BI vendors need inspiration – Andreas Bitterer at Gartner


I rather belatedly picked up on an article by Andreas Bitterer posted on the Gartner blogs network. The title of this piece is Same Old Business Intelligence.

Andreas talks about the growing maturity of the BI market and identifies phases such as integration and innovation that now seem to be largely past. With all of the recent consolidation of the BI vendor market, it is difficult to see any major new plays in this arena. Also many BI tools now have functionality and scalability to spare. Andreas calls for vendors to have greater inspiration in order to unlock the latent potential of BI.

I agree that BI is now a very mature market. Of course there may be some disruptive technology about to be released which will change this perspective, but until this emerges, the description is accurate. While this may make 2009 onwards as less exciting time for people selling BI tools and platforms, the maturity of a technology tends to be correlated with the potential for it to add value in a business context. I hope that BI has now arrived at this tipping point and that the current economic climate may even be seen to have been positive for BI in retrospect.

What I feel is missing is not technology, but a more grown-up approach to leveraging BI in organisations. If BI is to come of age then there it needs to become more of a strategic enabler than a point solution. Each department having its own BI seems to be an obstacle. As I have argued elsewhere, it is only when a holistic approach is taken to BI that organisations begin to reap the real benefits. In the same article I also explain my view that an incremental approach to implementation is complimentary to this vision, but the vision needs to come first.

Having succeeded in making the use BI part of an organisation’s DNA, I hope that this approach will start to become the norm and that BI will move to the strategic centre business; the place from which its true potential can be realised.

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