August 4, 2021 The Blues Network & On-Demand Technology Talent

We recently hosted a webinar for BCBS technology leaders. The Blues Network and On-Demand Technology Talent focused on showcasing how practitioners like Paul Hlivko, CTO and CXO of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, can successfully wield on-demand talent.

Led by Topcoder’s Clinton Bonner, VP of Marketing, William Morgenstern, Global Director, Strategic Crowd Accounts, and Chris DeLaurentis Global Director, Innovation, the webinar covered:

  • What on-demand talent is  
  • What kind of projects you can execute with it
  • How it works at the enterprise level
  • What next steps you can take to learn more or begin  

Enjoy a replay and recap with top takeaways below.

Let’s get uncomfortable

The presentation opened with a discussion of the biggest pain points faced by technologists in the Blues network (and beyond): not having the talent available to you when you need it to execute on work. Either because you need specialized skills, or you need more of a certain kind of person.

Location challenges can make recruiting top talent even more difficult. Healthcare is an industry where often the brightest stars go to high-tech companies. All of that creates yet another pain: executional velocity. If you can’t get the right skills off a bench in time working the traditional way, then backlog accumulates and things get delayed. 


Working with Wellmark for the last three years has given us substantial evidence that there is a big place in the market for on-demand talent and gig work. Wellmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association that covers regions throughout Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark’s CTO and CXO Paul Hlivko has proven himself to be a thought leader in the future of work space. He’s finding ways not only to experiment with, but to scale the usage of on-demand talent within a very conservative and highly regulated industry.

An all in talent strategy to avoid disruption

Paul’s solution? Creating a blended workforce that includes not just freelance talent, but a combination of full-time employees (FTE’s), as well as project-based (or contract) workers that cohesively execute projects and fill in gaps as needed. Enterprise crowdsourcing isn’t a panacea or replacement for FTEs, but a resource given to engineers and teams to help make them more powerful and productive. 

With on-demand talent, you can say, ‘Hey, this is an important piece of the puzzle, can you build this for me?’ Your core team can continue to focus on the priority without losing the velocity.” —William Morgenstern


There are two ways that people mainly engage Topcoder. 

  1. Enterprise Crowdsourcing – This is if you want to access a whole litany of skills within a project or several projects. We break work apart into smaller elements and host it on our platform. We provide services for you on top of that platform, and stream that work out to superstars in our community to get it done.
  1. Freelancers on Demand – also called Talent-as-a-service, or TaaS, this is when you want one particular skill set that you have a skills gap for or, or you need a handful of people with particular skills. With TaaS, you get contractors easily onto your work and you manage the work directly yourself. 

When you combine these two ways, we think it offers you extreme flexibility. We have companies that use enterprise crowd for elements of their project, and then talent as a service for other pieces.

To understand how Wellmark fuses crowdsourcing with their existing DevOps workflows while protecting IP, watch the recorded webinar. A lot of times we see customers saying, “Well, you’ll never be able to understand the system. You can’t expose this system. The system’s a legacy system.” We find ways around that every time through obfuscation and clever mocking of existing services. We’ve done work from embedded system chips for a very large telecom to things for investment banks that’s locked up behind multiple layers of encryption and security. We’ve successfully delivered in all those environments through obfuscation, redaction, and mock systems.

To bring it all home, on-demand talent can offer huge benefits to the healthcare industry. You gain the agility to rapidly create, test, and bring to market winning digital solutions. We can help you continually simplify the process of completing projects from start to finish. To learn more about how we help customers in the healthcare space, visit her

Annika Nagy

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