Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More BI Predictions for 2009

I wrote a previous post about BI predictions for 2009. After I wrote the post, I read more interesting predictions, and three of them caught my attention:

Sarah Burnett wrote her predictions, in her blog:

- The emphasis on risk management, greater regulation and therefore proof of compliance will lead to a new impetus for joined-up, consolidated enterprise-wide solutions.

- Those who already have BI will want to do more with it: make better use of it and/or extend it to more users. We are likely to see a surge in take up of BI by business managers who will want to check business facts and figures for themselves rather than rely on others for business intelligence.

- The mood of the world has turned risk-averse. I believe potential BI customers want to have tried and tested solutions and avoid unknown and uncertain propositions unless there are clear and demonstrable benefits, which leads me to my final points:

- Those who do not have BI will look for cost effective ways of gaining the capability: This is good news for Microsoft that has a high market penetration of SQL Server, SharePoint and Excel all with built-in BI capabilities that existing customers can tap into, as well as PerformancePoint that can be added to the stack. The search for cost effective BI will play well for Open Source BI with first-time BI customers wanting to try it before they buy it. It makes sense as reducing costs is a high priority but nobody wants to lose key skilled staff.

- BI SaaS can gain from the current penny-pinching mood of business. Firstly, there is the success of cloud/hosted CRM which will lead to BI in the cloud becoming more accepted. Then there are opportunities for BI SaaS vendors to provide specific and focused functionality that offer clear and demonstrable benefits e.g. sales management / pipeline analysis. Finally there is an opportunity for BI SaaS vendors to offer additional skills that organisations lack in-house, e.g. analytics skills for hosted fraud loss-prevention.

Jorgen Heizenberg wrote in his blog, a post called Business Intelligence Predictions 2009: The paradox between demand and supply. Below is the summary of his predictions:

- Rationalization: Customers will move from best of breed solutions towards BI platform from all major vendors (Oracle, SAP, IBM and Microsoft) and /or a rationalization of their BI products.

- Mastering & Governing Core Data: Due to the economic slowdown more and more companies feel the need to create a single view of all enterprise data. Many customers move from a classical business unit structure towards a more multi dimensional steering model where profit and loss is calculated on region, customer or even process. There will be an increased need for Master Data Management using the technology provided by all major vendors and a revival of OLAP (Multi Dimensional) is to be expected.

- Architecture The Other Way: There will be an increasing demand for faster answers and decisions as well as more need to connect and share information with other stakeholders. These new requirements will set new standards for BI architecture as it moves away from traditional batch orientated architectures. An increase is expected of different architectures such as Data warehouse appliances & Cloud computing. Finally, cost cutting hardware (Green – less energy consuming) can be expected.

- Operational Excellence: With the slowdown of the economy comes a reduction of budget and a growing demand for cost cutting. This will raise the need for cheaper delivery of new information products and a more cost effective ways for the maintenance of existing BI environment. IT departments will focus on Operational Excellence which implies faster and cheaper ways to deliver the same type of solutions as before. Innovation will not originate from the IT department as their focus will certainly be on lower cost of delivery and maintenance.

- Customer Centric: In troubled times companies can take any of two basic choices. They can either reduce their services to cut costs or expand their services to attract new or more profitable customers. Companies will therefore try to focus on finding the most profitable customers among their current population.

- Using The Data: Reporting (what has happened?) such as the monthly report is fast becoming a commodity (classical BI) where no competitive edge is realized. Monitoring (right time BI) of operational processes as they happen on the other hand will increase to ensure enterprise agility. Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) and Rules Based Decision Engines will begin to find their way as a result of this. Also we will see that Analysis will revive (OLAP). Much of the (classical) BI infrastructure is already in place. With increased business need for information this is the time to use this. Most added value will be in Analytics combining data mining, statistics and business knowledge to analyze current and historical performance to predict the future. We will see many investment here.

- Overcoming Differences: In these times no organization can afford to be caught in internal or external disputes. Therefore all classical differences are to be overcome. The first and most obvious one is the cost versus benefit discussion.

- Organizational Transformation: In these times organizations cannot afford to sit back and see what happens. They have to be smarter, faster, cheaper, better … than their competitors. As a result of that there will be an increasing need for information and organization transformation. This will impact Business Intelligence as right time data transformations are required to quickly access information and make decisions.

- Need For Cooperation: During difficult times there will be an increase need for people to connect and share. In this economic downfall we can expect the same from knowledge workers connecting with other stakeholders and sharing information with them.

He finishes with: "The economic slowdown will dominate the BI market leading to a decrease in information supply (IT) and an increase in information demand (Business) with cost cutting as the #1 objective."

Timo Elliott published in his blog: The Complete List of 2009 BI Predictions?, a post like my first post about predictions, he and I wrote about some same posts, but his post is more comprehensive about Business and Industry Trends. A nice compiling of posts and articles.

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