IBM will keep spending big on business intelligence


IBM will continue acquiring companies involved in business intelligence and analytics, because demand from its clients for the technology is so great that it needs to keep pressing forward.

So claimed Ambuk Goyal, general manager for business analytics at IBM, in an interview with IT PRO at the company's Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas.

IBM has already invested $12 billion over the last five years on business intelligence and analytics, with the recent purchase of business analytics company SPSS this year complementing a previous acquisition of Cognos.

He said the revolution around what was called information led transformation' was as big, or even bigger than what happened around ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) 20 years ago.

"Information led transformation has just begun," said Goyal. "We are way ahead, but to me we are just beginning, because everybody is going to follow us. I say this is bigger than ERP and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) combined."

He added: "If we want to remain ahead, we have to deliver value to our clients. Every day, clients are telling us what kind of problems they can't solve."

IBM had around 15,000 new clients in the business intelligence space, and Goyal said that it was looking ahead with a huge research department doing first of a kind projects,

"Our investment in this particular space will continue and we will build by partner," he said. "There's so much demand. It's an investment trend. Not only IBM is behind it. When we went to Wall Street, we said this is our growth strategy."

Of IBM's previous investment, Goyal said that the purchase of predictive analytics firm SPSS nicely fitted with the Cognos systems it already had.

"Now you can make every point of impact, whether it is call centre or point of sale, far more effective," he said. "Now you can make a predictive call centre or a predictive point of sale."

He added: "We don't have to integrate, so we can focus on innovation for businesses to transform themselves."