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Roundup Of Analytics, Big Data & Business Intelligence Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2014

NYC SkylineFrom manufacturers looking to gain greater insights into streamlining production, reducing time-to-market and increasing product quality to financial services firms seeking to upsell clients, analytics is now essential for any business looking to stay competitive.  Marketing is going through its own transformation, away from traditional tactics to analytics- and data-driven strategies that deliver measurable results.

Analytics and the insights they deliver are changing competitive dynamics daily by delivering greater acuity and focus.  The high level of interest and hype surrounding analytics, Big Data and business intelligence (BI) is leading to a proliferation of market projections and forecasts, each providing a different perspective of these markets.

Presented below is a roundup of recent forecasts and market estimates:

  • The Advanced and Predictive Analytics (APA) software market is projected from grow from $2.2B in 2013 to $3.4B in 2018, attaining a 9.9% CAGR in the forecast period.  The top 3 vendors in 2013 based on worldwide revenue were SAS ($768.3M, 35.4% market share), IBM ($370.3M, 17.1% market share) and Microsoft ($64.9M, 3% market share).  IDC commented that simplified APA tools that provide less flexibility than standalone statistical models tools yet have more intuitive graphical user interfaces and easier-to-use features are fueling business analysts’ adoption.  Source: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=249054
  • A.T. Kearney forecasts global spending on Big Data hardware, software and services will grow at a CAGR of 30% through 2018, reaching a total market size of $114B.  The average business expects to spend $8M on big data-related initiatives this year. Source: Beyond Big: The Analytically Powered Organization.
  • Cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) is projected to grow from $.75B in 2013 to $2.94B in 2018, attaining a CAGR of 31%.  Redwood Capital’s recent Sector Report on Business Intelligence  (free, no opt in) provides a thorough analysis of the current and future direction of BI.  Redwood Capital segments the BI market into traditional, mobile, cloud and social business intelligence.   The following two charts from the Sector Report on Business Intelligence  illustrate how Redwood Capital sees the progression of the BI market through 2018.

redwood capital global intelligence market size

  • Enterprises getting the most value out of analytics and BI have leaders that concentrate more on collaboration, instilling confidence in their teams, and creating an active analytics community, while laggards focus on technology alone.  A.T. Kearney and Carnegie Mellon University recently surveyed 430 companies around the world, representing a wide range of geographies and industries, for the inaugural Leadership Excellence in Analytic Practices (LEAP) study.  You can find the study here.  The following is a graphic from the study comparing the characteristics of leaders and laggards’ strategies for building a culture of analytics excellence.

leaders and laggards2

  • The worldwide market for Big Data related hardware, software and professional services is projected to reach $30B in 2014.  Signals and System Telecom forecasts the market will attain a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17% over the next 6 years.  Signals and Systems Telecom’s report forecasts Big Data will be a $76B market by 2020.  Source: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/s2t239/the_big_data
  • Big Data is projected to be a $28.5B market in 2014, growing to $50.1B in 2015 according to Wikkbon.  Their report, Big Data Vendor Revenue and Market Forecast 2013-2017 is outstanding in its accuracy and depth of analysis.  The following is a graphic from the study, illustrating Wikibon’s Big Data market forecast broken down by market component through 2017.

Big Data Wikibon

  • SAPIBMSASMicrosoftOracle, Information Builders, MicroStrategy, and Actuate are market leaders in BI according to Forrester’s latest Wave analysis of BI platforms.  Their report, The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q4 2013 (free PDF, no opt in, courtesy of SAS) provides a thorough analysis of 11 different BI software providers using the research firm’s 72-criteria evaluation methodology.
  • Amazon Web Services, Cloudera, Hortonworks, IBM, MapR Technologies, Pivotal Software, and Teradata are Big Data Hadoop market leaders according to Forrester’s latest Wave analysis of Hadoop Solutions.  Their report, The Forrester Wave™: Big Data Hadoop Solutions, Q1 2014 (free PDF, no opt in, courtesy of MapR Technologies) provides a thorough analysis of nine different Big Data Hadoop software providers using the research firm’s 32-criteria evaluation methodology.
  • IDC forecasts the server market for high performance data analysis (HPDA) will grow at a 23.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) reaching $2.7B by 2018.  In the same series of studies IDC forecasts the related storage market will expand to $1.6B also in 2018. HPDA is the term IDC created to describe the formative market for big data workloads using HPC. Source: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24938714
  • Global Big Data technology and services revenue will grow from $14.26B in 2014 to $23.76B in 2016, attaining a compound annual growth rate of 18.55%.  These figures and a complete market analysis are available in IDC’s Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012 – 2016 Forecast.  You can download the full report here (free, no opt-in): Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012 – 2016 Forecast.

big data analytics by market size

  • Financial Services firms are projected to spend $6.4B in Big Data-related hardware, software and services in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 22% through 2020.  Software and internet-related companies are projected to spend $2.8B in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 26% through 2020.  These and other market forecasts and projections can be found in Bain & Company’s Insights Analysis, Big Data: The Organizational Challenge.  An infographic of their research results are shown below.

Big-Data-infographic-Bain & Company

potential payback of big data initiatives

BCG’s Value Creators Report Shows How Software Is Driving New Business Models

boston-300x211Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently released their fifth annual technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) value report. The 2013 TMT Value Creators Report: The Great Software Transformation, How to Win as Technology Changes the World (free, opt-in required, 41 pgs).

The five trends that serve as the foundation of this report include the increasing pervasiveness of software, affordable small devices, ubiquitous broadband connectivity, big-data analytics and cloud computing.  BCG’s analysis illustrates how the majority of TMT companies that deliver the most value to shareholders are concentrating on the explosive growth of new markets, the rise of software-enabled digital metasystems, and for many, both.

The study is based on an analysis of 191 companies, 76 in the technology industry, 62 from media and 53 from telecom.  To review the methodology of this study please see page 28 of the report.

Here are the key takeaways from this years’ BCG TMT Value Creators Report:

  • BCG is predicting 1B smartphones will be sold in 2013, the first year their sales will have exceeded those of features phones.  By 2018, there will be more than 5B “post-PC” products (tablets & smartphones) in circulation. There are nearly as many mobile connections in the world as people (6.8B) according to the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

bcg figure 1

  • 27 terabytes of data is generated every second through the creation of video, images social networks, transactional and enterprise-based systems and networks.  90% of the data that is stored today didn’t exist two years ago, and the annual data growth rate in future years is projected to be 40% to 60% over current levels according to BCG’s analysis.

bcg figure 2

  • The ascent of communications speeds is surpassing Moore’s Law as a structural driver of growth.  BCG completed the following analysis graphing the progression of microprocessor transition count (Moore’s Law) relative to Internet speed (bps) citing Butter’s Law of Photonics which states that the amount of data coming out of an optical fiber is doubling every nine months. BCG states that these dynamics are democratizing information technology and will lead to the cloud computing industry (software and services) reaching nearly $250B in 2017.
    bcg figure 3
  • BCG predicts that India will see a fivefold increase in digitally-influenced spending, ascending from $30B in 2012 to $150B in 2016, among the fastest of all nations globally according to their study. India will also see the value of online purchases increase from $8B in 2012 t5o $50B in 2016.

bcg figure 4

  • 3D printing is forecast to become a $3.1B market by 2016, and will have an economic impact of $550B in 2025, fueling rapid price reductions in 3D printers through 2017.  BCG sees 3D printing, connected travel, genomics and smart grid technologies are central to their digital metasystem.   The following graphic illustrates the key trends in each of these areas along with research findings from BCG and other sources.

bcg figure 5

  • Only 7% of customers are comfortable with their information being used outside of the purpose for which it was originally gathered.

bcg figure 6

  • BCG reports that mobile infrastructure investments in Europe have fallen 67% from 2004 to 2014.  Less than 1% of mobile connections in Europe were 4B as of the end of 2012, compared to 11% in the U.S. and 28% in South Korea.   European operators have also been challenged to monetize mobile data as well, as the following figures illustrate.

bcg figure 7

bcg figure 8

  • Big Data is attracting $19B in funding across five key areas according to BCG’s analysis.  These include consumer data and marketing, enterprise data, analytical tools, vertical markets and data platforms.  A graphical analysis of these investments is shown below.

bcg figure 9

Cloud Predictive Analytics Most Used To Gain Customer Insight

AnalyticsUsing analytics to better understand customer satisfaction, profitability, retention and churn while increasing cross-sell and up-sell are the most dominant uses of cloud-based analytics today.

Jim Ericson and James Taylor presented the results of Decision Management Solutions’ cloud predictive analytics survey this week in the webinar Predictive Analytics in the Cloud 2013 – Opportunities, Trends and the Impact of Big Data.  The research methodology included 350 survey responses, with a Web-based survey used for data collection.  The survey centered on the areas of pre-packaged cloud-based solutions, cloud-based predictive modeling, and cloud deployment of predictive analytics.  You can see a replay of the webinar at this link.

Key takeaways of the study results released during the webinar include the following:

  • Customer Analytics (72%), followed by supply chain, business optimization, marketing optimization (57%), risk and fraud (52%), and marketing (58%) are the areas in which respondents reported the strongest interest.
  • When the customer analytics responses were analyzed in greater depth they showed most interest in customer satisfaction (50%) followed by customer profitability (34%), customer retention/churn (32%), customer management (30%), and cross-sell/up-sell (26%).
  • Adoption was increasingly widespread and growing, with over 90% of respondents reporting that they expected to deploy one or more type of predictive analytics in the cloud solution.
  • Industries with the most impact from predictive analytics include retail (13% more than average), Financial Services (12%) and hardware/software (4%). Lagging industries include health care delivery (-9%), insurance -11%) and (surprisingly) telecommunications (-33%).  The following graphic illustrates the relative impact of cloud-based predictive analytics applications by industry.

Adoption of Cloud-based Predictive Analytics by Industry

  • The most widespread analytics scenarios include prepackaged solutions (52%), cloud-based analytics modeling (47%) and cloud-based analytic embedding of applications (46%).  Comparing the 2011 and 2013 surveys showed significant gains in all three categories, with the greatest being in the area of cloud-based analytic modeling.  This category increased from 51% in 2011 to 75% in 2013, making it the most likely analytics application respondents are going to implement this year.

Comparison of Analytics Applications Most Likely To Deploy, 2011 versus 2013

  • 63% of respondents report that when predictive analytics are tightly integrated into operations using Decision Management, enterprises have the intelligence they need to transform their businesses.

Impact of Predictive Analytics Integration Across The Enterprise

  • Data security and privacy (61%) followed by regulatory compliance (50%) are the two most significant concerns respondent companies have regarding predictive analytics adoption in their companies.  Compliance has increased as a concern significantly since 2011, probably as more financial services firms are adopting cloud computing for mainstream business strategies.

Concerns of Enterprises Who Are Using Cloud-based Predictive Analytics Today

  • Internal cloud deployments (41%) are the most common approach to implementing central cloud platforms, followed by managed vendor clouds (23% and hybrid clouds (23%). Private and managed clouds continue to grow as preferred platforms for cloud-based analytics, as respondents seek greater security and stability of their applications.  The continued adoption of private and managed clouds are a direct result of respondents’ concerns regarding data security, stability, reliability and redundancy.

Approach To Cloud Deployment

  • The study concludes that structured data is the most prevalent type of data, followed by third party data and unstructured data.
  • While there was no widespread impact on results from Big Data, predictive analytics cloud deployments that have a Big Data component are more likely to contribute to a transformative impact on their organizations’ performance.  Similarly those with more experience deploying predictive analytics in the cloud were more likely to use Big Data.
  • In those predictive analytics cloud deployments already operating or having an impact, social media data from the cloud, voice or other audio data, and image or video data were all much more broadly used as the following graphic illustrates.

Which Data Types Deliver The Most Positive Impact In A Big Data Context

Making Analytics Pay In The Enterprise

global-analytics-300x2001With analytics and big data being so heavily hyped today, it is ironic the majority of business analysts often lack access to data and tools they need.

But things are changing with the next generation of analytics software coming to market.  A recent study by The Economist, “Big Data and the Democratisation of Decisions,” shows the severity of the big data analytics problem and which departments need the most support: customer service, human resources, marketing, strategy and business development.  The following is an infographic based on the study’s key findings. To be clear, all companies mentioned in this post are not and never have been clients of mine or companies I have worked for.

Unleashing Greater Insight in the Enterprise

The real analytics payoff in the enterprise begins when business analysts can achieve customer and market insights faster than their competitors.  In the consumer packaged goods industry, every week counts in a new product launch and product lifecycle.  In healthcare, lag times in customer service lead to patients seeking more responsive treatment alternatives.  The net result in each is lost revenue.

Analytics applications and platforms are increasingly being designed for self-service and the needs of business analysts first.  Instead of having to rely on IT for analytics, big data and advanced statistical analysis support, business analysts need to be able to complete projects on their own. Analytics applications are advancing quickly on this self-service dimension, making it possible for business analysts to get complex projects done in a fraction of the time it would have taken IT to staff and complete them.

Alliances and partnerships between analytics software providers are focused on getting business analysts the tools they need so they don’t have to rely on IT so much to get their work done.  The recent partnership announced between Alteryx and Revolution Analytics puts R-based predictive analytics directly in the hands business analysts is a case in point.

What’s noteworthy about this partnership above all others is the option it gives enterprises to integrate big data and other 3rd party sources into a common system of engagement. Business analysts can then use tools to design analytics and reporting workflows that align and stay in step with line-of-business needs over time.

alteryx-gallery1-300x1691Once an application or workflow is complete, business analysts can publish and distribute their analytics applications enterprise-wide. The Alteryx Analytics Gallery (shown to the right) gives customers the opportunity to share their analytics applications with each other.  The gallery is helping business analysts learn from each other, serving as a catalyst for broader analytic consumption.

This is the same model ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) has been so successful with in the area of IT Service Management.  I attended Knowledge13 earlier this year and found their customer base to be one of the most enthusiastic I’ve ever met.  What ServiceNow has done IT Service Management, Alteryx is on its way to accomplishing in analytics.

Why All This Matters For Customers

Getting analytics applications and tools in the hands of business analysts significantly improves the customer experience and reduce errors at the same time. At Kaiser Permanente, business analysts focus on cost saving projects that improve customer service.

Kaiser has a continual stream of customer interactions across multiple channels going on daily.  Supported by legacy IT systems, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and manual processes to keep the entire system working, the healthcare provider was seeing patient satisfaction levels drop as they didn’t have a clear view of their customers.  The legacy and manual systems also made coordinating customer service teams very difficult and replicating analytics tools very difficult.

Alteryx-Workflow-21

Kaiser Permanente was able to aggregate and cleanse the myriad of data sources they rely on and gain greater insights into their customer’s needs. Creating analytics and reporting workflows that business analysts and lean leaders in their Service Organization use to stay on top of customer needs has led to a five-fold increase in customer service performance according to Greg Hall, Senior Service Optimization Leader.

Using Search Analytics To See Into Gartner’s $232B Big Data Forecast

By combining search analytics and the latest Gartner forecast on big data published last week, it’s possible to get a glimpse into this areas’ highest growth industry sectors.  Big data is consistently a leading search term on Gartner.com, which is the basis of the twelve months of data used for the analysis.

In addition, data from Gartner’s latest report, Big Data Drives Rapid Changes in Infrastructure and $232 Billion in IT Spending Through 2016 by Mark A. Beyer, John-David Lovelock, Dan Sommer, and Merv Adrian is also used.  These authors have done a great job of explaining how big data is rapidly emerging as a market force, not just a single market unto itself.  This distinction pervades their analysis and the following table showing Total IT Spending Driven by Big Data reflects the composite market approach.  Use cases from enterprise software spending, storage management, IT services, social media and search forecasts are the basis of the Enterprise Software Spending for Specified Sub-Markets Forecast.  Social Media Analytics are the basis of the Social Media Revenue Worldwide forecast.

Additional Take-Aways

  • Enterprise software spending for specified sub-markets will attain a 16.65% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue from 2011 to 2016.
  • Attaining a 96.77% CAGR from 2011 through 2016, Social Media Revenue Is one of the primary use case catalysts of this latest forecast.
  • Big Data IT Services Spending will attain a 10.20% CAGR from 2011 to 2016.
  • $29B will be spent on big data throughout 2012 by IT departments.  Of this figure, $5.5B will be for software sales and the balance for IT services.
  • Gartner is projecting a 45% per year average growth rate for social media, social network analysis and content analysis from 2011 to 2016.
  • Gartner projects a 20 times ratio of IT Services to Software in the short term, dropping as this market matures and more expertise is available.
  • By 2020, big data functionality will be part of the baseline of enterprise software, with enterprise vendors enhancing the value of their applications with it.
  • Organizations are already replacing early implementations of big data solutions – and Gartner is projecting this will continue through 2020.
  • By 2016 spending on Application Infrastructure and Middleware becomes one of the most dominant for big data in Enterprise Software-Specified Sub Markets.

  • $232B is projected to be sold in total across all categories in the forecast from 2011 to 2016. From $24.4B in 2011 to $43.7B in 2016, this presents a 12.42% CAGR in total market growth.

Search Analytics and Big Data

Big data is continually one of the top terms search on Gartner.com, and over the last twelve months, this trend has accelerated.  The following time series graph shows the weekly number of inquiries Gartner clients have made, with the red line being the logarithmic trend.

Banking (25%), Services (15%) and Manufacturing (15%) are the three most active industries in making inquiries about big data to Gartner over the last twelve months.  The majority of these are large organizations (63%) located in North America (59%) and Europe (19%).

What unifies all of these industries from a big data standpoint is how critical the stability of their customer relationships are to their business models.  Banks have become famous for bad service and according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) have shown anemic growth in customer satisfaction in the latest period measured, 2010 to 2011.  The potential for using big data to becoming more attuned to customer expectations and deliver more effective customer experiences in this and all services industries shows great upside.

Bottom line: Companies struggling with flat or dropping rankings on the ACSI need to consider big data strategies based on structured and unstructured customer data.  In adopting this strategy the potential exists to drastically improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately profits.

Roundup of Big Data Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012

From the best-known companies in enterprise software to start-ups, everyone is jumping on the big data bandwagon.

The potential of big data to bring insights and intelligence into enterprises is a strong motivator, where managers are constantly looking for the competitive edge to win in their chosen  markets.  With so much potential to provide enterprises with enhanced analytics, insights and intelligence, it is understandable why this area has such high expectations – and hype – associated with it.

Given the potential big data has to reorder an enterprise and make it more competitive and profitable, it’s understandable why there are so many forecasts and market analyses being done today.  The following is a roundup of the latest big data forecasts and market estimates recently published:

  • As of last month, Gartner had received 12,000 searches over the last twelve months for the term “big data” with the pace increasing.
  • In Hype Cycle for Big Data, 2012, Gartner states that Column-Store DBMS, Cloud Computing, In-Memory Database Management Systems will be the three most transformational technologies in the next five years.  Gartner goes on to predict that Complex Event Processing, Content Analytics, Context-Enriched Services, Hybrid Cloud Computing, Information Capabilities Framework and Telematics round out the technologies the research firm considers transformational.  The Hype Cycle for Big Data is shown below:

  • Predictive modeling is gaining momentum with property and casualty (P&C) companies who are using them to support claims analysis, CRM, risk management, pricing and actuarial workflows, quoting, and underwriting. Web-based quoting systems and pricing optimization strategies are benefiting from investments in predictive modeling as well.   The Priority Matrix for Big Data, 2012 is shown below:

  • Social content is the fastest growing category of new content in the enterprise and will eventually attain 20% market penetration.   Gartner defines social content as unstructured data created, edited and published on corporate blogs, communication and collaboration platforms, in addition to external platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and a myriad of others.
  • Gartner reports that 45% as sales management teams identify sales analytics as a priority to help them understand sales performance, market conditions and opportunities.
  • Over 80% of Web Analytics solutions are delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  Gartner goes on to estimate that over 90% of the total available market for Web Analytics are already using some form of tools and that Google reported 10 million registrations for Google Analytics alone.  Google also reports 200,000 active users of their free Analytics application.  Gartner also states that the majority of the customers for these systems use two or more Web analytics applications, and less than 50% use the advanced functions including data warehousing, advanced reporting and higher-end customer segmentation features.
  • In the report Market Trends: Big Data Opportunities in Vertical Industries, the following heat map by industry shows that from a volume of data perspective, Banking and Securities, Communications, Media and Services, Government, and Manufacturing and Natural Resources have the greatest potential opportunity for Big Data.

  • Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity is available for download from the McKinsey Global Institute for free.  This is 156 page document authored by McKinsey researchers is excellent.  While it was published last year (June, 2011), if you’re following big data, download a copy as much of the research is still relevant.  McKinsey includes extensive analysis of how big data can deliver value in a manufacturing value chains for example, which is shown below:

Gartner Search Analytics Shows Spike in Hadoop Inquiries in 2012 – Good News For CRM

Hadoop was one of the most-searched terms on Gartner’s website in 2011 through 2012, spiking to 601.8% over the last twelve months alone.  Additional insights from the Search Analytics on Hadoop include the following:

  • 27% of all inquiries are from banking, finance and insurance industries, followed by manufacturing (14%), government (13%), services (10%) and healthcare (8%).
  • North America (75.9%) and EMEA (13.5%) are the two most dominant geographies in terms of query volume.
  • Here is the trend line from Gartner Search Analytics:

What’s driving Hadoop’s meteoric rise in searches is a combination of industry hype about big data, CIOs getting serious about using Hadoop distributions that minimize time and risk yet deliver value, and the dominant role Amazon is playing in bringing Hadoop into the cloud.  Today Amazon offers Elastic MapReduce as a Web Service that relies on a hosted Hadoop framework running the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S2).

Microsoft also scored a major hiring win this week announcing that Raghu Ramakrishnan, former chief scientist for three divisions of Yahoo is now with Microsoft. Raghu is now a technical fellow working in the Server and Tools Business (STB).  He’ll focus on big data and integration to STB platforms.  Big Data on Azure will accelerate now with him on-board.

Hadoop’s Potentially Galvanizing Effect on CRM and Social CRM Analytics

The quickening pace of Hadoop adoption in the enterprise is good news for CRM and especially social CRM. Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) are the “glue” that unify CRM and keep it in context. One of Hadoop’s greatest potential contributions is the analysis, categorization and use of unstructured content.  Marketing and sales won’t have to run three or four systems to gain insights into customer data, they can run a single analytics platform that fuels the entire selling cycle and lifetime customer value chain of their businesses.  Hadoop has the potential to make unstructured content more meaningful while also reporting the impact of customer insights on financial performance, profitability and lifetime customer value.

Translating terabytes of customer, sales, services and partner data into meaningful analytics and business intelligence (BI) is emerging as a priority for CIOs, who are sharing responsibility for driving top-line revenue growth.   Hadoop shows potential to be the “glue” or galvanizing technology base that unifies all CRM and Social CRM strategies.

To get a perspective on how fast Hadoop is being evaluated and adopted it’s useful to look at the Hype Cycle for Data Management, the latest edition published July, 2011.   This is another indicator of how quickly Hadoop and big data are gaining in terms of CIO mindshare.  Big Data and extreme information management are on the technology Trigger area of the hype cycle.  The Hype Cycle for Data Management is shown below:

Bottom line:  CRM and Social CRM will benefit more than any other area of an enterprise as Hadoop’s adoption continues to accelerate.  CIOs are increasingly called upon to be strategists, and with the ability to translate terabytes of data into strategies that deliver dollars, look for Hadoop’s contributions to drive top-line revenue growth.

How Cloud Computing And ERP Mobility Are Reordering Gartner’s Hype Cycle for ERP

A good friend of mine recently became CIO of a financial services firm and was given his first major project last month: make the complete accounting, financial, and loan provider data and applications available 24/7 on any iPad or Android-based tablet from any office, at any time.

The majority of loan provider applications are cloud-based and his company is running NetSuite.  His corporate office is in Asia and cloud-based applications made it possible for the company to launch and operate in California within months.   He’s been given six months to transform this mobile vision into reality.

Another CIO of a major A&D manufacturer I recently visited wants vendors to challenge him more to get greater value from his investments in legacy data and ERP systems. Using ERP to run batch reports alone has nearly caused project schedules to slip, so the focus internally is on real-time system integration of project management and accounting systems.  He’s also been given the task of revamping accounting and financial systems by October, 2012, and they just started late last year.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for ERP 

Considering these two extremes in the context of the Gartner Hype Cycle for ERP (shown below) and the recent report SaaS and Cloud ERP Trends, Observations, and Performance 2011  (free for download until January 9, 2012) published by Aberdeen last month several take-aways emerge.

  • CIOs are under increasing pressure in 2012 to enhance, modify even replace existing ERP systems while standardizing technology across the enterprise at the same time.  The most risk-averse way around this is to add applications to single instance ERP backbone systems, with analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) being the among the most in demand.
  • Cloud-based ERP in the Enterprise and Small & Medium Businesses (SMB) are accelerating along the Hype Cycle faster than Gartner indicates.  Enterprises are using Cloud-based ERP systems as part of their two-tier ERP system strategies due to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and time-to-deploy advantages, and the flexibility of tailoring everything from user interfaces to workflows to their specific requirements.  Highly specialized Cloud-based ERP suites including those from Plex Systems are gaining traction due to their expertise in specific industries and the compliance-related challenges inherent within them. In SMBs, the cost and time-to-deploy are two major drivers with concerns over security being the biggest impediment to growth.  Gartner reports that they are seeing Cloud-based ERP adoption fastest in companies with fewer than 200 users overall.
  • Cloud-based ERP systems most often considered in industries that have high variable costs, rapid transaction cycles and tend towards higher Return on Invested Capital (ROIC).  Based on the research SaaS and Cloud ERP Trends, Observations, and Performance 2011 the industries who are the most willing to consider Cloud-based ERP versus on-premise are Financial Services (22% SaaS versus 44% on-premise); Healthcare (42% SaaS versus 58% on-premise); and Professional Services (56% SaaS versus 58% on-premise).
  • Large companies (over $500M in annual revenue) using Cloud-based ERP systems are opting for hosted deployments managed by their ERP vendor (10%) or an independent 3rd party (11%), with just 2% relying on a SaaS platform. Aberdeen defined small organizations as those with annual sales under $50M, midsize organizations having annual sales of $50M – $500M. The following is from SaaS and Cloud ERP Trends, Observations, and Performance 2011:
  • ERP mobility will be a dominant force from the shop floor to each sales call where quotes, orders and contracts deliver real-time order and pricing updates.  How a given manufacturer chooses to sell is even more important than what they sell in many industries. Equipping manufacturing, quality assurance, production scheduling, procurement and sales to have immediate data on what’s going on with orders, customers and suppliers is critical.  For the sales and service teams, real-time data is the fuel they run on.  There’s a chronic time shortage in many, many companies right now, and bringing greater ERP mobility from the shop floor to the sales call will increasingly be seen as a means to lessen the time crunch.  2012 is the year where mobility gets real across the enterprise with solid performance numbers being generated as a result.  For companies with large sales forces and service organizations, integrating to key ERP systems to gain real-time data will quickly lead to increased sales and higher gross margins on service and warranty repairs.
  • Gartner predicts that by 2015 enterprises who are successfully using extreme information management strategies (Big Data) will outperform competitors in their industry sectors by 20% in every available financial metric.  The following is the Priority Matrix for ERP, 2011 showing what Gartner believes to be transformational technologies and strategies in ERP.

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