It’s a perennial question that corporations must answer; should they build their own software or buy it? The answer often depends upon a company’s needs or industry. However, when deciding whether or not to build proprietary software, insurance companies should consider many things including the time it would take, the cost, the user experience, and the true cost of customization. I have outlined below some of these considerations in more detail.

First, let’s take a look at the time required to build your own platform.

When committing to building in-house it could take up to 2 years to see the technology go live in its full capacity. There are so many factors that need to be taken into account, such as the lengthy process of implementing a complex technological architecture, the ability to figure out and deliver optimal user experiences and the time it would take to maintain and improve on platform features. Compared to buying a SaaS platform which would see you go live within a matter of weeks because you can leverage existing architectures and infrastructures. Launching quickly means generating revenues significantly faster as well as gaining insights and learnings within weeks instead of years.

Next, the costs associated with building a platform internally are significantly higher than buying a platform.

You’ll need to factor in a major portion of your budget for dedicated internal software development and project management teams. One of the big factors to look at is the ability to hire and retain top-level talent internally. The financial risks of not having the best team in place could be astronomical. It is extremely common to see internal software development costs grow way over budget and there are always unforeseen costs when you are building something new. Paying for tests, security patches, performance issues, and setup and hosting costs are essential but provide little tangible value to customers and are all avoidable by buying a SaaS platform from an InsurTech. When you buy a platform you benefit from the economies of scale. You drastically reduce your development and operational costs, deliver products in other channels and easily test new markets.

A big aspect that is quite difficult to master when building internally is the customer experience.

Keeping up with advances in consumer expectations is almost impossible unless you have a dedicated team working towards this. As we covered above, building internally can be lengthy and by the time the platform is delivered, there’s a strong chance the customer experience might be outdated and not solving for today’s customer’s needs. By buying a platform you can evolve with their needs. You will always be able to provide the type of consumer experience that is demanded today, be continuously iterating on and improving the consumer journey and, most importantly, be at the forefront of emerging technology trends and highest security practices.

Finally, we need to take into account customization.

Most would argue that building internally allows for more customization and ensures that you have something 100% tailored to your needs. However, doing so means you are accountable for all development aspects. This means taking the time to create internal expertise and onboarding, training and keeping all employees who are on the project. And let’s not forget the huge hurdle of coordinating and aligning internal teams. All of this can be avoided by buying an API-driven platform. You have the ability to integrate white-label solutions to your existing digital properties, offer custom experiences while leveraging off-the-shelf features and use personalized data dashboards to improve on your ROI.

Partnering with a technology-first company like Breathe Life ensures that you can be in the market faster, spend less money doing so, always be meeting the needs of the modern consumer and not need to spend time worrying about internal teams and expertise. Interested in learning more about how we can help? Reach out —