New capacity, rate reductions and competition are a few factors contributing to a softer market and an 11% drop in reinsurance rate on line—a calculation of reinsurance premium divided by reinsurance limit—almost across the board, according to Guy Carpenter.
Much of this was driven by a decline of 15% in the United States, while property catastrophe pricing in Continental Europe and the United Kingdom fell by 10% and 15%, respectively, Guy Carpenter said.
Willis Re said in its “1st View” report that soft market conditions are not unique to the property catastrophe market. The report found that “with few exceptions rates are down on most lines at Jan. 1.”
One of the last things I wrote about in 2013 was the Target breach. I suspect that breach is going to linger for a while, not only for customers but for businesses that (I hope) are now thinking a lot more about the security of their credit card systems and their computer networks overall. I know one small business owner is, because she asked me the types of questions she should ask regarding the security of her system. (And those questions may be a blog post for another day.)
Right before I went on holiday break, I had an email conversation with some folks from Guidance Software regarding the Target breach and the forensic investigation into what happened. One of the first things I was told was that we shouldn’t have been surprised that this breach happened because it was inevitable. As Jason Fredrickson, senior director of application development at Guidance Software, told me:
CIO — In the world of IT, things can and will go wrong. Failure can come from a number of things such as rushing to get too much done in a single project instead of breaking it down into smaller, more manageable projects. It can come from not allowing enough lead time for developers to do their part on the back-end or even from a consultant or vendor that led you down the wrong path.
Whatever the case, failure does happen; it's to be expected and as the saying goes life is "10 percent what happens to you 90 percent how you react to it." Failure doesn't have to be a negative. With the right attitudes and processes in place it can be educational, informative and sometimes transformative.
You know from a logical perspective that you should learn from your mistakes. That is drilled into many of us beginning in childhood. The problem, according to experts, is that in the corporate world, a lot of companies don't handle failure well. They don't have adequate processes in place to examine why something failed, but that is a huge necessary part of the learning process.
Mobile CRM, which has been gaining momentum for quite some time, is a trend that will only get hotter in 2014, experts predict. Among other trends they expect to take root or accelerate in 2014: social CRM, more integration and smarter CRM.
Most industry observers agree that the adoption of mobile will be a dominant CRM theme in 2014 as companies look for ways to extend CRM capabilities to give employees convenient, always-on access to sales content, allowing them to address customer needs and collaborate with sales teams in real-time.
"CRM capabilities will be integrated into mobile tools to generate leads and opportunities both in-store and on the road," said Chris O'Connor, founder and CEO of Taptera. "We see companies that are using CRM continue to invest in out-of-the-box solutions through extension into mobile channels and customization to monitor, manage and drive leads, conversions, shorten sales cycles and improve customer support."
The arrival of the first major winter storm of 2014 just two days into the new year makes this a good time to take stock of the insurance implications.
The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reports that winter storms are historically very expensive and are the third-largest cause of catastrophe losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes.
From 1993 to 2012, winter storms resulted in about $27.8 billion in insured losses—or $1.4 billion per year, on average, according to Property Claims Service for Verisk Insurance Solutions (see chart below).
Some of the best Big Data and sensor uses come from the manufacturing and logistics world. But while supply chains and manufacturing floors can generate plenty of important business data, those functions aren’t always the best equipped to use that data.
Operations, supply chains and manufacturing are due for a technology overhaul, according to IDC Manufacturing Insights and other analysts who research these B2B functions.
The problem: Supply chain technologies and processes lag behind the highly digital world of the business side.
Before we embrace a new year, I want to share my personal picks for the best data success stories from 2013:
Feds Stop $47 Billion in Fraud, Overpayment. We often think in terms of technology solutions. For example, we ask “How much can master data management save this company?” or “Will Big Data projects pay off?” Sometimes, you can define savings by the project, but often the best results come when you combine multiple data technologies. Together, they add up to better information management and analysis.
With the New Year comes added awareness of the hazards social media can present to corporations, the risks of data exchange between business systems and other challenges inherent with technology. Here is a look at the top trends of last year and predictions for the year ahead.
2013 Key Trends
1. Growing Convergence between IT, Security and the Business
Evolving risk challenges require that internal and external stakeholders are on the same risk page. For many organizations, however, internal audit, security, compliance and the business have different views of risk and what it takes to build a risk-aware and resilient business. Effective risk management starts with good communications. This includes a common taxonomy for dealing with risk, and a collaborative discussion framework to facilitate the cross-functional sharing of ideas and best practices.
If 2013 was the year that most organizations discovered what Big Data platforms such as Hadoop were all about, then the coming year will be the one in which they discover the applications that turn all that data into something of business value.
Brett Sheppard, director of Big Data marketing for Splunk, says that in terms of Big Data, 2013 was pretty much defined by investments in plumbing. Organizations largely experimented with Big Data platforms only to discover that the cost of acquiring the platform was nothing compared to the cost of the expertise required to actually develop an application that could make sense of all that data.
Just ask anybody—2014 is going to be an even bigger year for Big Data.
“In 2014, we will see Big Data funding only grow, and at least one significant IPO possibly from a player like Cloudera,” writes Concurrent CEO Gary Nakamura.
Inhi Suh, IBM vice president of Big Data, integration, and governance, told Information Week that she foresees more organizational spending on Big Data as companies invest in a wider range of analytics, such as reporting, dashboards and planning, predictive analytics, recommendations and new cognitive capabilities.