The Top 10 Trends for 2010 in Analytics, Business Intelligence and Performance Management

The Top 10 Trends for 2010 in Analytics, Business Intelligence and Performance Management

Nenshad Bardoliwalla with an excellent list, but #5 jumped out at me:

SaaS / Cloud BI Tools will steal significant revenue from on-premise vendors but also fight for limited oxygen amongst themselves. From many accounts, this was the year that SaaS-based offerings hit the mainstream due to their numerous advantages over on-premise offerings, and this certainly was in evidence with the significant uptick in investment and market visibility of SaaS BI vendors.  Although much was made of the folding of LucidEra, one of the original pioneers in the space, and while other vendors like BlinkLogic folded as well, vendors like Birst, PivotLink, Good Data, Indicee and others continue to announce wins at a fair clip along with innovations at a fraction of the cost of their on-premise brethren.  From a functionality perspective, these tools offer great usability, some collaboration features, strong visualization capabilities, and an ease-of-use not seen with their on-premise equivalents whereby users are able to manage the system in a self-sufficient fashion devoid of the need for significant IT involvement.  I have long argued that basic reporting and analysis is now a commodity, so there is little reason for any customer to invest in on-premise capabilities at the price/performance ratio that the SaaS vendors are offering (see BI SaaS Vendors Are Not Created Equal ) .  We should thus expect to see continued dimunition of the on-premise vendors BI revenue streams as the SaaS BI value proposition goes mainstream, although it wouldn’t be surprising to see acquisitions by the large vendors to stem the tide.  However, with so many small players in the market offering largely similar capabilities, the SaaS BI tools vendors may wind up starving themselves for oxygen as they put price pressure on each other to gain new customers.  Only vendors whose offerings were designed from the beginning for cloud-scale architecture and thus whose marginal cost per additional user approaches zero will succeed in such a commodity pricing environment, although alternatively these vendors can pursue going upstream and try to compete in the enterprise, where the risks and rewards of competition are much higher.   On the other hand, packaged SaaS BI Applications such as those offered by Host Analytics, Adaptive Planning, and new entrant Anaplan, while showing promising growth, have yet to mature to mainstream adoption, but are poised to do so in the coming years.  As with all SaaS applications, addressing key integration and security concerns will remain crucial to driving adoption.

Also #10 nailed a truism in the BI market (Excel will continue to provide the dominant paradigm for end-user BI consumption.), and idea we’ve written about in a slightly different context here.

Be sure to read Bardoliwalla’s whole list.  Great insight.