With the explosive popularity of Apple’s iPad as a mobile device of choice for the delivery of enterprise data and information, the release of the iPad 2 will establish the trend that tablets, not smartphones, will be the preferred technology to underpin most Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) deployments.
Forrester agrees that tablets hold the key to Mobile BI adoption
This view is also espoused by Forrester analyst and commentator, Boris Evelson, who said in his blog post, Mobile Tablet PCs, Not Phones, Will Create Critical Mass For Enterprise BI Adoption, that tablet devices are driving enterprise Mobile BI adoption by addressing the inadequacies of smartphone form features – primarily the screen and keyboard.
“Mobile tablet devices are a different story,” writes Evelson. “Just like Baby Bear's porridge in the ‘Goldilocks And The Three Bears’ fairy tale, tablet PCs are ‘just right’ for mobile BI end users.”
Evelson lists the inappropriate form factors of smartphones – that inhibit the ability of end-users to receive reporting and analytics – as the number one barrier to Mobile BI adoption.
Dresner report indicates increasing Mobile BI adoption driven by Apple’s iPad
Howard Dresner’s latest Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study revealed that the level of interest in Mobile BI remains stable compared to the original report from June 2010, indicating that the industry is in the midst of a permanent shift, and not a passing fad. The report also clearly shows that the iPad, listed as the device of choice for Mobile BI consumption by the majority of study participants, is the driving force behind increased Mobile BI deployments and adoption rates.
The report revealed that 11 percent of respondent organizations currently provide access to Mobile BI to over 40 percent of their workforce. The report indicated that this figure is set to rise sharply. Within 12 months, 18 percent of organizations said that over 40 percent of their workforce will have access to Mobile BI, with around 33 percent expecting to deliver Mobile BI to over 40 percent of their workforce within 24 months. As further evidence of this trend, only four percent of survey respondents said that Mobile BI was ‘not important’.
Respondents across the board said that they planned to increase the number of personnel with access to Mobile BI, and reflective of the transition to enterprise mobility, 97 percent of respondents said that 25 percent or more users would receive analytics exclusively on a mobile device by 2013.
The latest report indicates a sharp shift in platform priority, compared to the original study in June 2010, with a “dramatic increase in interest” in Apple’s iPad.
In June 2010, around 28 percent of respondents indicated that the iPad was their first choice device for the delivery of mobile analytics. The latest results show that almost 55 percent of organizations now list the iPad as their favored platform for Mobile BI rollouts.
As a result, many organizations have now implemented Mobile BI programs based on the iPad, with many more indicating that they intend to do the same in the near future. In June 2010, only 10 percent of survey participants were using the iPad for their Mobile BI deployments. Now, this figure has jumped to 40 percent. Moreover, an additional 40 percent indicated that they plan to rollout iPad-based deployments within the next 12 months.
The iPad’s unprecedented popularity is reshaping the enterprise mobility and information delivery landscape
The iPad, Apple’s best selling product to date, has revolutionized the mobile communications and enterprise communications spheres at large, not just the Mobile BI industry. Its unprecedented popularity is in the process of permanently reshaping the very concept of enterprise information delivery and mobility.
Apple now claims that more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are currently deploying/integrating iPads in their enterprise communications programs.
Yudu Media released its second market study on Apple’s iPad in February this year, with the report – The Apple iPad: Trends and Statistics 2 – stating that almost 15 million iPad’s were sold in their first nine months on the shelves.
Additionally, market research indicates that consumer demand for tablets, led by Apple’s iPad, is resulting in a substantial dive in netbook sales, with Acer’s sales manager stating that: “tablet launches will begin a gradual replacement of Acer’s small laptop-style netbook computers, in line with market demands.”
What does the sharp growth in Mobile BI, driven by Apple’s iPad, mean for BI vendors and enterprises?
It’s clear that tablet devices, driven by the iPad, will underpin the majority of enterprise Mobile BI programs heading into 2012, leading to more, and more expansive, Mobile BI deployments.
According to Dresner, interest in Android tablets as a platform for the delivery of Mobile BI has also increased, further highlighting tablets as the new dominant force in Mobile BI. Additionally, Dresner claims that BI applications are the most downloaded category of application for enterprise tablet devices.
The result? BI vendors will have to meet this growing demand, and develop native applications for the iPad, or face loosing considerable ground in the mobile reporting and analytics market segment.
And for organizations looking to implement or expand existing Mobile BI programs? CIOs across a diversity of industries will have to develop appropriate data security infrastructures and procedures to address the explosion in remote data access – a trend that will surely intensify as users flock to the iPad 2 – and continue to successfully protect their sensitive data assets.
Further, it’s now obvious that Mobile BI is here to stay, and soon, it will move from a differentiator and area of competitive advantage, to a requirement that will merely allow developers (BI vendors) and consumers of BI to maintain parity with competitors.