BI remains a CIO priority ahead of application modernisation

Australian BI revenue to top $184 million in 2008

While there is no doubt that the acquired core products, such as Oracle's Hyperion Essbase, Business Objects XI, or Cognos 8 will remain highly strategic and supported by extensive research and development funding, overlapping products in a vendor's portfolio may see some defocus in the mid-term.

Sood said that increased BI innovation means that query, reporting and online analytical processing (OLAP) capabilities have reached parity and no longer deliver a competitive edge.

Most vendors now include these basic BI capabilities in their product stacks, including Microsoft which has added more BI functionalities in SQL Server 2008, Office 2007 and PerformancePoint Server.

Successful pure-play BI vendors will incorporate emerging technologies in BI such as dashboards, predictive modelling, enterprise search, social software, interactive visualisation techniques and in-memory analytics.

Hosted BI through software-as-a-service (SaaS) is one new approach being pioneered by a cluster of vendors including Seatab and LucidEra.

Vendors can also thrive by specialising by industry or geographic region, according to Gartner.

Dairy King CIO, John Bianalli, said the high level of interest in BI is about making better use of available assets.

He said organizations also recognize the need to exploit data.

"It's about getting more bang for your buck. Organizations today are trying to squeeze every dollar they can from past software acquisitions," Bianalli said.

"Gartner's figures are no surprise although I didn't expect BI to maintain its dominance for three years.

"Im looking at Web services at the moment. Once again its about trying to wean greater efficiencies from our systems."

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