The Year Ahead, According to Gartner
Insurance Experts' Forum, January 4, 2012
Gartner published its top predictions for the year 2012, and the one that pops out the most is the view that technology decisions – and budgets – will increasingly move under the control of lines of business, and away from the IT department.
Gartner published a number of predictions that not only look at the next 12 months, but out to 2015 and beyond. Here are five thought-provoking predictions culled from the list that will likely have the greatest impact on insurance operations.
Information technology decisions are moving away from the IT department: Gartner claims that within the next three years, “35 percent of enterprise IT expenditures for most organizations will be managed outside the IT department's budget.” This is part of a trend of greater alignment between business and IT; IT is seen less and less as a separate box, and will become increasingly interwoven with business and its products.
Big data is here, but companies won't know what to do with it yet: As Gartner puts it, “more than 85 percent of Fortune 500 organizations will fail to effectively exploit big data for competitive advantage.” Surprisingly, there are at least 15 percent that seem to get it. The challenge, as Gartner puts it, “collecting and analyzing the data is not enough — it must be presented in a timely fashion so that decisions are made as a direct consequence that have a material impact on the productivity, profitability or efficiency of the organization. Most organizations are ill-prepared to address both the technical and management challenges posed by big data.”
More development will go into mobile platforms, less into PC applications: Gartner predicts that by 2015, “mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1.” This is where the action is, but it has its challenges. As I have found through discussions with insurance IT managers, it takes some time and resources to support the existing multiple app platforms – be it iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows and all the rest.
Cloud will break up and disrupt the outsourcing market: “By 2015, low-cost cloud services will cannibalize up to 15 percent of top outsourcing players' revenue,” Gartner predicts. The ability to secure IT and application services in bite-size cloud chunks reduces the need for a career-destroying decision to turn over an entire operation to a third-party outsourcer.
Trust in the cloud will grow: As Gartner projects it, “at year-end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.” We'll see how many insurance companies buy into that.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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