Apple’s iPad Dominates Mobile Business Intelligence

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Mar 01, 2011

Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad has become the top platform for mobile business intelligence, followed by Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) BlackBerry, according to a new study.

The mobile business intelligence study by analyst Howard Dresner is a follow-up to one last summer (see Mobile Business Intelligence: The Next Big Thing).

That study found that Apple’s iPhone dominated mobile BI. A little more than seven months later, the iPad is in the lead, with “significant deployments,” followed by RIM’s BlackBerry. However, BlackBerry and Windows Phone interest is declining, according to the new study, while Android devices are finding growing interest, particularly for tablets.

Tabs, Dresner said, “change the way that you work.”

“They make a huge difference,” he said, with none of the form factor limitations of smartphones.

While the results could be viewed as positive for Research in Motion, Dresner told eCRM Guide that BlackBerry users may simply be “using what they have” for mobile BI, as many corporations already have huge BlackBerry bases. Still, RIM gets high marks for security, and with the PlayBook tab on its way, the company may have a chance to get back in the mobile BI game.

Still, Dresner made it clear that the iPad is “the growth platform.”

“The iPad has really captured the imagination of the most senior levels of management,” he said.

For Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), it may be too late to play catch-up he said. “Interest in Windows has plummeted,” he said, calling the recent Microsoft-Nokia alliance a “Hail Mary.”

“I have a suspicion that they missed the market and offered too little, too late,” Dresner said.

Dresner, who has two Android tabs of his own, is high on the future for tablet devices. “I can see a day when people will not have a laptop,” he said.

Dresner sees huge growth for mobile business intelligence over the next two years; 97 percent of the companies he studied expect a quarter or more of their BI user bases to be exclusively mobile by then. Usage is currently under 10 percent at most companies, he said.

Retail, healthcare, distribution, logistics and manufacturing are the strongest use cases for mobile BI, while executives and sales personnel top the list of mobile BI users.

Among business intelligence vendors ranked by Dresner, Actuate — which licensed the study — ranked highest for its mobile business intelligence capability, along with SAP and Information Builders. QlikTech and MicroStrategy were right behind.


Paul Ferrill
Paul Ferrill

Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.

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