Sunday, January 18, 2009

2009 BI Marketplace Prediction #2: Technology Shifts

My first prediction (previous blog post) explained the continuing effects that major BI vendor consolidation will have in this coming year (and beyond). My premise is that those massive BI vendors with numerous and aged software architectures will have difficulty innovating and, therefore, new BI sub-markets will be forged (pun intended) by the younger, more nimble vendors that satisfy new and unique needs.

The second and related prediction is that key Technology Shifts will be another disadvantage for these proprietary BI behemoths. In the last year, we’ve seen some important new technologies emerge and begin to really influence BI – and I believe these will have an even more significant effect in the coming year. Some examples of these technology shifts include columnar-oriented data warehouse tools, query optimizers, SOA/web services (and overall componentized design), mash-ups, in-memory analytics, integrated search, and the use of rich media services to provide more compelling (web-based) user experiences. For BI tools and software, the question is “which vendors will be able to deliver a more modern, dynamic experience using these new technologies?” And, “How will new customer needs be addressed by harnessing some of these new technologies?” The more dated a product and its architecture, of course, the more difficult it will be for the vendor to deliver new functionality that truly takes advantage of these new technologies and solves new problems for a customer.

Just this month,
Gartner published its own list of BI predictions for 2009. Second on its list of five predictions is more distributed (across enterprise business units) funding for BI software and solutions. The problem here, Gartner wrote, is that "business users have lost confidence in the ability of [IT] to deliver the information they need to make decisions." Exactly. And, this lower confidence is made worse by business users seeing simple but compelling BI functionality in new tools that are not yet on the IT standards list. Let’s make 2009 the year that easy-to-use and compelling BI functionality is actually used broadly in an enterprise.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

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