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Personal information management services

Posted on: Thursday 17th of March 2011

We’ve been researching the market for personal data stores as a key component of the changing market. But we realised in January that we were partly looking for the wrong thing. Staring us right in the face was the emergence of a “new” consumer service – personal information management services, PIMS. Examples of PIMS being launched just this month are Lloyds’ Money Manager and a similar idea being announced by Confused.com.

Our report shows the power of PIMS to shift the balance of control, trust and value towards consumers and away from producers, vendors and service providers is inexorable – we are witnessing a shift towards a new industry.

PIMS are already having a disruptive impact on markets. This is already being felt and clear to see now in the sectors of banking, finance, insurance and retailing, leading to new patterns of consumer behaviour and the emergence of real competitive threats to incumbent vendors and service providers.

PIMS create customer value in a new and different way: by deploying information as a tool in the hands of the individual.
Traditional manufacturing and service industries create value by providing customers with goods and services. PIMS both complement and disrupt this status quo by adding information services to the mix.

‘Personal Information Management Services: A Market Poised to Disrupt’ explores three aspects of the emerging PIMS market – each one a potentially huge sub-market in its own right. They are:

  • The market for better decisions: services that help individuals gather, sift, analyse, deploy and share information to help them make, and implement, better decisions. We illustrate this burgeoning market for better decisions by looking at the rise of Smart Shopping;
  • The user as the point of integration. Traditional industry structures are organised around linear supply chains – what it takes to bring a particular type of product such as ‘air travel’ or ‘biscuits’ to market. PIMS create ‘demand hubs’ instead, putting the user in the middle, helping the user access, orchestrate and integrate the fruits of many different supply chain specialists to achieve what they want to achieve in their lives. We illustrate this market by focusing on Personal Finance Managers or PFM which go beyond the provision of separate financial products such as ‘current accounts’ or ‘credit cards’ to help individuals manage their money better using inputs from many different organisations;
  • The market for personal information empowerment: tools and services that help individuals store, manage and share their personal data better. We analyse the emergence of a range ofdifferent examples of such Personal Data Management services.

The report is designed to illustrate different degrees of market evolution. To do this, we focus on four different markets at different stages of development:

  • Smart Shopping is a market that has already reached critical mass and is poised to go mainstream.
  • Personal Financial Management (PFM) is a market now established and poised for rapid growth.
  • The emerging market for Personal Data Management services is currently on the fringes, but has huge potential to disrupt
  • On the verge is the health sector, where all three of the above dimensions of the PIMS market – decision support, user as point of integration, and personal information empowerment – are coming together to create a market poised on the verge of transformation, and a massive opportunity for those who can seize it.

The pace of PIMS-driven change is accelerating and few businesses will remain unscathed from such impacts on their customer relations, brands and competitive positioning – it’s a wake-up call !

For more about our £495 report which includes the market for personal data stores,  was published on March 16, click here