Demands by users of business intelligence (BI) applications to "just get it done" are turning typical BI relationships, such as business/IT alignment and the roles that traditional and next-generation BI technologies play, upside down. As business users demand more control over BI applications, IT is losing its once-exclusive control over BI platforms, tools, and applications. It's no longer business as usual: For example, organizations are supplementing previously unshakable pillars of BI, such as tightly controlled relational databases, with alternative platforms. Forrester recommends that business and IT professionals responsible for BI understand and start embracing some of the latest BI trends — or risk falling behind.

Traditional BI approaches often fall short for the two following reasons (among many others):

  • BI hasn't fully empowered information workers, who still largely depend on IT
  • BI platforms, tools and applications aren't agile enough

2012 will bring a new set of trends that BI and business process professionals will need to stay on top of. Despite the recession of 2007 to 2009 and continued economic uncertainty in 2010 and 2011, Forrester has not seen any decline in BI efforts among its clients. Actually, businesses have no choice but to act and react quickly in the face of financial volatility and rapidly changing business and regulatory conditions. Therefore, "getting things done quickly" often takes priority over "getting things done in an approved way." These changes force IT to give up some control over BI in favor of working more closely with business users. This forms the basis of most of the trends Forrester sees in how organizations will use BI and what new technologies will go mainstream

  1. Individualized fit for purpose BI tools trump standards.
  2. A "multiple BI tool" strategy is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
  3. Ready or not, information workers will demand more BI control.
  4. BI tools that support the right amount of managed end user self-service will become popular.
  5. Mobility is no longer a "nice to have" — it will become the new BI mantra.
  6. Cloud BI will slowly and steadily chip away at on-premises implementations.
  7. BI-specific DBMSes will gain popularity.
  8. Big data will move out of silos and into enterprise IT.
  9. Exploration will become the new bread and butter of BI suites.
  10. BI will integrate with the Information Workplace (IW).

For more information please take a look at the detailed research report behind these predictions