Business intelligence market bounds back, continued growth ahead

Government and financial sector opportunities drive record profits in BI software

The business intelligence software market is expected to grow by 20.5 per cent in Asia Pacific countries this year, according to analyst firm IDC.

The market, valued at roughly $US400 million ($AUD429 million) in 2007, is expected to reach record heights of up to $US600 million ($AUD645 million) this year in Asia Pacific countries excluding Japan. The biggest growth, according to the report, will continue in the Australian and New Zealand markets, which make up nearly half of the market value.

Growth in the BI market is expected to continue until at least 2014, in which IDC predicts the Asia Pacific market will be worth $US850-900 million ($AUD913-967 million).

"BI software adoption surged in 2H 2009 as decision makers’ confidence on the global economic recovery strengthened, and demand for greater visibility into operations grew,” Sharon Tan, IDC research manager of Asia Pacific information management and analystics software said in a statement.

“The economic crisis brought home the point that many of the existing information systems were simply not capable of providing sufficient reliable and accurate information for urgent decision making purposes."

The biggest players in the market - SAP, IBM and SAS - shared near-equal share amongst clients, though the IDC report found the market was fragmented and open to both specialised and larger vendors.

The findings from IDC point to the financial sector as the largest adopter of business intelligence, arguably to better risk assessment and management in order to avoid a potential "double dip" in the economy.

In Australia, the public sector is also expected to be a growth market for business intelligence, as service providers like Capgemini Australia look to capitalise on the increase in data management and whole-of-government opportunities in IT.

"You only need to look at Customs and Borders, the amount of data they're trying to handle so that they can use it in terms of anti-terrorist approaches and borderland security," chief executive officer Paul Thorley told Computerworld Australia recently. "The conversations I'm having is that they really do need serious business intelligence skills sets within a number of those agencies.

"We still see the likelihood for a lot of transformational technologies in government."

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