Information Industry Outlook, 2018

According to Author Leigh Watson Healy, Chief Analyst at Outsell, Inc., it is now all about tactical execution for industry leaders when it comes to driving the growth engine with impeccable operating performance. Focus, gaining market share, building trust, innovating organically or through M&A, and execution against best practices and benchmark norms are requisite. The information is presented for leaders and their teams to use as a backdrop to assess their 2018 plans and make informed decisions and seize opportunities.

With this year and next all about execution, Outsell provides essential industry statistics, focus on key trends in motion, and, most importantly, best practices for optimal performance, as industry growth reaches 1.6 trillion dollars. Outsell’s mega-theme, Outperform and Out Sell,drives directly from research and key analytic takeaway: 2018 and beyond is about executing well and meeting Outsell’s success criteria in order to do so.

Martech, Adtech, Health Information & Health IT are the growth frontrunners, says the report, with all expected to grow well over industry average growth of 4.6% during the forecast period. Along with other data-intensive segments — Supply Chain Automation and Procurement Solutions, Pharma Information and Solutions, and HR Services and Solutions will continue to drive industry growth in the next several years.

In a break with tradition, rather than focus on the “Top 10 Trends,” this year provides a snapshot of trends and tipping points in motion, followed by a recap of what industry CEOs think will impact their businesses next year and beyond. Then, we offer our checklist of best practices as an aid to leaders to help them know if they are in good stead.

Snapshot Of Trends

  • Societal fragmentation has reached an all-time high
  • Millennials and iGen in the throes of existential crisis are taking charge
  • Information, media, and publishing leadership remains male dominated
  • Information industry credibility hits an all-time low
  • Disruptive technologies and Do-It-Yourself are undermining value propositions in multiple sectors
  • Do it for me/Need for speed — Instant delivery is the new norm
  • AI and machine learning are smart but need to get smarter
  • Cryptocurrency bubble may burst, but the blockchain revolution will continue
  • Forget Big Data, focus on Good Data.

Better execution and executives thoughts about the current and future business outlook are prime objectives, and CEOs outline their views on top trends and issues impacting their business, as well as key initiatives to drive business performance. 145 executives, in light of these market dynamics, responded to the survey in July 2017:

The geo-political climate and overall business conditions in the US are the top issues; 44.8% of executives believe it will have the most impact on their businesses. The potential impact of Brexit concerned 29.7% of CEOs. Although if the UK leaves the single market following Brexit, 74.5% of all respondents expect to do business as usual. North Korea and political uncertainty as well as the growth and influence of China also concern executives, as do global terrorism and overall non- economic uncertainty, climate change, and sustainability.

Far from doom and gloom, CEOs are actually fairly bullish, says the report, with 37.1% expecting over 10% organic growth this year, and another 24.3% predicting growth between 6-10%. And it’s all about sales, with 73.9% of executives saying that improved new business sales are the biggest operational driver of growth for their business.

  • Next in importance is expanding marketing efforts, according to 42.8% of respondents
  • Improving sales performance will be a top initiative for 53.6% of executives in the coming year
  • 46.4% of CEOs say focusing on enhancing data and analytics in product and services, and another 16.4% planning to enhance data and analytics to the benefit of operating the business
  • Farther down the list of priorities for execs is developing and executing a platform strategy (29.3%). While the perennial issue of hiring and retaining talent will be a focus for 25%.

Next, when asked what societal trend CEOs think will have the greatest impact on the information industry in the next 10 years, this is what was heard most often in rank order:

  1. Accessibility of data.
  2. Attention economy, expectation of immediate answers, decline of reading
  3. Decrease in ownership and shift toward low cost subscriptions such as Netflix and Spotify
  4. Trust of information and data/mistrust of information, release of information and disinformation
  5. Job loss. AI will replace humans in base level jobs, Squeeze of middle class, middle class expansion globally
  6. Increased dumbing down of the population

And finally, AI is here. CEOs think AI is the emerging technology that will have the greatest impact on the information industry in the next 10 years. One exec summed it up this way: “Everything will change. Nothing will remain the same.”

For additional information from Outsell, please visit here.


1 comment about "Information Industry Outlook, 2018".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, October 25, 2017 at 8:12 a.m.

    This release wins the 2017 award for cramming the most non-specific, but overused, lingo and jargon into the first paragraph. 

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