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High tech doesn’t have to mean high spend

It is possible, with the right approach, to build a high-tech platform and architecture without high spend. It just requires identifying the potential sources of bloat from the onset while being disciplined and deliberate—and having the right talent.

Deciding to build in the public cloud, and be entirely a cloud-first environment, was an early decision that is continually proving to be an enabler for our business.

Joyn’s ability to deliver a better insurance experience comes down to our roster of experts with deep roots in the insurance industry and our team of data scientists and technologists who engineered a platform from scratch to bring our vision to life. This technology platform is really our secret sauce; it allows underwriters and our operations team to make better decisions, produce better quality outputs, and provide the benefits that brokers and customers are looking for when they come to Joyn.

Like most young companies, we started with a very tight technology budget—even though our technology is absolutely fundamental to our success. In an age where a simple mobile app can easily balloon into hundreds of thousands of dollars, we had to be smart and deliberate with many of our choices if we were going to maximize efficiencies while creating a powerful architecture.

Keeping our tech spend down was important for a few key reasons. First, reducing unnecessary overhead costs and operating expenses isn’t just good business, it’s an important cornerstone to delivering on our core value proposition. Reducing our operating expenses allows us to spend more on automation, which dramatically simplifies and speeds up what has historically been a long and frustrating process. And it allows us to put more of our limited resources into artificial intelligence and machine learning to better select and assess risks.

In doing all of these things, we—and the brokers who work with us—can write more business. And it allows us to write that business with the speed, efficiency, ease of use, transparency, and consistency that we promise to deliver.

One of the early decisions that has been important in keeping tech spend down was building our platform in the public cloud, eliminating the need to manage our own server infrastructure. This reduces our support burden and allows us to easily and quickly expand our infrastructure, deploy services, or scale our offerings simply by clicking a button. Many of the things that we are able to do—and that the big, legacy companies really struggle with—are only possible because of our entirely cloud-first environment.

Another important early decision was being very thoughtful about the number of vendors we are involved with, and we deliberately use products that are well integrated out of the box. In so doing, we don’t have to spend a lot of time, effort, or money on integrating these products with one another, freeing our technology team up to tackle the real problems that frustrate those seeking insurance.

With such a tight technology budget from the outset, it is critical that we onboard the right people. Every single team member must bring a mastery of core skills to do the job they were hired for, but they must also be adaptable enough to play other positions when needed and have a desire to learn adjacent roles and skills. We also seek professionals who are excited about pushing the limits of what tech can do to power the business with limited redundancy. Like every young company, our team members are all true ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ types at every level of the organization.

Joyn’s goal from day one was to seamlessly integrate insurance and technology expertise to create a better way of providing insurance for clients and customers. And for any technology-powered insurance company, technology has the potential to make up a big part of the overhead costs.

It is possible, with the right approach, to build a high-tech platform and architecture without high spend. It just requires identifying the potential sources of bloat from the onset while being disciplined and deliberate—and having the right talent. In so doing, you can write more business while providing a superior service to your customers.

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