Monday, March 9, 2009

The Business Intelligence Market

By Mark Brousseau

When Colleen Graham, research director at Gartner, looks at trends in the business intelligence market, she sees two 800 pound gorillas for organizations to consider: business intelligence mega-vendors (the result of vendor consolidation over the past few years) and the weakening economy.

“Besides figuring out how to deal with the mega-vendors, you also have to figure out how your organization is going to deal with the economy. Organizations had to turn on a dime as a result of the economy,” Graham told attendees at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit 2009 in Washington, D.C. The good news: “We’re seeing more organizations looking at business intelligence as a life line; a way to run the business smarter, to use existing resources better, to do more marketing, to gain market share and beat their competition. There is a growing realization that information is an asset that organizations need to leverage,” she said.

“For many organizations, business intelligence is like a lot of new projects: it is under pressure,” Graham told attendees. “But the market is still growing. Business intelligence is not a commodity yet. Business intelligence can make every dollar count. It can help organizations drive toward strategic goals while meeting near-term needs.”

Graham expects business intelligence to enjoy continued growth as a result of lower technology prices and the fact that business intelligence functionality such as reporting and analytics is being embedded in other products, such as predictive modeling, workflow and virtualization. “Business intelligence is becoming more available. It used to be only in the hands of mega users. Now, business intelligence is spreading to more users in the organization and reaching beyond the firewall to partners and customers.” Graham sees the highest growth rates for business intelligence in operations; users are becoming more sophisticated and more accustomed to using analytics in their day-to-day lives, Graham said. She expects business intelligence usage to double by 2013.

Against this backdrop, Graham thinks there are few things to watch for from vendors:

... Creative financing deals
... Maintenance revenue becoming increasingly important for vendors
... Pricing pressures and bundling
... Infrastructure-light business intelligence
... Users looking to leverage what they already have
... Open source and SaaS solutions getting a push
... More departmental-level business intelligence

What do you think? Post your comments below.

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