According to a Gartner report published in January 2011, 33 percent of BI functionality will be consumed on handheld mobile devices by 2013. This change is being brought about by the rise of mobile technology within companies and the BYOD trend among information workers. The demand for mobile BI is mounting across enterprises as new gen workers realize that remote access to BI tools on mobile is a financially and technologically viable for the enterprise.
Mobile application developers too are looking at developing mobile apps that are competitive, generate information that assists in the decision making process, are constantly accessible, easy-to-use and designed to appeal to the targeted user base such as C-level executives and lower tier management. But that’s not the only audience for mobile BI. Field workers, sales executives, customer service personnel and other professionals can add value to the service they provide by accessing reports relevant to a market segment, customer, or offer on their mobile, as and when required.
The Rise of Mobile BI
The popularity of mobile BI is driven by:
- Proliferation of mobile devices in enterprises: Research firm IDC predicts that mobile devices may well outnumber PCs five to one in the next few years. According to IDC estimates, mobile devices shipped for business use will touch 165.6 million units by 2014.
- Consumerization of IT: Consumers and employees in enterprises are becoming more demanding when it comes to mobility, flexibility and anytime, anywhere access to business data. With the consumerization of IT, there is also a rising demand for mobile analytics.
- Expanding network coverage and bandwidth: Compared to 10 years back, network coverage has expanded across geographies and the bandwidth offered is enough to support complex enterprise mobile BI analytics.
- Increasing number of mobile workers: The way people work has changed significantly with more workers on the go – traveling or commuting – and offices offering work from home facilities. Executives demand access to business data on their mobile devices wherever they may be. As per IDC’s predictions, the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion (37.2% of the total workforce) by 2013.
- The rise of MEAP: Mobile enterprise application platforms are driving the mobile application development cost down. Instead of working on multiple native applications for various mobile operating systems, MEAP enables developers to develop once and deploy on multiple platforms. Mobile BI tools, once considered the luxury of large enterprises alone, come within the grasp of SMBs too.
- Strengthened mobile infrastructure: The infrastructure of mobile networks and wireless connectivity is becoming stronger throughout the world – with 3G networks and 4G networks becoming more accessible and affordable. According to IDC’s WorldWide Mobile Security 2010 – 2014 Forecast and Analysis report, the worldwide wireless and mobile infrastructures market will be worth $44 billion by 2015.
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