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Perhaps outdated technology or the need for functionality that can handle changes to risk management practices means your existing RMIS has outlived its usefulness. Or, based on recent developments, you may be taking proactive steps in the face of the uncertainties that come with the acquisition of your RMIS vendor. Regardless of why you’re looking to change systems, one thing is certain — you don’t want to have to go through the process again any time soon.

When evaluating RMIS vendors, consider the following factors to reduce the likelihood that you’ll encounter the unexpected when it comes to getting a new RMIS up and running. This can help ensure that you avoid hidden costs months — or even years — down the road.

  • Vendor experience impacts system implementation and data migration
  • Compatibility with other systems matters
  • User productivity is affected by training and system usability
  • Ongoing maintenance can come with a price tag

A looming contract expiration date with your current RMIS vendor, or the potential of being pushed into a system or service model not of your own choosing, may indeed mean that you must move quickly. Conversely, vendors may assure you, “Don't worry, nothing will change," all the while burning up time that could be spent planning for a migration. In either case, examining these factors puts you in a better position to identify the right RMIS partner and proactively map out your technology path.

#1 The importance of vendor experience with system implementation and data migration

When implementing a new RMIS system, delays and the need for rework are everyone’s worst nightmare. Time is wasted. Support from the C-suite wanes. There are questions to be answered. Involving users at the outset of the project and clearly communicating realistic expectations can contribute to ensuring implementation goes as smoothly (and as quickly) as possible and that you reach go-live with a RMIS that exceeds expectations. The most critical element to consider is the experience and knowledge of the team that will be working to implement the system and migrate your data.

When it comes to implementation, is the vendor able to demonstrate their ability to fully understand your organization’s business needs? Rather than a focus on simply checking off deliverables, are they capable of partnering with you to offer insights that not only keep the implementation process moving, but also sure that you’re taking full advantage of your new system’s potential? How experienced is the vendor under consideration when it comes to migrating data from the RMIS systems? More than making an investment in technology, alone, you’re investing in the people that support that technology.

#2 Incompatibility with other systems comes with a cost

Whether it’s a payroll, accounting, or HR system developed by a third-party or in-house, chances are your organization has already invested heavily in software used by other departments. Ensuring that the RMIS under consideration provides flexible options for integration with those systems reduces the likelihood that additional money will need to be spent on developing custom solutions that make the exchange of critical data possible.

#3 Productivity is impacted by system usability and training

You’ve made it through initial implementation and users encounter the system for the first time. What happens next? Even if your previous system had its limitations, the reality is that your organization's power users more than likely “knew” that system inside and out. When it comes to user adoption of a new system, a slowdown in productivity can be a legitimate concern.

While a system’s “bells and whistles” can certainly be appealing (and in many cases can significantly improve your approach to certain processes), intuitive, easy-to-use features will likely have a far greater impact on how the system is used on a day-to-day basis. Is the system flexible enough to mirror some of your existing workflows and screens? Will the new system require a significant amount of training? If so, how does a vendor approach providing training to users?

#4 Consider the cost of ongoing maintenance

Understanding what might be involved in making changes to the system in the future to account for the evolution of your organization’s risk management needs is important. The ease with which the system can be configured means that changes can be made quickly, as needed.

When it comes to the configurability of RMIS software, is it possible to make changes on-the-fly? In some cases, changes may require a member of the vendor’s support team. Will these changes require submitting a ticket and waiting? Are you going to be asked to pay additional fees when these changes are needed? Or are changes likely to be something that a system administrator can do themselves? A long-term view is critical to success. After all, you’re not only investing in the right system for where your organization is now, you’re also purchasing the system you’ll be using in the future.

#5 Assessing vendor claims

As you are going through the process of researching options, you’ll likely notice that each vendor claims that their system and their approach to the service is the best. You may feel the need to move quickly. However, moving too quickly comes with the risk of being backed into a corner. The question becomes, how do you cut through the noise?

Independent buyers’ guides such as the RMIS review can be a good place to start. With scoring based on RFIs submitted by vendors and more than 1,000 user survey responses, the RMIS Report assesses system-wide functionality, customer experience, and the implementation experience of users for each vendor. Reviewing product videos available on vendor websites can also provide a sense of a vendor’s approach to implementation and migration, compatibility and system usability, and the versatility of the system as a whole.

Finally, speaking with users who’ve switched vendors can be the best point of reference. Their experience with a RMIS system, the transition from one vendor to another, and the support they’ve received as they’ve moved forward is likely to speak volumes as you decide which is the right system and the right partner for you.

Origami Risk offers a highly-configurable RMIS solution supported by a team of industry veterans with tremendous risk and insurance experience. From implementation to ongoing service, Origami Risk professionals are dedicated to taking a consultative approach helping our clients achieve success.

If you're feeling uncertain about the future of your RMIS, we invite you to contact us for a no-obligation conversation with an Origami Risk team member.