RealTime IT News

BI Fruits Drive SOA Adoption

A Ventana Research study of 488 companies indicates that a majority of companies plan to implement some type of BI service in the next 12 months.

But a preponderance of those respondents believe they lack expertise in SOA to make those plans a reality.

While 81 percent of respondents said that SOA is important "to some degree" for BI, fully two-thirds said they don't have the right resources to make this happen.

Among the most prevalent barriers to adoption of BI, 53 percent cited a lack of general knowledge about SOA, and 48 percent said they would have problems identifying the internal IT resources required to migrate to and support SOA.

"Companies believe SOA is important for BI and plan to implement BI services across all functional areas of their business within the next year," said Dan Everett, research director for business intelligence at Ventana Research.

That said, "the research [also] reveals a lack of technical understanding in many organizations and an acknowledgment that outside help will be required for initial implementations," noted Everett.

The actual number of companies planning to implement some type of BI application "depends on the different types of BI services," Everett told internetnews.com.

According to the study, 53 percent of companies said they plan to implement query and reporting software, while 40 percent plan to implement analytics and data mining applications.

On the back end, 53 percent plan to implement data source connectivity applications, 47 percent plan to implement data transformation and data integration software and 45 percent are planning on installing data cleansing and data quality tools.

Customer operations (43 percent) and finance (32 percent) are among the top business areas slated for early deployments.

Companies also said they intend to integrate BI with a plethora of other enterprise services, including corporate portals (44 percent); business processes (35 percent); enterprise security services (33 percent); transactional applications (28 percent); search (24 percent); and composite applications (18 percent) -- all within the next 12 months.

That's where the need for SOA really kicks in, as the framework helps companies gather data from applications built on different code bases and then view them in centralized dashboards or reports.

Everett said that respondents already have preconceptions about which vendors are best able to meet their needs.

He said they put Cognos  at the top of their preferred BI vendors, followed by Oracle , SAP , Microsoft , IBM  and Business Objects .

Vendors, for their part, have taken the hint, making acquisitions and new product announcements to take advantage of this burgeoning demand.

For instance, Cognos recently announced a new application making BI data more accessible to mobile workers.

This spring, Business Objects announced an on-demand version of its BI suite.

And IBM has spent the better part of a year rounding out its SOA offering.

Oracle also made its intentions clear earlier this year, rolling out a new set of BI offerings as part of a plan to use its database, middleware and applications suites to provide customers with a complete service-oriented architecture.

Even Cisco Systems  jumped into the fray this year, introducing application-delivery software that helps speed transactions within XML-based distributed architectures.