Technology Pioneers Drive Global Business Intelligence Trends in 2014

  • arcplan shows how innovations from leading producers of hardware and software form the basis for BI developments
  • Tablets and smartphones from Apple, Amazon, Google and others are driving industry trends for mobile BI, self-service BI and cloud BI

Wayne, PA, USA / Langenfeld, Germany – December 11, 2013 – The end of each year warrants a look at the key trends that may take hold in the coming months. Mobility, cloud computing, bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and big data topics are clearly influencing the business intelligence (BI) industry. However, major market players such as Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Google (GGQ1), Samsung (SSUN) and others are producing the technology to make these developments possible. The question becomes: are the trends paving the way for these companies to produce the technology, or is the existence of the technology influencing the trends? International BI software provider arcplan believes the latter – that Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung are the actual pioneers of the BI industry.

AmBIvalence Toward Industry Trends

2014 will be a year of consolidation. There will not be much in the way of wholly new trends, even though some experts are already forecasting more innovations. Gartner, for example, has singled out voice-controlled BI as a hot topic. However, the idea of being able to control BI processes by voice instead of through user interfaces is more of a fantasy than a realistic business requirement. Instead, the focus for 2014 will be on developments that are already possible and how to integrate these into the corporate IT environment. Big data, for example, has been a subject of discussion for years. In 2014, there will be more talk about the benefits and value provided by the increasingly larger amounts of data. Primarily though, it is the underlying technical innovations created by industry giants such as Amazon and Apple that are driving the development of BI and the requirements of the market.

Mobile BI Thanks to Tablets and Smartphones

Innovations like the tablet and smartphone – a market in which Android dominates today – have been rapidly adopted by users. Businesses too are now recognizing the benefits of mobile devices for everyday work. Whether in sales or marketing, in the future almost every employee will want to link portable devices with corporate networks. Already 60 percent of employees in Germany, where arcplan's headquarters are located, spend at least some of their time working on the road or in a home office – and this figure is rising. According to IDC, it is expected that 37 percent of office personnel will be working entirely on a mobile basis two years from now. This intensifies the pressure on IT departments to enable access to an increasing number of corporate applications via smartphones and tablets, thus enabling business processes to be managed regardless of location. For this purpose, both back ends and front ends require BI solutions – information and presentation must be optimized for numerous end devices.

Developments such as these are attributable to the rapid progress in the field of mobile devices in the consumer segment. It is precisely these technical innovations that enable flexible software, such as mobile applications that communicate with back office solutions and provide access to data anytime, anywhere.

Amazon – the Proverbial Midwife for Cloud BI

The advantages of cloud BI are plain to see. Regarding of the size of a company and its needs, software-as-a-service solutions (SaaS) can be tailored to the specific requirements of businesses. A dedicated data center is no longer necessary, which enables massive cost savings. The primary pioneer in this field of services is Amazon. With its web service AWS, Amazon has been the successful undisputed market leader for years. For example, if a business needs a Windows server with a database solution for a BI application, Amazon – the largest infrastructure-as-a-service provider – can offer this environment within just a few minutes. Amazon has laid the foundation for ubiquitous and cost-effective cloud BI.

Self-Service Drives Employee Efficiency

With internationalization, increasingly complex business processes and rapidly changing markets, businesses need to collect, analyze and process ever increasing amounts of information. This is why many businesses employ BI and performance management. Users outline their needs and IT tries to satisfy them. Such an approach is not only complicated, but also error-prone and costly. Therefore, in order to make decisions more rapidly, employees want more direct access to business data independent of the IT department. Self-service business intelligence is ideal for this purpose as business processes can be made more efficient and more productive when they are autonomous. For example, self-service BI enables users to create dashboards and ad-hoc reports, something that was previously only possible with the aid of IT specialists. Thanks to user-friendly devices from Apple and Samsung, the technical basis that makes user customization possible in the first place has been established.

"BI trends for many businesses in recent years have primarily been theoretical constructs with little in the way of tangible benefits," explained Tiemo Winterkamp, Senior VP Global Marketing at arcplan. "Now it's time to turn this knowledge into practical applications. We support our clients with self-service BI and mobility at arcplan, but the innovations of Apple, Samsung and Amazon made it possible. They established the foundations upon which we provide modern and user-friendly BI solutions."

About arcplan
arcplan is a leader in innovative Business Intelligence, Dashboard, Corporate Performance and Planning software solutions for desktop and mobile use. Since 1993, arcplan has enabled more than 3,200 customers worldwide to leverage their existing infrastructure for better decision making. Empowering all users to connect and collaborate with relevant information is crucial for improving business performance. With arcplan – it simply works.

arcplan's flagship product arcplan Enterprise was rated the #1 third party tool for SAP BW, Oracle Essbase, and IBM Cognos TM1 in The BI Survey 13 (2013).