Data discovery and mobility create spending revival by business users in Asia Pacific
‘Megavendors’ SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM controlled 72.2% of market in 2012
MALAYSIA will continue as the second-largest business intelligence (BI) market in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) after Singapore, reaching US$30.4 million by 2017, according to Gartner Inc.
The market for BI platforms in Asia Pacific itself is expected to grow 7.4% to reach almost US$1.4 billion in revenue in 2014 and more than US$1.6 billion by 2017, as data discovery and mobility create a revival in spending by business users, the research and analyst firm said in a statement.
Growing interest in big data solutions will continue to positively impact BI spending across Asia Pacific in 2014 and beyond, said Gartner research director Bhavish Sood (pic), author of a new report on the competitive landscape for BI platforms in the region.
“Information intensive initiatives are popular in organisations in Asia Pacific's accelerating economies, because information is a competitive differentiator,” he said.
“We expect this to continue as organisations pursue regulatory compliance, performance management and overarching enterprise information management initiatives,” he added.
In Asia Pacific, the top four ‘megavendors’ – SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM – controlled 72.2% of the BI platform market in 2012, up from 65% in 2011.
However, Gartner analysts said that business units increasingly prefer data discovery solutions, such as Tibco Spotfire, QlikTech and Tableau Software, while their counterparts in IT are still more comfortable procuring from megavendors.
“Given the current economic climate of slow growth, CIOs (chief information officers) are looking for solutions that need minimum servicing and can deliver fast time to value,” said Bhavish.
“These demands are being met by packaged analytical applications, preconfigured BI appliances and intuitive data discovery tools,” he added.
The need to increase its competitiveness against China's and that of other Asean countries, and renewed focus on depending less on tourism and the oil industry, will help drive BI growth in Malaysia, Gartner said.
Malaysia's investment in infrastructure is proving to be a good advantage for attracting foreign investments. Telcos and financial services are among the most sophisticated adopters of BI in the country, Gartner said.
Singapore is one of the most-developed BI markets within Asia Pacific, and it will remain the third-largest BI market through 2017. Its BI forecast outlook remains positive, with expected revenue of US$95.9 million.
With increasing competition from China and lower-wage neighbouring countries, such as Malaysia and Vietnam, Singapore has countered by diversifying into new vertical industries, such as biotechnology and high-tech manufacturing.
It is also continuously enhancing its well-established industries, such as banking and other service-related industries. In addition, as a well-developed country, Singapore will have a more stable maintenance revenue stream, which will become more pronounced in the event of another slowing global economy, Gartner added.
China will remain the second-largest BI software market in Asia Pacific through 2017, reaching US$217.3 million.
Gartner predicts that the industry landscape will evolve considerably in the next three to five years. Some important trends include:
1) Big data use cases are maturing, but today it's all about Hadoop
Customers across the region are keen to harness the innovative capabilities of Hadoop. Most big data discussions tend to be mired in the technical capabilities of Hadoop, rather than focusing on the business problem or use case at hand, Gartner said.
Because not many vendors in the region can offer both the technology and the business analytics capabilities, implementation issues are bound to arise.
Most open governments, such as in Australia, promote the publication of great quantities of data in raw format in an effort to use data in meaningful ways for its citizens. This, along with smart city initiatives being promoted by several governments, means that Hadoop will be an important part of governments' information management strategy.
2) Mobility and data discovery approaches enhance experience of business users
In Asia Pacific, mobile BI is being used as an information distribution channel for ‘road warriors.’ The use case is simply the mobilisation of existing content – from basic reports to elaborate dashboards – targeted at current BI users.
By following a different strategy, CIOs can use mobile BI to reach new constituencies, not necessarily those on the go. By making it fun and easy to use, BI will appeal to nontraditional users – those mainstream users who don't enjoy staring at a grid all day, Gartner said.
3) Asia Pacific market opening up for specialist BI and analytics vendors
When it comes to advanced analytics, Asia Pacific organiaations are willing to examine products from smaller niche companies that offer packaged analytical applications that solve a particular business pain point.
This is possibly due to the scarcity of skill sets in the market and the pressure on IT from business folks to deploy BI.
As a result, clients are open to buying packaged analytical applications to address specific pain points and niche problems. One clear distinction is that, unlike platform sellers, these vendors predominantly sell to business buyers.
4) Low-cost alternatives
Apart from megavendors and emerging vendors, several low-cost alternatives are available in the market.
These vendors saw an uptick in demand mostly from 2007 through 2012 as the megavendors worked on integrating their products. As a result, lower-cost local vendors, such as Yellowfin, TechnologyOne, Open Soft Technology and MAIA Intelligence, built a loyal user base, and they continue to gain market traction.
Additionally, open-source vendors such as Jaspersoft, Actuate and Pentaho are improving their products and continue to have mind share among government buyers and high-tech clients, especially product independent software vendors (ISVs), Gartner said.
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