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India, fastest growing BI platforms market in APAC

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CIOL Bureau
New Update

BANGALORE, INDIA: Gartner Inc, said that India is the fastest growing Business Intelligence (BI) Platforms market in Asia (including Japan), posting a growth of 35.6 percent in 2005-06. BI Platforms revenues in India grew from $ 12.1 million in 2005 to reach $ 16.4 million in 2006, with all leading vendors posting double-digit growth.

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In APAC (including Japan), the BI platforms market grew at 16 percent in 2005 to reach $491.8 million in 2006, with Japan accounting for more than half the overall market.

According to Bhavish Sood, principal research analyst, Gartner, “Enterprise agility is a high-priority goal for enterprises in 2007, but BI's overall impact on business is poorly understood and BI is still considered as ‘nice to have’ in India. Many enterprises still rely on gut feelings and past experiences while making decisions and are not comfortable with the democratization of information and the transparency that BI initiatives bring about.”

The overall BI market in India is at a nascent stage, with a huge up-tapped opportunity for vendors to capture. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are increasingly required to invest in technologies that drive business transformation and strategic change.

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“BI can deliver on this promise if deployed successfully because it can improve decision making and operational efficiency, which in turn drives the top line and the bottom line. Also, information generated from enterprise applications is at an all-time high and will continue to increase. BI platforms can turn that information into an asset on which better business decisions can be made,” Sood added.

Since India is currently in the implementation wave of business applications platforms like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM), the demand for business intelligence platforms will continue to rise. In fact, Indian enterprises show a strong preference for products like database management systems or application servers with BI capabilities embedded into the application.

 

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Vendors also see embedded products as the ideal platform for catering to the burgeoning small and medium sized organisations. Several vendors in 2006 have been modifying or extending their product, pricing and partner strategies to reach this key group. Hosted BI through software as a service is one new approach that is being pioneered by a cluster of vendors.

BI priorities in India vary both by the vertical and size of the enterprise. Selection of BI platforms is a key activity carried out by enterprises as part of their BI initiatives with a granular focus on the technical platform capabilities. While dashboards and score cards are the common requirements for a range of industries, the telecom and banking verticals are moving towards implementing sophisticated analytics for understanding customer churn and making credit risk assessments.

The growth of BI in India is also being driven by standardization, regulatory compliance and new laws like the Right to Information Act.

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The top four vendors accounted for a majority of the Indian BI platforms market contributing to more than 72 percent of the overall revenues. SAP grew at an impressive 70.3 percent replacing Microsoft as the largest BI vendor in India, and relegating Business Objects to the 3rd position.

Despite the growing economy, and the apparent need for BI, the Indian BI market is less than 4 percent of the total APAC (including Japan) market.

Sood explains, “Qualitative benefits, such as better insights and better decisions can be difficult to measure and place in a return-on-investment model. This makes further expansion of investments harder to justify in numerical terms, posing problems for both business users as well as the CIO approaching the CFO and/or management.

Secondly, building BI infrastructure is only one part of the overall problem. Getting employees and executives to use that infrastructure is a cumbersome exercise and often leads to under utilization of the BI infrastructure and slower growth opportunities.”

Therefore, while the market poses a huge opportunity, the lack of a definition or agreement of what and how to measure/analyze the business will continue to inhibit successful deployments, discouraging organizations from further investing in BI.

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