RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Future Directions for BI Software

The last two years have seen spectacular changes in the BI industry with many of the major, independent BI tool vendors being “gobbled up” by “bigger fish.” Only time will tell how and to what extent the large vendors will push the decision support envelope.

Business Intelligence Journal

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The last two years have seen spectacular changes in the BI industry with many of the major, independent BI tool vendors being “gobbled up” by “bigger fish.” The most significant acquisitions include Business Objects by SAP, Hyperion by Oracle, and Cognos by IBM.

There are multiple ways you can view these developments. A positive spin on this market consolidation is that vendors will be able to offer a more comprehensive BI stack, it will be possible to deal with a smaller number of vendors, and the time and cost of integrating products will be reduced. A potential downside, however, is that the “big fish” may not significantly invest and innovate in further developing the acquired products. For them, the revenue associated with BI software is only a small percentage of their total revenue; in comparison, for independent BI vendors, it is the basis for their business. Only time will tell how and to what extent the large vendors will push the decision support envelope.

Even if BI products are not enhanced as much as they might otherwise be, there is another possible, positive outcome. Consolidation may create a vacuum that encourages new companies to enter the marketplace. Entrepreneurs may see the opportunity to “think outside the box” and develop products that are different from those available today. In fact, this is already happening.

This article originally appeared in the issue of Transforming Data with Intelligence.

About the Author

Dr. Hugh J. Watson is a leading scholar and authority on business intelligence and analytics, having authored 22 books and over 150 journal articles. Hugh is a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems and The Data Warehousing Institute and is the Senior Editor of the Business Intelligence Journal. For the past 20 years, Hugh has been the consulting editor for John Wiley & Sons’ MIS series.

hwatson@uga.edu

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