Recent outsourcing deals have caused a resounding buzz within the executive suites of many insurers. Prominent vendors are proposing seductive deals with no up-front cost, immediate and dramatic savings, and most recently, computing on demand. Some executives see it as a silver bullet that will drive substantial and sustainable cost reduction along with measurable improvements in performance.Far from a new idea, this is a rocky road that many companies have been traveling down for decades. History has shown that for every raging success, there is a bone-crushing failure and most deals fall in between these extremes.

Will companies be any more successful today in capturing the Holy Grail of a successful outsourcing arrangement than in the past? Perhaps, but it would be prudent to heed the lessons learned from the many historical deals, both good and bad.

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