Humana and Aetna are deep-pocketed insurers. Destiny Health is funded by a deep-pocketed insurer, and Definity Health is a 4-year-old startup that relies solely on venture capital. Despite these radically different starting points, the CIOs of all these companies have built the technology that drives their new health-care plans in remarkably similar ways. The lessons here are universally applicable to any industry where CRM and customization will play a role. They are:Start simple so that you can move quickly. "We focused on getting the bare minimum working," says Deborah Casurella, CIO of Definity Health in St. Louis Park, Minn. "The interface was basic. Everything was basic. I told the company we\u2019ll pretty it up later. The first order of business was making sure we could process claims accurately."That doesn\u2019t mean don\u2019t have a plan. Even as Casurella threw her plan together, she knew she would have to rearchitect her data model to prepare the system for scaling to thousands of customers. CIOs must also plan policies for protecting confidential data, such as prescriptions, online. Then there\u2019s long-term planning: "I\u2019m planning infrastructure so that sometime down the road when you need a physical you\u2019ll be able find out what you\u2019ll pay at five different local providers," says David W. Goltz, CFO and interim CIO of Destiny Health in Bethesda, Md."Partner before you buy. Buy before you build." So says Bruce Goodman, CIO at Louisville, Ky.-based Humana, who relies on no fewer than eight partnerships, chiefly one with EDS for core systems. Whatever building he did came in the Web design arena.Build to scale. It\u2019s no use moving fast if you\u2019re building to support a limited number of users for a pilot and, once successful, realize the system won\u2019t scale. Goodman has already rolled out his system to 14,000 employees and hopes it will eventually be used by millions. Goltz relies on an Oracle-Sun Microsystems combination he keeps flexible. "We can scale it quickly; we can change it quickly," he says."Don\u2019t box me in." Says Casurella: "We\u2019ve changed and evolved in 18 months more than even I imagined. I won\u2019t box myself into a technological corner. I have to think about where IT will be in three months."