Business Intelligence Vendors Wrestle with Mergers, the Cloud and Open Source: Page 2
Enterprise-wide Business Intelligence Not Yet Here
Info-Tech analyst Doherty cautions that enterprise-wide BI is still at least five years away from being realized. The main barriers to self-service BI are standard issues around change management and, equally important, the need for greater technical sophistication in the user base.
But BI vendors continue to roll out products that march their tools ever onward in this direction. Further, sophisticated analytics vendors (such as IBM/Cognos/SPSS and SAS) are building consulting practices around advanced analytics and business performance management. SAS, for instance, recently announced a partnership with Accenture, and IBM announced that it was hiring 4,000 consultants for its BI business line.
Boris Evelson, an analyst with Forrester, said the turmoil in the BI space is largely due to the technology striving for maturity. He calls the market vibrant and sees it evolving across multiple dimensions.
Some users, understandably, have gotten confused by all this progress. In years gone by, BI was very much a back-end affair. In recent times, however, the front-end has been getting all the emphasis. So what should be the focus, the front-end delivery mechanisms such as portals, reporting tools, workflow and rules engines, or the back-end repositories and analytical systems?
"The main growth areas are in the front end," said Jon Collins, an analyst with Freeform Dynamics. "But for BI to be done right, organizations need to look at both sides in order to avoid the creation of partial solutions which offer little incremental benefit."