A Perspective of Insurance and Assurance
Article By: Rich Silva – Founder – Pain Point IT Solutions, Inc.
Here at Pain Point IT Solutions, we provide our clients with IT assurance. However, many view what we are offering as insurance. That is a good thing and a bad thing. I always like to refer to definitions when writing because once we have a grasp of what the words we are using really mean, then it's easier to comprehend the differences.
to guarantee against loss or harm
to declare earnestly to; inform or tell positively; state with confidence to
How People Generally View Insurance
I have a lot of people that I know that sell insurance. It's a tough gig because while prospective people know they should have insurance to guarantee against loss or harm, they find it difficult to ascertain how much insurance they need. When they take the time to try and learn about what they need, they get confused, frustrated and then fall back to the one thing they do understand and hits closer to home and that is PRICE. No one wants to get "ripped off" by the insurance person, so they shy away from them, not realizing that there could be some real value there versus the high road and easy "few minutes will save you x percentage" bait that most fall for. This is why advertising based on PRICE by the bigger insurance companies (you know who they are) works so well and why they market based on PRICE. In fact, if I asked any 10 of you to name 3 insurance companies off the cuff, most would name the 3 of the 4 big ones they see advertising on TV with funny commercials and not a local company, even if they use them for their business. What this tells me is that the public is fixated on the PRICE war involved with insurance and not the value.
This has a direct correlation to what we do here at Pain Point IT Solutions. While we don't sell "Insurance policies", we do offer solutions that will guarantee against loss or harm of your data. People understand the concept of insuring your data. However since there are so many options available and many don't understand the differences between them (go ahead; do a google search for data backup - it's overwhelming); they get confused, frustrated and fall back to PRICE as their main decision factor. They do this despite knowing that they are not qualified, willing, or have the time or discipline to maintain this solution that they decided on. But it's done; so who cares? Well; I do. This is because if you had a few minute conversation with me, I could show you the value in having a system that not only backs up your data, but is also watched by someone with the discipline necessary to make sure things are working. Most of you who are reading this understand the differences and correlation between value versus price and are willing to pay for value.
How People Generally View Assurance
Looking back at one part of the definition of assurance; "state with confidence to". Does it ever make anyone feel good to say otherwise? No one likes to feel like they don't understand something; in fact some people get down right nasty and frustrated when you explain something to them that you fully understand, but they do not (like it's your fault they don't get it). I've even witnessed a very skilled and articulate network engineer who I worked with a few years ago try to explain a technical project proposal to a supervisor who wasn't "getting it" and the supervisor look into the engineers face and yell "Are you purposely trying to confuse me?" We didn't get the the budget or approval for the project; but I digress. It's human nature to get frustrated when you can't be confident about something.
This too has a direct correlation to what we do here at Pain Point IT Solutions. We market what we do as Assurance for IT Essentials such as data backup and anti-virus. From our view, we are stating to our potential audience that we will provide you with a positive declaration intended to give confidence that your data backup and anti-virus systems that you paid for are working as they should be. From the "how people generally view assurance" side of things, what we are stating is that since you don't understand this stuff, let us do it for you. A much different spin on the same message and certainly not our intention.
The Bottom Line
It's your responsibility to make an informed decision about how your company or organizations data, computer systems, and network are insured; that is to guarantee against loss or harm. It is your responsibility to assure that systems are in place to do this; that is to declare earnestly to; inform or tell positively; state with confidence to. It is not the responsibility of the IT department, your IT Technician, your IT Friend, or the IT person you found on craigslist for bottom dollar to kick start you into a mode where you insure and assure the one thing you produce every day; that is data. Do you have insurance that covers you for the year or do you wait until something goes wrong and then pay to have it resolved? Of course not, you and your business are always covered by insurance, so why isn't your companies data covered properly?
Together, we can put solutions in place at your company or organization that will help recover your data and servers as quickly as possible. Together, we can put solutions in place that provide you with assurance that someone is dedicated to watching these things and making sure they are working as they should. If after we speak about a solution and you say "no", that's fine; know that you have the benefit of having a person you can come to when you need advice from an experienced IT person. One who will be frank and friendly about what is observed; just as you are with your customers or clients.
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