Business intelligence set for boom


The global market for business intelligence (BI) software will grow 9.7 per cent in 2011, Gartner has forecast.

Gartner predicts a bright future for the BI platforms market, and says it will continue to be one of the fastest growing areas of software worldwide.

The analyst firm predicted that the BI market will reach $10.8 billion (6.6 billion) this year, and will continue to grow, though more slowly, until 2014.

Organisations, according to Gartner, will keep looking at BI as a crucial tool to make their business more efficient, smarter and agile.

To Ian Bertram, managing vice president at Gartner, the fact that BI investment remains strong is a sign of its strategic importance.

"This market segment has remained strong because the dominant vendors continued to put BI, analytics and performance management at the centre of their messaging, while end-user organisations largely continued their BI projects, hoping that resulting transparency and insight will enable them to cut costs and improve productivity and agility down the line," he said.

Gartner cited three factors on the demand-side that will contribute to the predicted BI revenue growth.

The first is the "consumerisation" of BI. This will result in BI tools becoming more fun and functional, with business users demanding an intuitive and interactive experience that is comparable to the one they enjoy in their personal life.

Data performance will also enjoy a boost, enabling the analysis of large, diverse and flexible data sets and creating opportunities for new tools and applications, such as in-memory and social content analytics.

Finally, Gartner sees the a role for BI tools in the future to aid improved business decision making.

Bertram also pointed out that the demand side of the BI platform market in 2010 was marked by "an intensified struggle between business users' need for ease of use and flexibility on the one hand, and IT's need for standards and control on the other".

Studies conducted by Gartner showed that BI ranked number five on the list of the top 10 technology priorities for chief information officers (CIOs) in 2011.

Click here to find out why business intelligence matters to your business in 2011.