My friends and relatives in the U.S. and Canada often speak about the good fortune of us Australians during the initial period of Global Financial Crisis (GFC). While I admit that Australia has had a relatively resilient economy during the GFC, we’ve been impacted nonetheless – our superannuation was affected by up to 10% – 14% while interest rates and unemployment skyrocketed.

During this period, mid-corporate to large enterprise businesses in Australia discovered that they had failed to leverage their investment in business intelligence (BI) systems to gain actionable insights from business data to safely navigate the GFC. It was discovered that data in BI systems was stale and did not take into account technical, process and organisational changes. Desperate tactical and ad-hoc efforts to piece together data from heterogeneous systems for immediate reporting and forecasting were unsustainable in the longer term. These efforts immediately failed as they attempted to address a strategic requirement with a holistically tactical fix.

Subsequent decommoditization of business intelligence solutions by vendors provided the right impetus to Australian organisations to re-invent their BI portfolio; only this time they went about it in the right way – driving their BI strategy by embedding it into their corporate strategy. BI initiatives now had a business sponsor. This meant any BI investment had to deliver tangible business outcomes continuously.

The impact of  these changes in organisational approach to BI has lead to a burgeoning Business Intelligence (BI) market in Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) over the last year. I’ve watched the Information Management business bloom in the BI space locally in Australia and globally at a pace that is both surprising and very exciting.

Some market forecasts related to BI growth from the leading analyst firms are outlined below:

  • IDC predicts 22.4% CAGR for Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) BI SaaS solutions up to 2013;
  • Gartner forecasts the global BI market to grow 9.7% to reach $10.8 billion in 2011;
  • The market for business intelligence (BI) software in India is forecast to reach revenue of $65.4 million in 2011, up 15.7% over 2010;
  • BI ranked number five on the list of the top 10 technology priorities in 2011, according to Gartner’s annual global CIO survey
  • Gartner forecast – “There is a slow revolution occuring in BI. BI solutions will be immutably tied to the fabric of business decision-making by 2014”.
  • In this report Gartner has identified the following three major customer demand trends that are driving phenomenal growth in the BI space. They are: 
    • Consumerization of BI;
    • Support for Extreme Data Performance; Emerging Data Sources;
    • BI as a Decision Platform.