternatives using a cost-benefit analysis and ROI estimate for each one. Consider functionality, scalability, long-term viability, and support.

Remember to consider intangible benefits that affect the bottom line, including improved customer satisfaction and employee morale. These qualitative items can significantly impact your ROI. 

Make an informed decision for future success

A make vs. buy software decision can’t be made lightly. You must consider immediate needs and those for the future, and no one knows what the future will bring. Flexibility and adaptability are key. You know you have it in you—make sure your software does, too. 

Choose the best software development partner

At Susco, we specialize in custom claim management systems. We know one-size-fits-all just doesn’t work. We’ll partner with you to make things faster, better, and stronger than before. We can do full project development or work with your internal team.

For more than a decade, our dedicated team of web and application developers has built intuitive software for innovative organizations, providing solutions that perfectly align with business goals. Discover what we can do for you. Contact us today to schedule your free one-hour assessment.

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