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Last month when I spoke to Carsten Bange, CEO of BARC and co-author of its BI Survey 14, he positioned mobile business intelligence as a trend that generated lots of hype but had experienced little traction in the enterprise.
Yet the latest study on mobile BI by Dresner Advisory Services – which, like BARC, does annual surveys – shows a more consistent interest in mobile business intelligence. While the percentage of respondents who called mobile BI “very important” or “critical” dipped briefly in 2013, Howard Dresner, the firm’s founder and CEO, said the number “recovered and then some” in 2014.
In addition, he said, in 2014 respondents made business intelligence their number two priority for mobile applications, trailing only email. “The ambition moving forward is pretty strong,” he said.
The relative maturity of mobile business intelligence has made companies “more circumspect about it,” Dresner said. “I think they understand it better now, so they are taking a more balanced approach.”
There have been “bumps in the road” along the way to mobile business intelligence, Dresner acknowledged, but he expects to see deployments grow in the next few years as companies make decisions about key application development and infrastructure issues. For example, he believes many organizations are moving toward a hybrid development model that will encompass both HTML5, which facilitates cross-platform development, and native applications, which offer the most robust user experience.
In terms of applications running on mobile devices, business intelligence (BI) has always held the most promise in terms of opportunity for solution providers in the channel. Perhaps most significant to the channel is the fact that most mobile BI applications continue to be tightly connected to internal servers, creating a variety of integration opportunities. New research looks at trends in mobile BI deployment plans and user priorities. According to a survey of 275 executives conducted by the market research firm Dresner Advisory Services, BI has nudged out calendaring for the first time as the second most important mobile application following email. The survey also finds that, in terms of mobile computing platforms, Microsoft is starting to gain mind share even though Apple continues to dominate the category. The study also indicates that interest in enterprise-grade app stores is definitely on the rise. Channel Insider examines key takeaways from the study.
With more organizations investing in analytics, it was only a matter of time before the industry started talking about the rise of a chief analytics officer.
A survey of 317 business and IT executives from the International Institute of Analytics, created at the behest of Dell, found that organizations with a high degree of analytical maturity are more likely to have a chief analytics officer, or someone with a similar title charged with collecting and managing an organization’s analytics efforts. The survey also found that organizations are investing more to achieve that maturity, with two-thirds of mid-market organizations devoting more than $100,000 to analytics in 2014; a similarly large portion of enterprise organizations invested $500,000 or more.
But what’s not clear is whether the role of “chief analytics officer” will become a widespread one, in the manner of CFO, CMO, or even CEO. There’s always the possibility that the appearance of chief analytics officers is a temporary response to a perceived need by organizations to have someone capable of wrangling an ever-increasing amount of data, rather than continuing to rely on the gut instincts of executives who, while experienced, don’t necessarily possess the necessary analytics background.
Howard Dresner, principal for Dresner Advisory Services, suggested that, while there is no doubt that organizations which build formal “centers of analytics excellence” (whether people or divisions) generally perform better than those that don’t, creating a chief analytics officer position might prove counterproductive. “I think that may be asking too much of one person,” he said. “What you want is for the responsibility for analytics to be pushed down into the entire organization.”
Salesforce.com today announced AppExchange Store Builder, a set of tools through which organizations can build their own customizable app stores on Salesforce. Using the same tools that Salesforce used to build AppExchange, organizations can create a similar environment around a select group of applications, says Jim Sinai, senior director of AppExchange and platform marketing.
Of course, there is no shortage of app stores these days. Apple and Google clearly dominate when it comes to being the place that most organizations gain access to applications. But a survey of 275 business and IT professionals published by Dresner Advisory Services suggests that organizations are more willing to purchase applications via other app stores. In 36 months, the survey found that about half the respondents would either like to have their own enterprise app store or be able to use a third-party enterprise app store. A big driver of that interest is having more control over what applications can be deployed inside their organizations.
Hortonworks Inc., a major distributor for Apache Hadoop, the open source distributed computing framework used in big data, announced last week that it was going public. The initial public offering comes just three years after the company was spun out of Yahoo. It’s an ambitious — if not unexpected — move for Hortonworks, analysts said. It may spur more initial public offerings from close competitors, MapR and Cloudera, but what does it say about the status of big data?
If the IPO signals anything about enterprise technology, it is that open source continues to gain momentum. “People are starting to understand what the open source model is, what the community is, and they are investing,” said Howard Dresner, chief research officer of Dresner Advisory Services LLC in Nashua, N.H. A few years ago, participants in Dresner’s surveys reported that Hadoop was dead last in terms of priorities. That isn’t the case anymore. “For better or worse, it’s taking hold,” he said. “And it’s something CIOs have to pay attention to. There’s going to be too much pressure for them not to.”