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BI, analytics and performance management software sees growth in 2011

Gartner’s 2011 revenue estimates indicate the worldwide BI, analytics and performance management software market experienced another strong year, with figures that look remarkably similar to 2010.

Business intelligence (BI) and analytics continues to make a name for itself. According to a recent report by Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc., the worldwide BI platform, analytics applications and performance management (PM) software market grew at a steady pace in 2011, reaching $12.2 billion. Compared to 2010 revenue figures, that’s a 16.4% increase, which made it the second-fastest growing category in the overall worldwide enterprise software market last year, Gartner said.

Dan Sommer, principal analyst at Gartner, said the market’s healthy annual growth was due to a couple of factors: Even in the face of budget constraints, IT sees BI, analytics and performance management as areas of continued importance, a mutual interest shared by chief information officers (CIOs). According to a recent Gartner survey, CIOs reported BI and analytics technology as their No. 1 priority for 2012.

“BI projects remain relatively shielded, while a healthy portion of any discretionary money will be available for upcoming analytics initiatives,” Sommer said.

IT and CIOs aren’t the only ones interested in the technology; these days, business users are also investing. Specifically, Sommer pointed to the growing popularity of rich data visualization tools, a trend that has also been noted by the last two Gartner Magic Quadrant reports for BI platforms. Even stack vendors are picking up on the interest and racing to meet the demand, he said.

Plus, CFOs have taken a renewed interest in both BI and performance management, according to Sommer. A separate joint study between Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), indicated that CFOs are playing an increasingly important role in technology investment decisions, with 44% of them reporting their influence over IT has grown since 2010.

The top trends
The demand for BI, analytics and performance management software was again filled by the industry’s top vendors.

SAP remains the No. 1 vendor for 2011 based on revenue estimates. The software corporation brought in $2,883.5 million, which amounts to almost one-fourth of the market share, according to Gartner’s numbers. Last year, SAP held slightly less of the market at about 23%.

The remaining top four top vendors fall in line much as they did in 2010: SAP was followed by Oracle, which saw 15.6% of the market share in 2011; SAS Institute, which gobbled up 12.6% of the market share; IBM, which took in 12.1% of the market share; and Microsoft, which like last year grabbed 8.7% of the market share.

Company Revenue (in millions) Market share (%)
SAP $2,883.5 23.6%
Oracle $1,913.5 15.6%
SAS Institute $1,542.8 12.6%
IBM        $1,477.6 12.1%
Microsoft $1,059.9 8.7%

Source: Gartner (March 2012)

The top five megavendors have been able to maintain their stranglehold on the market, due in part to their acquisitions of smaller or niche vendors, Sommer said. According to Gartner’s numbers, the top five vendors collectively took in just over 72% of the market share, a number that rivals 2010 estimates. But Gartner also reported seeing healthy competition among more than 100 less established vendors striving to etch out a place for themselves.

The three subcategories of the market -- analytic applications, BI platforms and corporate performance management (CPM) suites -- saw similar and fairly even growth between 2010 and 2011. BI platforms still dominated in popularity, as indicated by its 63.6% market share in 2011. That was followed by CPM suites, which made up 20.5% of the market share like it did in 2010. Finally, analytic applications and performance management rounded out the subcategories with its 15.8% of the market share.

All three saw market growth of about 16.5% between 2010 and 2011, which Sommer said indicates that businesses aren’t focused on one subcategory in particular but instead are investing in all three.

While the worldwide market numbers have remained relatively consistent year-over-year since 2009, Sommer said that is likely to change in the next 10 years. The advent of mobile, social, cloud and “big data” will help change the game for BI and analytics from being IT-centric to something more individualized.

“In 2011, the market is still dominated by traditional on-premises solutions linked to PCs,” he said. “In 10 years’ time, everyone will be touched by analytics in a much denser and more frequent way than today.”

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