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Gartner Says Rip Roaring Business Intelligence Growth Just Ahead

BI software market should amount to $2.5 billion this year—and reach $3 billion by 2009.

Most of us our happy if our yearly cost-of-living adjustments—which some optimists insist on calling “raises”—only slightly outpace inflation.

By that standard, business intelligence (BI) software vendors are probably ecstatic. According to market researcher Gartner Inc., worldwide BI software license revenues should reach $2.5 billion this year—a six percent increase from 2005. And by 2009, Gartner researchers say, the worldwide BI software market is expected to reach $3 billion.

The bullish BI market is a byproduct of a bullish trade in enterprise applications and CRM software, too. “Companies around the world have purchased more than US $40 billion worth of enterprise applications, including ERP, CRM and HR, during the past few years. This has generated significant volumes of data in support of the operational processes they automate,” said Colleen Graham, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement.

Not that a $3 billion BI software market is a gimme, however. Gartner analysts caution that potentially showstopping inhibitors—such as limited BI skills and competencies, perceived high TCO, and confusion concerning the intangibility of some aspects of BI’s ROI—could act as a brake on BI software growth.

Nevertheless, the market watcher says, BI remains the mostly highly ranked technology priority of 2006—according to a 2006 Gartner survey of 1,400 CIOs. In fact, CIOs will increase their BI budgets by an average of 4.8 percent this year.

This is in spite of the fact that many organizations still haven’t made BI as big a priority as it should be, Gartner researchers say. “BI has not yet achieved the necessary level of strategic importance and is not included as an essential part of corporate planning activities. Moving forward, BI will become part of business innovation itself,” said Gartner vice-president Frank Buytendijk, also in a statement. “Sharing information with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders increases loyalty and in many industries provides competitive differentiation. BI will become pervasive in operational and workplace applications as organizations seek to optimize their business.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at [email protected].

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