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The Future Of BI – Where Are We Headed?

by William Laurent, William Laurent, Inc.Wednesday, August 19, 2009

If you have followed my recent writings at Dashboard Insight, you have hopefully developed a clearer picture on where the BI industry is headed over the next few years and what key developments you should watch for.  There are four very interesting threads of technology that are converging to shape the future of business intelligence.

  1. Open Source
  2. Mobile and Remote Access/Collaboration
  3. Social Networking
  4. Cloud Computing and Software as a Service

There will also be important complementary developments that will help shape the critical path of BI as well, such as the greening of IT and the convergence of risk, governance and compliance methodologies (GRC).  In addition, there will be a paradigm shift in how we view performance management: Traditional indicators and measures of performance will also become more complex as they begin to incorporate “value” and “innovation” into their edicts.  We will also start to witness BI dashboards and portals that package proactive and reactive intelligence into a new generation of “intelligence canvases,” leveraging breakthroughs in data visualization and mashboarding.

With Google emerging as a serious contender in cloud computing (not to mention their intention to build a full blown operating system), the convergence and interoperability of the four areas I list above may be closer than we realize.  Although relinquishing BI functions and data storage management to a third party may be perceived as a risky proposition to some, I can’t image that CIOs would not want the world’s best IT resources working in partnership with them.  With enterprise BI relying more and more on service oriented architectures (SOA), companies are serendipitously playing right into Google’s hand.  With Software as a Service (SAS) forming the backbone of their cloud computing strategy, Google has positioned itself to become the service broker and service manager (think SOA governance) to the masses.  With the capability to host terabyte upon terabyte of BI data for clients with advanced permissions and security management, coupled with the wherewithal to deliver a robust SAS experience, a sea of change is coming to the way companies think of and experience business intelligence.

About the Author

William Laurent is one of the world's leading experts in information strategy and governance. For 20 years, he has advised numerous businesses and governments on technology strategy, performance management, and best practices�across all market sectors. William currently runs an independent consulting company that bears his name. In addition, he frequently teaches classes, publishes books and magazine articles, and lectures on various technology and business topics worldwide. As Senior Contributing Author for Dashboard Insight, he would enjoy your comments at wlaurent@williamlaurent.com

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