The insurance technology industry turns to analysts most for technology, business and competitor trends. The top three analyst firms they hold in highest regard are Celent, Novarica and Strategy Meets Action.

This information comes from Innovation in Insurance’s (i3) second annual insurance industry analyst survey, intended to measure the value and usage of the reports produced by the firms that research industry trends and provide vendor analysis. More than 200 of the 1,300 worldwide subscribers of Moore School at USC’s student-run enterprise (carriers, consultants and technicians) responded to the online survey, reviewing CEB TowerGroup, Celent, Forrester, Gartner, Novarica and Strategy Meets Action.

Results revealed that there is great value in analyst reports and the information is important to carriers as they evaluate and plan system replacements and IT initiatives. Carriers find the most useful information sources from analysts to be original research (79 percent), vendor analysis (58 percent) and technology recommendations (42 percent).

Among all respondents (carriers, consultants and technicians), when seeking advice from analysts, sources used most include research original thought (80 percent), vendor profiles (53 percent) and consulting (40 percent).

When looking at the individual analyst firms in relation to technology trends, Celent (57 percent) and Novarica (54 percent) were found to be most useful. Celent (77 percent) and Novarica (60 percent) are considered most useful when it comes to information for solution and software selection. Business trend information is found to be most useful when developed by Novarica (72 percent) and Celent (59 percent) as well, followed by SMA (54 percent). Again, Novarica (69 percent), SMA (58 percent) and Celent (46 percent) lead for recommendations of technology enabling business needs.

In the research, i3 found that carriers weigh analyst opinion against other research when evaluating options in vendor or technology decisions. In fact, 60 percent of respondents said they include additional resources such as journals, publications, associations and trends in background research. The report also shows carriers look to analysts for more than just vendor solution reports.

“The study shows analyst's reports on vendor solutions are important but that carriers also value original research when they consider solution replacements,” said Frank Heaps, Managing Director of Innovation in Insurance. "It the very competitive market that carriers are facing, it is clear that they value the information provided by firms that tracks important industry business trends and how vendor solutions are enabling better business processes. "

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