What Should an Advisory Service Provide?
A good advisory service should be able to help you find services, software and consulting firms that are right for you.
Most advisory services today are great resources. They maintain significant data on various vendors, etc. They have relationships with these vendors and can help broker a deal with the right vendor. One or two of these advisory have nothing but hard-core insurance people running the show.
So, what is the big issue here? Well, some are a bit biased in their recommendation because they are paid by the very vendors they recommend. In other words, the software and IT services vendor "pay to play" with the advisory companies.
Now, I am not condemning the advisory industry. They need a model to help fund their organizations so they can stay in business. They provide a very important service to the industry. I just want you to understand how it works.
So, what should an advisory do for you? Here are a few bullet items:
1. Help match core systems software to your needs
2. Help match IT services to your needs
3. Give you insight into the future of the insurance industry
4. Give you insight into what your competitors are doing
5. Help open a dialogue with chosen vendors
6. Provide insight into emerging technologies
Now, I know several companies out there that call themselves "advisory" companies but they are nothing but deal brokers. They take paying IT services vendors and match them up with clients. The clients usually don't know that the advisory is matching them up only with paying vendors. These advisory companies also act as bid management firms and run the bidding process for the client. If you work with a firm of this type, just be aware of how their business model works.
Let me know what you think of this article.