Given the amount of work that goes into selecting a RMIS—not to mention the investment being made on behalf of the organization—the last thing you want to do is repeat the process in the near future. When interviewed for the CIO magazine article How to Choose the Right Software Vendor, Malcolm Cowley, CEO of the Performance Horizon Group, put it this way: "The last thing CIOs and other technology decision-makers want to be faced with is the need to re-evaluate and invest in a new solution two or three years down the road, when the existing system can't handle the company's emerging needs.”
When evaluating RMIS systems/vendors, assessing scalability and the approach to development should be part of the buying process. Ten Steps for Evaluating and Selecting Software and Service Providers—an article in the ARMA International publication Information Management—points out: “Perhaps the greatest pitfall to avoid is purchasing software that has an initial lower cost but eventually higher maintenance or service and support costs. The true cost of a solution will include implementation and training. Also note that over time, upgrades can contribute significant additional expense to the total investment cost.”
Key Consideration #1: RMIS scalability
Scalability is defined as "an attribute that describes the ability of a process, network, software or organization to grow and manage increased demand." A scalable RMIS is one capable of adapting to meet changing business objectives, allowing for the expansion of existing functionality, bringing on new users, and additional processing power or data storage.
Although a central tenet of software as a service (SaaS), scalability isn’t always free or easily accomplished. As mentioned in Tips for Selecting the Right RMIS, asking a vendor plenty of “‘What if?’ questions provide an understanding of what’s involved in scaling or reconfiguring a RMIS system.”
Key Consideration #2: RMIS development
The Information Management article referenced above recommends that, as part of the evaluation process, buyers ask a vendor about their “history for the delivery and implementation of patches, upgrades, and new versions.” Consider the following as you evaluate a RMIS vendor’s approach to making system improvements via release of new features and enhancements to existing functionality.
Prioritization – How a RMIS vendor orders the development of features and enhancements matters. Do all clients have the ability to weigh in when it comes to what should be considered?
Roadmapping – A long-term product roadmap can be important to a vendor, helping them stay on track as they work to develop solutions and optimize the system. However, blind adherence to a roadmap can stifle the ability to adjust to changes in technology or the risk management landscape. Is the vendor’s roadmap set in stone or are there degrees of flexibility when considering what will be developed in the future?
Release frequency – How often new features or enhancements are rolled out is another key area for consideration. Lengthy periods between releases means users are not able to take advantage of solutions that have the potential to improve existing processes, increase productivity, etc. How often are new features and enhancements released?
User feedback – Infrequent releases also impact the vendor’s ability to begin gathering feedback and refining solutions. While getting a solution right should, without question, be a driving factor, getting new functionality into the hands of users more frequently allows developers to begin to make small adjustments that refine a solution based on real-world use. Can a vendor provide actual examples of how user feedback influenced the development of a feature or functionality?
RMIS scalability and a vendor's approach to development impact how responsive, efficient, and productive your organization can be. By selecting the right RMIS partner, you'll be ready for the challenges that arise both now and in years to come.
Hosted on the powerful and secure AWS cloud services platform, Origami Risk is capable of supporting both organizations with a handful of users, as well TPAs with hundreds of adjusters. Processing power and storage can be added on-demand to ensure peak performance during times or heavy usage, then scaled back down when no longer needed.
On average, Origami releases occur every 8-10 weeks. This rapid development cycle allows clients to begin to taking advantage of solutions and providing feedback that is put to use to further improve tools that contribute to client effectiveness and efficiency in all aspects of managing risk, claims, and insurance data.
To learn more about the scalability of Origami Risk and our approach to development, as well as to see our award-winning RMIS for yourself, submit your contact information to request a demo.