Mobile business intelligence has arrived


Leaders can now adapt to a new connected business reality, led as usual by Apple iOS

Business intelligence (BI) on the go is finally here, thanks to the arrival of high performance mobile devices led by Apple's iOS platform, and the evolution of robust data carrying infrastructure, states research firm, Ovum.

Mobile BI solutions, which in the past have suffered from a lack of technological advancement and use cases, can now enable senior executives and line of business managers to adapt to a new connected business reality which expects them to have ready access to BI information in order to make quick and timely business decisions.

In its latest evaluation of the mobile BI landscape, Ovum reveals that mid-sized vendors – MicroStrategy, Information builders and Yellowfin – are leading the charge with feature-packed yet functional mobile solutions, while mega BI vendor SAP emerges as a top solution for iOS-enabled devices.

Ovum's report finds that while all vendors fully support the iOS platform, followed closely by Android (90%), there is a considerable lack support for BlackBerry (50%) and Windows (33%) devices.

'There is no question that the iPad's success in the consumer market has affected vendors' go to market strategies,' stated Fredrik Tunvall, analyst at Ovum. 'However, to reach a larger audience, they should consider supporting native or hybrid applications for Android and Windows devices, as both are expected to become increasingly prevalent in the enterprise, especially in emerging markets.'

While SAP's offering has been driven by its acquisitions of Afaria, Syclo and Sybase, and a BI roadmap that is heavily influenced by a 'mobile first' mindset, competitors IBM, Oracle and SAS are also eyeing market share. Ovum believes they have the technology and necessary development resources to improve their solutions quickly in 2013.

'We expect BI vendors to enhance their mobile capabilities through inhouse development and a continued wave of M&A activity,' commented Tunvall. 'This will also be where we will see some of the most interesting and innovative developments in BI and analytics over the next few years.'

Ovum's research also exposes a growing trend towards packaged and purpose-built mobile applications for verticals and line of business managers. Vendors will use this model to provide a collection of prebuilt applications and/or offer a mobile development platform where users can easily develop and deploy mobile applications for specific needs or roles.


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