From the launch of Atari in the 1980s to today’s always connected Internet age, changes in technology have resulted in massive upheavals in the business environment. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the requirements and opportunities presented in the Business Intelligence (BI) space.
As technology has become “consumerised” in a blending of personal and business technology use that strikes at the heart of every standardised, built-for-cost enterprise infrastructure, expectations regarding the delivery of information are changing. Added to that, increasing mobility and the growth of Big Data are impacting on how businesses approach their decision making and operations.
“Trends like Big Data, mobile Business Intelligence (BI), collaborative BI and greater emphasis on self-service BI or data discovery are shaping the future of BI and analytics. What all these have in common is that they are driven by the consumerisation of IT. People want easy to use solutions that they can use anywhere and allow them to work in a collaborative way. These trends have really impacted the offerings on the market today – and will continue to do so for the next few years,” says Glen Rabie, CEO of international BI vendor Yellowfin.
He explains that today, a younger, more technology savvy generation is entering the workforce, and as a result there is greater pressure on businesses to achieve collaborative decision-making.
A recent joint Unisys and IDC study found that these younger information workers will drive changes in the way in which corporate interaction and communication takes place, predicting that in corporations with more than 500 employees, the number of information workers using social networking platforms will almost double between 2009 and 2014. The same research report predicts that the number of business interactions will grow four-fold, from 3.5 trillion in 2010, to 12.7 trillion by 2013.
“Naturally, businesses are searching for more efficient methods of communication to deal with expanding information volumes and the necessary business interactions that accompany that trend. Enterprise collaboration technologies will be crucial in addressing and facilitating this swell in information exchange, by boosting workforce productivity. To achieve this collaborative decision-making environment, BI software is beginning to merge with Web 2.0 technologies, harnessing their rich, open-access, easy-to-use functionality that users have come to expect,” says Rabie.
This merging of BI and Web 2.0 technologies is addressing an ever-widening range of business needs through collaborative BI, which allows for the more efficient analysis, understanding and use of information garnered from data analysis, and a move from discussion to action in significantly reduced timeliness. Similarly, the employee-led revolution of enterprise mobility is informing the trend of mobile BI, which itself is increasing the demands on, and uses of, collaborative applications.
“Companies are understanding that being agile or staying proactive is no longer enough in an increasingly competitive global business environment. In a world that’s moving at an unprecedented rate, noted visionary, technology forecaster and business strategist Daniel Burrus says it takes something more – the ability to take a sudden burst of insight about the future and use it to produce a new and radically different way of doing things – solving problems, crafting must-have products, creating high-demand services or building new businesses. Today’s BI tools are the means with which they can achieve this,” says Rabie.
These trends, and their impact on business, are some of the topics that will be covered by Rabie at ITNewsAfrica’s upcoming ICT Business Intelligence Breakfast, to be hosted on 16 July 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg.