Gartner forecasts a hot time for business intelligence

Most of us are happy if our yearly cost-of-living adjustments--which some optimists insist on calling raises--only slightly outpace inflation. By that standard, business intelligence software vendors are probably ecstatic.

According to Gartner, worldwide BI software license revenues should reach $2.5 billion this year--a 6-percent increase from 2005. And by 2009, Gartner researchers say, the worldwide BI software market is expected to reach $3 billion.

The bullish BI market is a byproduct of a bullish trade in enterprise applications and CRM software, too. "Companies around the world have purchased more than $40 billion worth of enterprise applications, including ERP, CRM and HR, during the past few years," says Colleen Graham, an analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "This has generated significant volumes of data in support of the operational processes they automate."

Not that a $3-billion BI software market is a gimme, however. Gartner analysts caution that potentially show-stopping inhibitors--such as limited BI skills and competencies, perceived high TCO, and confusion concerning the intangibility of some aspects of BI's ROI--could act as a brake on BI software growth.

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About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a contributing editor for Enterprise Systems. He can be reached at [email protected].