Cloud emerges as enabler of BI’s shift to mass market

'The benefits of cloud delivery are as relevant to BI as they are to other business applications'

 Cloud emerges as enabler of BI’s shift to mass market


New research by technology market research firm Pringle & Company suggests the use of cloud delivery for business intelligence (BI), the technology used by organisations to generate data insights, is growing rapidly.

While cloud BI is currently a relatively small part of the global $85.9bn BI market, it is the fastest growing with a CAGR in excess of 47% through 2017. Pringle and Company estimates cloud BI revenue will then be close to $4bn.

By allowing greater ease of access for a broader audience cloud is now emerging as a key enabler of BI’s transition from a specialist technology, traditionally concentrated in the hands of specialists found in the largest businesses, to mass market tool. 

Tom Pringle, the report author said: “The benefits of cloud delivery are as relevant to BI as they are to other business applications, but given the fortress-like approach often taken to sensitive internal data, and that data’s location, its use to date has been limited.

“As more of the technology used by organisations becomes cloud-based the volume of data generated and stored there grows. Cloud BI is a logical extension of this trend, following the data to source.”

Cloud delivery of BI solutions is a natural complement to BI that is led by business needs. “Cloud delivery of BI is a natural fit to the direction that BI users are taking," Pringle said. "Where an experimental approach to data analysis is adopted, the ability to buy a service as required rather than making significant capital investments in an on premises solution has a number of advantages."

>See also: Putting the business back into business intelligence

Business intelligence: a revolution in the scale of the market

The already multi-billion dollar market for BI is positioned to scale new heights as the technology used to analyse data becomes easier to use, produces results faster and is less costly to acquire Pringle & Company’s research claimed.

According to the research entitled ‘Business Intelligence Software & Services Market, 2012-2017’, the market for BI software and services in 2013 was $85.9bn, growing at a CAGR of 16.4%, leading to an almost doubling in size by 2017. “BI is one of the, if not the stellar performer of the IT market, having sustained high levels of growth during the recent challenging economic times," Pringle said.

"BI has traditionally been focused in the hands of a relatively small number of users who, largely, work in enterprise-scale organisations. That has started to change with the availability of business-led BI, an evolution of the tools used to analyse data allowing a revolution in the scale of user community able to benefit from data-driven insight."

The report has suggested that while the market for BI is already one measured in tens of billions, it has the potential to grow significantly over the coming years, and it is not just software vendors who will benefit. Services vendors who offer clients support in the selection, adoption and use of BI solutions are also likely to enjoy significant growth as demand for their capabilities grows with the market.

“Services providers are an often overlooked part of BI use, this research further underscores their importance demonstrated by the fact that of the 2013 headline market size number over 67% is services rather than software,” Pringle said. “While there is pressure to update offerings given easier to use BI, the majority of BI services work is still focused on the fundamentals of information management.”

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