Business Intelligence Market on Upward Curve

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This fastest-growing tech sector has more room to expand, and an analyst predicts a 7 percent annual rise.

Editor’s note:  As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.

The business intelligence market is set to grow annually at seven percent in the coming years, according to the latest figures by Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC).

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The analyst now estimates the market, which is developing quicker than ever before, is worth upwards of $42 B in software and services, with the strongest growth expected over the next four years in advanced analysis such as predictive analysis. In terms of regions the strongest growth will be in Asia-Pacific.

According to the market watcher, BI tools have traditionally been used in large enterprises, but the midmarket space is looking to exploit such products, particularly as prices have been pushed down due to increased standardization and commoditization.

Philip Carnelley, research director at PAC, said, “The major investments in large-scale operational systems -- ERP, CRM and SCM -- over the past decades have given major benefits in terms of process efficiency, but they have not alleviated the need for better management information to steer the business; rather the reverse in fact.”

According to the analyst, at the technology level the two biggest trends are linked: visualization -- for easier, more self-service analysis through data discovery; and mobile BI -- which allows managers and mobile staff easier access to reporting and analysis with tablets and even smartphones.

Carnelley added, “Major obstacles can be seen among rapidly evolving technologies, requiring big efforts to keep pace and to acquire and maintain competency. IT users need to move from one-stop shopping with ERP vendors to best of breed to get state-of-the-art solutions. New technologies may require significant product upgrades or architecture overhaul before they can be deployed.”

He said that, despite decades of development, BI technology is still evolving, and he warned that BI resellers will continue to change and need to be monitored.

“CIOs in IT user companies should look for SI partners with a good knowledge and experience base to guide them on the road, especially in the newer areas. Keep a watching brief on the emergence of both big data technologies and in-memory computing. These are developing fast, but still immature and will require new skills and investment,” he said. “Finally, look to the emerging ‘as-a-service’ solution providers as these will give the easiest on-ramp to big data solutions provision -- but think carefully about exit strategies in the event you wish to change service providers.”

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit

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