The professional services market surrounding business intelligence (BI) applications will top $125 billion in 2019, representing an annual growth rate of 14.7 percent.
According to a new report from the market research firm Technology Business Research (TBR), large service providers such as Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM will continue to have the biggest presence in this market. Nevertheless, TBR also predicts that competition across the entire BI services category will be much fiercer as BI becomes a more mainstream application.
Making use of advanced analytics
In general, organizations of all sizes are looking to make better business decisions based on data rather than intuition. Thanks to the rise of Big Data platforms such as the open source Hadoop project, it’s now simpler and more affordable to collect massive amounts of data. As those Big Data repositories continue to build, organizations naturally start turning to advanced analytics applications to make sense of all that data.
Those analytics are not only used to predict future events—they are fed back into business process applications to automate responses to new events in real time. Known as prescriptive analytics, this capability takes most of the recent advances made in predictive analytics to the next logical level. In fact, many of those prescriptive analytics will initially be deployed in Internet of Things (IoT) environments where the both the scale and speed at which events occur are beyond the ability of the average human being to process.
The major difference going forward is that most of these advanced analytics applications will be running in real time on the same server platform where the transactions or events are being processed. That means instead of waiting on a data warehouse application to analyze 10 percent of the available data days or even weeks after the event, advanced analytics applications running in memory will be generating recommendations in real time based on all the available data.
Applying business intelligence applications
For IT service providers the real challenge may not be the technology itself, but rather understanding the business scenarios where advanced analytics and BI applications can be applied. Historically, business consulting firms have identified those opportunities. Based on their recommendations, organizations would then kick off IT projects. But in recent years, major systems integrators such as Accenture and IBM have been increasingly combining their business and IT consulting to both generate and fulfill demand for advanced analytics applications. In this rapidly evolving market, therefore, it’s up to the rest of the IT service providers to figure out either how to partner with, subcontract to, or compete against these business consulting titans.
Of course, the cost of acquiring advanced analytics expertise is substantial. In addition to the core technologies involved, key personnel such as data scientists are in short supply. But as analytics technologies continue to advance, the amount of manual processing required to implement it will continue to drop. IT services firms may want to spend some time mastering advanced analytics applications today in anticipation of much broader usage of those applications and technologies in the not too distant future.