B.I. Apps, Other Enterprise Software Spending to Increase: Gartner

Worldwide spending on enterprise application software—including business intelligence applications—will increase 4.5 percent in 2012, according to a new research note from Gartner.

That 4.5 percent is a slight adjustment downward from the 5 percent that Gartner predicted in the first quarter of 2012; the research firm attributes that slight dip to “limited signs of improvement” in the global marketplace, which in turn constricts the amount of money that companies can spend on IT.

“Spending in 2012 is anticipated to focus on industry-specific applications,” Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner, wrote in a June 20 statement tied to the research note. In addition, companies will spend more on upgrades to mission critical software, the integration of established systems and hardware, and more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployments.

Gartner believes that “key enterprise application software market segments” in 2012 include business intelligence, along with various management platforms, digital content creation, and enterprise research planning. Companies also seem more interested in exploring SaaS and the cloud for business-app use, especially as, in Eid’s words, “tighter capital budgets demand leaner alternatives, popularity and familiarity with the model increase, and interest in SaaS and cloud computing grows.”

Despite that belt-tightening, companies evidently realize the importance of business intelligence. A recent survey by consulting firm Avanade suggested that 91 percent of firms use business-intelligence tools to manage and analyze data. However, around 85 percent of those surveyed reported obstacles in managing and analyzing data, including a need for trained staff.

Indeed, that need for trained staff is a serious issue; consulting firm McKinsey & Company predicted in 2011 that the demand for analytical talent in the U.S. would exceed supply by 50 to 60 percent by 2018.

One possible solution is constructing more business-intelligence apps that allow workers with comparatively little training analyze datasets for insights. “B.I. requirements change faster than an IT-centric support model can keep up,” Forrester analyst Boris Evelson wrote in a June 12 corporate blog posting. “Even with by-the-book B.I. applications, firms still struggle to turn B.I. applications on a dime to meet frequently changing business requirements.”


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