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Global Insurers Expected To Increase IT Spend to Over US$100 Billion in 2015: IDC Financial Insights

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Global Insurers Expected To Increase IT Spend to Over US$100 Billion in 2015: IDC Financial Insights

Singapore and Hong Kong, January 15, 2015 – IDC Financial Insights reveals that global insurers will increase IT spending to almost US$101 billion in 2015, a Year-on-Year (YoY) increase of 4.4% compared to 2014, with rigorous investments in technologies to boost efficiencies and innovation.

This was unveiled in the recently published report by IDC Financial Insights, “Global Insurance 2015 Top 10 Predictions: Perils and Prospects for the New Year” (January 2015, IDC Financial Insights Doc #AP250896), that presents its top 10 perspectives on the perils and prospects for the global consumer and commercial, life and non-life insurance markets for 2015.

Li-May Chew, CFA, associate research director, and global lead for IDC Financial Insights’ Worldwide Insurance Advisory Service, sees investments centering around new core applications development and management such as data warehousing, claims and policy administration systems. These replacements or refreshes are required as legacy IT systems become increasingly complex, inflexible, and archaic, to the point of negatively affecting technology integration and interoperability.

Insurers are further spending on change transformation and business optimization initiatives to augment productivity and support intermediaries, as well as in knowledge management, business analytics and customer relationship management applications to improve underwriting insights, raise customer centricity and intimacy. Also critical is the need to enhance not just the intermediated distribution channels comprised of insurance agents, brokers and bancassurance, but also newer, disintermediated digital portals of the Internet, social platforms and mobile delivery.

“Global insurers need to know where and how to seek pockets of growth amidst economic uncertainty. In order to regroup and focus on sustainable, profitable growth, organizations will have to confront multiple perils – ranging from reengineering or rebuilding legacy applications, to countering mounting insurance fraud – and still ensure they are well positioned to embrace growth prospects as these present themselves.”

“We expect the global insurance industry to invest more rigorously in technologies, and project global IT investments rising to almost US$101 billion this year as these support campaigns to boost efficiencies and innovation. Geographically, the emerging markets continue to shine. While cumulated spending for these nations may still be a comparatively smaller US$19 billion, this will rise at a 3-year CAGR of 6.7% between 2015 to 2018, which is double that of mature nations,” says Chew.

She expects the 3-year CAGR in mature nations to be 3.1% and globally to be 3.8%.

Herein, IDC Financial Insights sees especially noteworthy IT developments within the insurance sectors of the Big Five BRICS economies (of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina in LATAM; and the Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Chew added that insurers are cognizant that strategic execution needs to be technology-enabled and are hence proactively embracing technology-driven innovation. She is thus confident that their budgets for such deployments will continue to rise alongside, and oftentimes, quicker than annual premiums growth.

Continue Reading…

Technology’s biggest challenge is how to connect with people

South China Morning Post

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life

The word “technology” leaves many people cold, but its pervasive presence in daily life is only going to make it even more important.

Individuals, businesses, governments and countries are completely dependent on information technology to drive greater productivity and efficiencies.

The challenge for the information technology industry is how to make this dependence more enjoyable and intuitive for users to access content and applications.

This is imperative because in 2015, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life. The premise for IoT is that devices of any nature can now be interconnected and used to communicate with each other or with humans in real-time, enabling a raft of new possibilities around data, new ways of interacting and new services.

IoT will be big in 2015, with research firm Gartner predicting 4.9 billion “connected things” to be in use, up 30 per cent from 2014.

Every possible device imaginable is being connected in some way, from Bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes to medical devices, cameras, printers and of course the many wearables that are hitting the market. The reality of a hyper-connected world is here today.

In the business world, Gartner predicts IoT will digitize everything and enable any industry to manage, monetize, operate and extend products, services and data.

Researchers at IDC make similar predictions, forecasting rapid expansion of the traditional IT industry into areas not typically viewed as within IT’s universe.

The whole electronics industry, city-wide infrastructure, auto and transport systems as well as the home, are just a few examples of where IoT is disrupting operations today.

IDC predicts that IoT spending will exceed US$1.7 trillion in 2015, up 14 per cent from 2014, and will hit US$3 trillion by 2020. One-third of spending for intelligent embedded devices will come from outside of the IT and telecom industries.

“This amounts to a dramatic expansion of what we would consider IT,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC.

This implies a fundamental commitment to innovate and explore new applications of technology with the potential to transform how we live and work – whether through the rapid rise of mobile applications, or the increasingly myriad interactions between machines and human users.

 

Continue Reading…

2015 IDC Directions: Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era

 2015 IDC Directions: Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era

  • For nearly a decade, IDC has predicted, chronicled, and analyzed the industry’s remarkable shift to its 3rd Platform for innovation and growth, built on cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data and analytics technologies. Over 100% of IT spending growth and virtually all strategic new IT investments in the enterprise are already being built on 3rd Platform technologies and solutions.  Join us for Directions 2015, as our analysts set the groundwork and help guide your future as we enter the most critical period yet in the 3rd Platform era — the Innovation Stage. With such high stakes and the 3rd Platform’s ability to enable business model transformation, the disruption, opportunity, and risk will be intense in both established and emerging markets. Register today and engage IDC analysts, via sessions and intimate sit-down opportunities, as they continue to lead the way in understanding every dimension of the 3rd Platform era and its impact on your success.

  • Event Theme, Dates and Locations –
    Directions 2015
    Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era
    March 4, 2015 • San Jose Convention Center • San Jose, California
    March 18, 2015 • John B. Hynes Convention Center • Boston, Massachusetts

  • Directions 2015 informational website:  www.idc.com/directions

    www.idc.com/directions/sanjose15
    www.idc.com/directions/boston15
  • Early bird rate is $495 through Feb 5, 2015… and the standard $895 after that
     2015 IDC Directions: Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era

Infographic: What is Content Marketing?

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Infographic: What is Content Marketing?

If you looked away for a split second you may have missed the rise of Content Marketing from “buzz word” to “must have”. In fact, at the beginning of 2014 CMOs at the largest technology companies reported that “Building out content marketing as an organizational competency” was the 2nd most important initiative, only behind measuring ROI. Since then, they have responded by putting more budget, staff, and energy into the area, yet there is still confusion around the topic. What exactly is Content Marketing? Is it a type of marketing asset? Is it a process or a technique? Or something else?

IDC’s CMO Advisory Service, has seen this issue first hand and to help remedy the situation the group has  published a document, What Is Content Marketing? IDC Defines One of Marketing’s Most Critical New Competencies. Included within is a formal definition for Content Marketing.

 

Read more on clear guidelines and processes on how to execute new and exciting practices like Content Marketing
Marketing Assets Final Infographic: What is Content Marketing?

The rise of China’s smartphone makers

CITEworld

After Apple and Samsung, which companies are selling the most smartphones around the globe?

If you guessed a growing group of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, you would be correct.

Most Americans know little about the emerging Chinese smartphone makers, let alone how to pronounce some of their names. Most of these handsets are unlikely to be seen in use by U.S. customers, at least for now.

Yet, these Chinese companies, with names like Huawei, Xiaomi, Coolpad, Lenovo, ZTE, and even Alcatel (which is now part of TCL Corp., a Chinese electronics company) are having a big impact both inside China and in emerging economies.

These companies mostly sell unlocked smartphones that run the Android mobile operating system. They usually charge much lower off-contract prices than Apple and Samsung, and they’re beginning to challenge some of the world’s traditional smartphone makers.

Globally, Huawei of Shenzhen, China, was the No. 3 smartphone maker in terms of revenue in the third quarter of 2014. Huawei was well behind Apple and Samsung, but in a virtual tie with LG Electronics of Seoul, South Korea, according to Infonetics Research.

2014 infonetics 3q14 smartphone vendor 100535906 large.idge The rise of Chinas smartphone makersInfonetics
While Apple and Samsung are still the smartphone sales leaders, Chinese vendors such as Huawei and Lenovo are growing in influence.

Meanwhile, market research firm IDC reported that newcomer Xiaomi, which is based in Beijing, shipped the third-most smartphones to retailers in the third quarter. Xiaomi was just ahead of Lenovo, also based in Beijing, which was in fourth place but virtually tied with LG. Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments jumped an amazing 211% year over year, reaching 17.3 million units, according to IDC.

Out of the top 17 smartphone makers globally in the third quarter, 10 were based in China, according to Strategy Analytics. Xiaomi ranked third in total production, and Huawei ranked fifth. The rest of the Chinese group in Strategy Analytics’ top 17 included Lenovo, ZTE, TCL Alcatel, Lenovo (formerly Motorola under Google), Coolpad, Oppo, Vivo, Micromax and Tionee.

“The Chinese vendors are absolutely having an impact on many smartphone brands that have to compete with low-cost Chinese smartphones,” said Ken Hyers, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.

“People in the U.S. don’t even know who these Chinese companies are,” added John Byrne, an analyst at Infonetics.

“I was just in China recently, and you see phones in use with labels I’m not even familiar with,” Byrne said. “It was an eye-opener. Especially in Asia, there’s a much larger variety of phones in use and not the duopoly of Samsung and Apple that we have in the U.S.”

Continue reading… 

IDC Directions 2015 Event

Screen Shot 2014 12 22 at 3.35.20 PM IDC Directions 2015 Event

Prepare for the opportunities ahead! Join us for

Directions 2015
Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era
www.idc.com/Directions

San Jose, CA ~ Wed, March 4, 2015 ~ click to register
Boston, MA ~ Wed, March 18, 2015 ~ click to register

For 50 years, IDC’s annual Directions conference has been delivering an informative and actionable overview of the issues shaping the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

And for nearly a decade, IDC has predicted, chronicled, and analyzed the industry’s remarkable shift to its 3rd Platform for innovation and growth, built on cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data and analytics technologies. Over 100% of IT spending growth and virtually all strategic new IT investments in the enterprise are already being built on 3rd Platform technologies and solutions.

Join us for Directions 2015, where a full day of analyst sessions will set the groundwork and help guide your future as we enter the most critical period yet in the 3rd Platform era – the Innovation Stage. In 2015, we’ll see an explosion of innovation and value creation, as well as a new wave of core technologies – “Innovation Accelerators” – that radically expand the 3rd Platform’s capabilities and applications. The goal will be nothing less than the reinvention – and continuous transformation – of every industry on the planet.

IDC’s 10 Predictions for CMOs for 2015

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 IDCs 10 Predictions for CMOs for 2015

By, Kathleen Schaub

What does IDC predict for tech CMOs and their teams in 2015 and beyond?

Sunrise%2B1 IDCs 10 Predictions for CMOs for 2015

Our recent report IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CMO / Customer Experience 2015 Predictionshighlights insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. Here’s a summary.

1: 25% of High-Tech CMOs Will Be Replaced Every Year Through 2018
There are two dominant drivers behind the increased CMO turnover over the past two years. One driver centers on the cycle of new product innovations, new companies, and new CMO jobs. The second (but equal) driver centers around the required “fit” for a new CMO in the today’s tumultuous environment and the short supply of CMOs with transformational skill sets.

Guidance: Everyone in the C-Suite needs to “get” modern marketing to make the CMO successful.

2: By 2017, 25% of Marketing Organizations Will Solve Critical Skill Gaps by Deploying Centers of Excellence
The speed of marketing transformation and the increased expectations on marketing have left every marketing organization in need of updating its skill sets. In the coming years, CMOs will not only have to recruit and train talent but also create organizational structures that amplify and share best practices. Leading marketing organizations will become masters of the centers of excellence (CoE).

Guidance: Get out of your traditional silos and collaborate.

3: By 2017, 15% of B2B Companies Will Use More Than 20 Data Sources to Personalize a High-Value Customer Journey
Personalization requires a lot of data. CMOs do not suffer from a lack of data — quite the contrary. Today’s marketer has dozens, if not hundreds, of sources available. However, companies lack the time, expertise, and financial and technical resources to collect data, secure it, integrate it, deliver it, and dig through it to create actionable insights. This situation is poised for dramatic change.

Guidance: One of your new mantras must be – “do it for the data”.

4: By 2018, One in Three Marketing Organizations Will Deliver Compelling Content to All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
CMOs reported to IDC that “building out content marketing as an organizational competency” was their #2 priority (ROI was #1). Content marketing is what companies must do when self-sufficient buyers won’t talk to sales people. While it’s easy to do content marketing; it’s hard to do content marketing well. The most progressive marketing organizations leverage marketing technology and data to develop a buyer-centric content strategy.

Guidance: Remember that it’s the buyer’s journey – not your journey for the buyer.

5: In 2015, Only One in Five Companies Will Retool to Reach LOB Buyers and Outperform Those Selling Exclusively to IT
IDC research shows that line-of-business (LOB) buyers control an average of 61% of the total IT spend. LOB buyers are harder to market to and are even more self-sufficient than technical buyers. To succeed with this new buyer, tech CMOs must move more quickly to digital, incorporate social, broaden the types of content, and enable the sales team to maximize their limited time in front of the customer.

Guidance: Worry less about how much video is in your plan and worry more about your message.

6: By 2016, 50% of Large High-Tech Marketing Organizations Will Create In-House Agencies
Advertising agencies have been slow to recognize the pervasive nature of digital. While many digital agencies exist and many have been acquired by the global holding companies, these interactive services typically managed as just another part of the portfolio of services the agency offers. Modern marketing practitioners realize that digital is now in the DNA of everything they do and are ahead of their agencies.

Guidance: Don’t wait. Take the lead.

Continue reading… 

 

2015 Will See Many Asia Pacific Internet of Things Solutions and Vendors Move Beyond the Hype, While Others Head Back to the Drawing Board

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 2015 Will See Many Asia Pacific Internet of Things Solutions and Vendors Move Beyond the Hype, While Others Head Back to the Drawing Board

International Data Corporation (IDC) envisions 2015 will be the year when Internet of Things (IoT) starts to deliver against the hype, but it will require vendors and customers alike to change their approach.

“Companies are always looking for ways to drive business transformation, deliver competitive differentiation and enhance the customer experience, and many are now realizing that the Internet of Things can help them deliver against these goals,” says Charles Reed Anderson, AVP, Head of Mobility and Internet of Things, IDC Asia/Pacific.

Anderson explains that 2014 has seen an explosion of new IoT-related solutions, including consumer wearables, smart home products and industrial IoT solutions.

“More importantly, however, is that 2014 has seen the maturing of the wider IoT technology vendor ecosystem, which helped ensure we have the capabilities to deploy complex IoT solutions today and deliver tangible value to governments, enterprise and consumers alike.”

Drawing from the latest IDC research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC’s regional and country analysts, the following are the top 10 key IoT predictions that IDC believes will have the biggest impact on the APeJ IoT industry in 2015.

1) IoT to create new markets for retail brands

During the past year, IDC has witnessed an explosion in the consumer wearables market with new fitness bands, smart watches and smart clothing being launched from traditional OEM vendors and a multitude of tech startups and 3rd platform-born players.

IDC believes that 2015 will see an influx of consumer IoT embedded into consumer retail brands/ products. Partnerships between IoT vendors (including ODM/OEM vendors) and non-tech consumer goods’ brands will emerge rapidly to create a sizable market opportunity for the IT industry.

2) Smart Watches: Early adopters will be the only adopters…for now

New smart watches will be launched on an almost weekly basis from the leading global device manufacturers, the Chinese and Taiwanese ODM vendors and tech start-ups. While interest levels are high, IDC believes the early technology adopters will be the only adopters in 2015. The combination of the small screen size, immature application developer ecosystem, and limited functionality will prevent this from reaching the wider consumer market in 2015.

3) Wearables enter the enterprise

Basic wearables, which include devices fitness bands and clips that cannot load 3rd party software, will find a lucrative new market in enterprise customers. Employee tracking, integration into corporate wellness programs, and the creation of new business models that leverage basic wearables, especially fitness bands, to enhance the customer experience will see significant adoption in 2015.

4) Free services to drive consumer IoT adoption

There is a limit to how many consumer wearable products and services consumers will be willing to purchase. In 2015, IDC believes companies will start to offer free products and services to specific customer demographic groups, but they will insist they “own” the data that is produced by the devices. This data will then be leveraged to deliver personalized marketing and drive sales or sold to 3rd parties (regulation permitting).

5) Emergence of the glass solution provider

Connected glass devices will struggle in the consumer market, however, the enterprise business case exists for many industries, particularly those industries (e.g. major equipment manufacturers) that employ large workforces that spend considerable time at customer sites for training as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. IDC expects some large equipment manufacturers to build out their internal capabilities and partner ecosystems to become a glass solution provider and to reduce their considerable travel costs.

6) Industrial IoT: Businesses “talk big”, but deploy practically

Most industries believe that IoT will forever change the way their industry operates, however, ongoing concerns about both up-front (CapEx) and ongoing (OpEx) costs as well as potential security and privacy issues will ensure the deployment of “practical” solutions in 2015. Customers will focus on deploying solutions that deliver quick impact and return on investment (e.g. energy management solutions) and leverage the cost savings generated to fund more dynamic solutions going forward.

See all ten predictions… 

What is Content Marketing? IDC’s Definition of Content Marketing

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 What is Content Marketing? IDCs Definition of Content Marketing

By, Sam Melnick

If you looked away for a split second you may have missed the rise of Content Marketing from “buzz word” to “must have”. In fact, at the beginning of 2014 CMOs at the largest technology companies reported that “Building out content marketing as an organizational competency” was the 2nd most important initiative, only behind measuring ROI. Since then, they have responded by putting more budget, staff, and energy into the area, yet there is still confusion around the topic. What exactly is Content Marketing? Is it a type of marketing asset? Is it a process or a technique? Or something else?


IDC’s CMO Advisory Service, has seen this issue first hand and to help remedy the situation the group has  published a document, What Is Content Marketing? IDC Defines One of Marketing’s Most Critical New Competencies. Included within is a formal definition for Content Marketing.

IDC’s Definition of Content Marketing

Content marketing is any marketing technique whereby media and published information (content) are used to influence buyer behavior and stimulate action leading to commercial relationships. Optimally executed content marketing delivers useful, relevant information assets that buyers consider a beneficial service rather than an interruption or a “pitch.”

What is Included Within Content Marketing?

A definition is a great start, but the question that follows is, “What is, and is not Content Marketing?” To help marketers become more grounded in this definition of content marketing the CMO Advisory Service has also published a guide for “Types of Marketing Assets.” In the graphic below you can see the break out of marketing assets into three categories:

  • Content Marketing Assets
  • Product Marketing Assets
  • Corporate Marketing Assets

Each is important to the company and within the marketing mix, but only content marketing is new in purpose and new in form. Also, key to remember is Content Marketing Assets are not replacements for Product Marketing Assets or Corporate Marketing Assets.

Types%2Bof%2BMarketing%2BAssets What is Content Marketing? IDCs Definition of Content Marketing

 

Meet the Virtual Sales Rep

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Meet the Virtual Sales Rep

By, Kathleen Schaub

Air%2BTraffic%2BControl Meet the Virtual Sales Rep

Robert sits in an office near Provo, Utah at what looks like the console of an air traffic controller. But instead of directing jets through the airspace, he’s using Twitter to guide a software company’s buyer through her decision-journey. Part marketer, part sales, part tech service, Robert is one of an emerging breed of “virtual” sales reps. Could this be the dream team that B2B has been waiting for?

The B2B “Genius Bar”® as a Role Model

The “virtual” sales rep role in its ideal form provides the personalized, anticipatory, service of a five-star hotel. Think of it as the B2B version of an Apple Genius Bar – using virtual tools. The Apple executive team modeled the Genius Bar after Ritz-Carlton’s customer service. Hallmarks of this exemplary concierge service include a personal touch; a warm, friendly, attitude; and attention to satisfying customer needs at every step. Sales expert Anneke Seley says the “virtual” sales rep culture is a far-cry from the historical “me and my quota” rep.

Sales teams are finally coming to grips with digital age facts. The culture shift recognizes that engagement must be sensitive to the appropriate stage of the buyer’s decision-journey. “Buyers aren’t ready to buy until they are ready to buy”. Marketers all know by now that buyers prefer self-sufficiency and they avoid talking to sales people until the decision-journey is substantially complete.  IDC research shows that for tech products averages this distance averages about 50%. Now sales is also starting to appreciate that buyers are alienated when by placed prematurely into the arena. At the same time sales leaders don’t want to waste an expensive sales resource on someone who isn’t ready to buy.

Digital May Not be Enough

Content marketing is what companies must do to fill the gap when buyers won’t talk to traditional sales people.  Content marketing is a hugely important communication strategy and companies will not be successful without mastering it.

Yet, for B2B companies, a completely digital engagement solution may not ever be the right answer. For one thing, content marketing capabilities in most companies is still ramping. Even when content marketing becomes excellent, digital may never be personal enough. Some B2B solutions are so complex, customized, or require so much trust that a human must intervene for the buyer to be truly served.  It may also be in the vendor’s best interest to involve a good sales person early. One tech CMO told me that although the company could offer eCommerce, a human touch tripled the size of the deal.

Continue reading…