BIIA Chairman David Worlock observes in his latest blog that as the information services market starts to get its thinking right about the influence of Big Data and the current obsession with workflow, one should begin to think that we will need to revise our whole approach to collaborative working in marketplaces.  At the moment we are playing all the old tunes but none of them seem to quite fit the customer mood.  Like that old vaudeville star, Jimmy “Schnozzle” Durante, we need to tinkle those ivories again and again until we find it: The Lost Chord!

Worlock reasons that we cannot “productize” information services for ever.  Customers are now too clever, and as we open our APIs and let them self-actualize or customize, we face real dangers.  At the top end of most markets in most sectors the top 10 customers are well-equipped at the skills level, and are surrounded by systems integrators who can service them expensively but effectively.  Amongst the medium and small enterprises in our client base, the cost of doing anything but allow them to customize for themselves is prohibitive. And we are sitting in the middle of this, talking passionately about selling solutions and always seeking stickiness, while our client base shows dangerously independent tendencies.

So what are information suppliers supposed to do?  Worlock argues that one can take the extreme point of view by selling less, just license everything, put the APIs in place, let the user community get on with it. For him, this is like sleep-walking on the edge of a cliff.

So what is the opposite extreme? Simply this: That the industry goes on building solutions, but increasingly customizing them for major customers, working in partnership with systems integrators and our software solution partners whose Big Data environment, or analytics, or data mining is part of the key to our service specification. Setting up our own systems integration, by alliance or as an in-house installation, could be vital to our ability to stay sticky, to bring the client’s own data and resources into play, and to learn where the market is going to go.  However, many information players are throwing up their hands saying that they are not in the software business.

There is another problem for the bigger data content players?  Simply that there are killer whales out there!  As the major enterprise software vendors see what is happening, they will feel that this type of solution building undermines some sacred territory.  One can see that particularly with Oracle, but also IBM and SAP who are always ready to buy on a vast scale.  They are buying into analytics as we speak, perhaps they may own their clients’ content.

To read the full story click on the link: David Worlock Blog

Editorial comment:  We wonder whether many of our readers will have ever heard of Jimmy “Schnozzle” Durante.  For the older generation of our readers it may strike up a ‘chord’.   However as one of the largest credit information buyers recently commented in private: information suppliers and buyers are not even singing from the same hymn book.