REPORTS
SAP's Bill McDermott On IT Priorities In a Tough Economy

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Research: 2010 BI and Information Management Survey

SAP's Bill McDermott On IT Priorities In a Tough Economy

Agile Business: 2010 BI and Information Management Survey

Change is constant and competition relentless these days, so what business leaders want most from IT is greater agility. IT agility means systems can be adapted quickly and easily to support changing requirements. “Agile” has been a hot topic in software development and business process management for several years, and the buzz in business intelligence (BI) is also turning to agility lately.

In recent years, demand for quick access to new insight has spurred development of fast, what-if planning tools and in-memory analysis capabilities. It has also fueled interest in predictive analytics to get out ahead of emerging demand, risk and opportunity. You’d think mobile delivery, cloud computing and Internet-style querying would also figure heavily in the agility story, but respondents to our annual InformationWeek Analytics Business Intelligence and Information Management survey says these are still emerging ideas, far short of widespread implementation.

No, the biggest driver of BI agility is something most business people don’t want to hear about, much less spend money on. It’s sound information management (IM), and it’s the difficult part behind BI. IM includes data discovery, modeling, integration, data cleansing and database optimization—all tough, time-consuming challenges. And just when IT gets its arms around existing information, it seems the business side invariably hits the reset button on BI and IM demands by merging with or acquiring another company.

As we learn in this year’s survey, the wish list among BI practitioners hasn’t changed all that much in recent years. Fast analysis, rapid deployment and other attributes associated with agility are all in big demand. But there is a growing realization—or perhaps it’s resigned acceptance—that better business intelligence goes hand in hand with better information management. It’s not easy achieving agility, but this report describes promising technologies and pioneering practitioners that are making flexible and responsive BI a reality. (R1921110)

Survey: InformationWeek Analytics 2010 Business Intelligence and Information Management Survey of 484 business technology professionals, September 2010

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