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With mobile workers equipped with any variety of powerful smartphones and increasingly tablets, organizations are looking beyond traditional email and messaging applications to see how they can leverage these devices. One such opportunity is mobile BI solutions. While this is certainly not new - VDC has been tracking mobile BI for several years now - several factors suggest that demand is about to pick up substantially. When we first looked at the opportunity for mobile BI in 2009 approximately one in ten organizations stated that they had some level of investment/deployment or evaluation of mobile BI solutions underway. Fast forward to 2011 and that ratio has now reached 30-35% of organizations.
Mobile BI solutions have also developed substantially and are capable of fully leveraging today's powerful mobile technology. The solutions are no longer relatively limited snapshots of BI reports but rather represent tools with powerful querying capabilities with dynamic data access. These capabilities are also fundamentally changing the role and value-add of analytics and business and customer intelligence as the information is being made available to a much broader group of users - many of whom may have previously not have had access to this intelligence.
One of the fundamental questions challenging BI solution providers is their approach to application development. Namely native or HTML5/browser based solutions. Vendors are mixed in their approach with some also opting for a hybrid approach. Today the richer and more dynamic solutions typically are designed as native application for a specific device. However, as HTML5 solutions evolve and address many of today's limitations we expect them to be increasingly favored based on their cross platform appeal. VDC will be dedicating much of our research in 2012 towards looking at a variety of emerging enterprise mobility applications such as mobile BI. We look forward to continuing this dialog.