Respected industry analyst, Howard Dresner, proclaimed during the launch of his 2011 updated Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study that the King is dead; long live the King (Ok, ok. He didn’t literally say that, I’m paraphrasing).
Dresner & Gartner: Mobile BI the new platform for BI
What Dresner did say during the launch, was that Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) would overthrow desktops as the primary platform for BI.
Dresner’s research results backed this assertion, with one of the most significant shifts encountered in the 2011 study being the increase in the number of BI users who were set to become exclusively mobile consumers of reporting and analytics within the next 24 months.
“Only 3 percent [of survey respondents] said they’re not going to have any [users using Mobile BI exclusively],” said Dresner. “Seventy percent of respondents said [that] 25 percent [of their current BI users would be exclusively mobile users within 24 months]. 23 percent said that half of their Business Intelligence users would be exclusively mobile.”
Gartner’s recent Gartner Predicts 2011 report backs these findings, suggesting that “By 2013, 33 percent of BI functionality will be consumed via handheld devices.”
Gartner: Tablets perfect platform for Mobile BI
In a special report providing advice for CIOs on best practice usage and integration of tablets into the workplace, Gartner said that whilst tablets were not ‘better’ than laptops or smartphones, they complemented existing technologies by offering unique features for the delivery, consumption and analysis of corporate information.
“Sales leaders are clamoring to adopt media tablets with their sales teams, as a more engaging way to share sales collateral and promotional materials,” said David Willis, Research Vice President at Gartner.
“And it won’t stop there. Next will come customer relationship management systems, and order entry and sales configuration applications. For sales managers, media tablets will be a natural platform for business analytics and performance dashboards.”
Boris Evelson: Tablets are ‘just right’
Renowned Forrester Research analyst, Boris Evelson, colourfully conveyed his parallel opinion that tablet PCs have swung the door to Mobile BI wide open, stating in his now infamous blog post – Mobile Tablet PCs, Not Phones, Will Create Critical Mass for Enterprise BI Adoption – that “Just like Baby Bear’s porridge in the Goldilocks and The Three Bears fairy tale, tablet PCs are ‘just right’ for mobile BI end users.”
If all this holds true, the question then becomes which OS and tablet will prove King within the Mobile BI space for the delivery of enterprise reporting and analytics? On which platform will most applications be developed and customers lost and won? A lot has been made of the iPad. But does the hype hold true?
Dresner & IDC: iPad is King
The majority of respondents to Dresner’s Mobile BI Market Study listed the iPad as their device of choice for Mobile BI, with Dresner suggesting that the device is the driving force behind increased Mobile BI deployments and adoption rates.
The report indicated a sharp shift in platform priority, compared to the original study in June 2010, with a “dramatic increase in interest” in Apple’s iPad.
In June 2010, around 28 percent of respondents named the iPad as their first choice device for the delivery of mobile analytics. The latest results show that almost 55 percent of organizations now list the iPad as their favored platform for Mobile BI rollouts.
Recent IDC figures on tablet shipments confirm the iPad’s dominance. The iPad held 68.3 percent (shipping 9.3 million units) of the global tablet market during Q2 2011, with the IDC citing strong demand for the iPad 2 for the 88.9 percent (303.8 percent year-over-year) rise in worldwide media tablet shipments. The unprecedented growth prompted the firm to increase its 2011 shipment forest from 53.5 to 62.5 million units.
In fact, Apple gained additional tablet marketshare in the face of increased competition, said IDC. The IDC found that the iPad improved its worldwide marketshare from 65.7 percent, at the start of 2011, to 68.3 percent. Despite launching a number of new tablets, Google’s marketshare dropped from 34 percent, in early 2011, to 26.8 percent mid-year.
“Media tablet shipments grew at a solid pace in the second quarter, led by continued strong demand for Apple products,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices.
“Apple’s iOS share will continue to lead by more than 40 percentage points over Google’s Android for the remainder of the year,” said Jennifer Song, research analyst, Worldwide Trackers.
So unlike Presley, the iPad has not “become a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self”.
The iPad isn’t about to head into fat-suit-wearing decline. Instead, it seems set to remain the undisputed King of tablets, Mobile BI and potentially BI itself.
The iPad. Still the King. A huh, a huh.