iPad the new preferred platform for Mobile Business Intelligence: DAS

Perhaps the most comprehensive research series currently available on Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) trends, usage and vendor offerings – The Dresner Advisory Services (DAS) Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study series – has revealed that Apple’s iPad is now the fastest growing preferred platform for Mobile BI.

Apple dominates Mobile BI platform priorities, interesting in iPad growing

The October 2011 study found that Apple secured and furthered its lead as preferred OS for Mobile BI deployments when compared to the original 2010 and early 2011 studies. Interest in Google’s Android platform – both smartphone and tablet devices – continues to grow, with the search giants OS positioned as the next most significant platform after Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

The study also uncovered a significant changing-of-the-guard with “a dramatic increase in interest for the Apple iPad as a mobile Business Intelligence platform”, as many organizations begin to realize the advantages of viewing data on tablet devices compared to smartphones.

Whilst the iPhone remains slightly ahead as a first choice platform – 32 percent of respondents rated the iPhone as their number one priority platform compared to 30 percent for the iPad – the iPad is catching up fast. And interestingly, when the first and second platform priorities of respondents are combined, the iPad emerges on top (59 – 61 percent).

Preferences for Mobile BI platforms by geography

When Mobile BI platform preference is broken down by region, the emerging popularity of the iPad for mobile reporting and analytics becomes clearer.

In fact, the iPad has surpassed the iPhone as platform of choice in North America and Asia Pacific (when compared to previous study results), with the EMEA still holding a decided preference for the iPhone.

North America
Thirty-five percent of respondents now list the iPad as their preferred mobile device for the consumption and dissemination of enterprise data, compared to 33 percent who favor the iPhone.

Asia Pacific
Thirty percent of survey participants named the iPad as their priority platform for Mobile BI, while 21 percent appointed the iPhone.

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
The EMEA bucked the above trend – with the iPhone keeping a comfortable lead over the rampaging iPad in the battle for favorite corporate device for mobile analytics – with 43 percent of respondents preferring the iPhone and 24 percent the iPad.

Mobile BI Platforms: Actual use and planned implementation

When comparing planned and actual Mobile BI deployments from the original 2010 study, two trends are immediately noticeable: The iPhone has “become the most well established platform”, while the iPad has experienced the most growth in terms of number of actually deployments since the original study, and is “quickly gaining ground” wrote report author, former Gartner Research Fellow and President and Founder of DAS, Howard Dresner.

Dresner’s initial 2010 report indicated that 42 percent of respondents already had some form of mobile analytics program based on Apple’s iPhone in place, with 30 percent planning an iPhone-oriented implementation by 2012.

The October 2011 results demonstrate that 2010 iPhone deployments, both active and planned, have either been maintained or realized, with 70 percent of survey participants citing that their organization currently uses iPhones for Mobile BI. A further 18 percent plan on introducing iPhone based deployments by 2012.

Whilst the iPhone has cemented its position as the most widely used platform for mobile analytics, the iPad has shown the most dramatic growth in recent times, and is nipping at the smartphone’s proverbial heels.

In 2010, just 16 percent of respondents were actually using the iPad to satisfy their mobile reporting and analytics needs. However, a whopping 44 percent planned on instigating iPad driven initiatives. And, somewhat surprisingly, all these plans appear to have come to fruition, with 61 percent of 2011 survey contributors stating that their organizations have established iPad-oriented Mobile BI programs. Furthermore, an additional 21 percent of respondents said they planned on deploying Mobile BI projects on the iPad within the next 12 months.

iPad-based Mobile BI implementations have proved the most widely deployed during the last year, and seem set to enjoy strong and continued growth over the ensuing 12 months.

Demand for native iPad apps rise

Mobile BI users are also demanding a native experience when accessing and interacting with BI content via their iPad, according to DAS’s latest report.

Whilst responses were not mutually exclusive, as some respondents indicated a desire to be able to use both native applications and browser-based options, the demand for native iPad applications for Mobile BI has increased sharply.

In 2010, 34 percent of survey participants indicated a desire for native iPad applications, compared to 30 percent who said they preferred a browser/HTML experience. Results from the October 2011 study demonstrate a marked increase in demand for native iPad applications – and the iPad as a platform for Mobile BI in general – with 68 percent of survey partakers listing a preference for native applications and 50 percent stating an inclination towards browser-based iPad solutions.

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