Sometimes vendors do get it (mostly) right. Hewlett-Packard put together a brief white paper in February of this year laying out their view of Business Intelligence (BI) for 2009 (and beyond). I think that they got it largely right. Their #4 trend is increased pressure on BI projects to deliver more value more quickly. Below is a summary of the trend, my thoughts on whether HP got it right and what the trend may mean for HIT.
HP predicts: BI and DWH projects will neither be approved nor funded without defined business objectives, quantified business value and analyses demonstrating rapid time-to-value (TTV). Further, contrary to all the buzz, HP states that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will not provide rapid TTV for BI due to data management, integration, security and control issues; instead managed, hosted and outsourced services will serve user’s needs while reducing risk.
The Verdict: Amen, brother! I have long been a proponent of explicit ROI and TTV analyses – a rarity in the BI world. Yea, verily! Perhaps my opinions are beginning to ossify in architectures of the past, but I just do not believe that SaaS is anywhere near production-ready for large, complex, high data volume, analytically demanding, tightly SLA driven, mission-critical applications like today’s DWHs. This is especially true as DWHs begin to reach deeper and deeper into the operational and transactional systems (or perhaps it is that the operational and transactional systems are expanding borg-like into the ivory tower world of DWH). And right on! Managed services, although I believe more around hardware, virtualization and analytics than HP’s prediction of data integration, reporting and data modeling, will be on the rise.
HIT Impact: In 2009, minimal. HIT budgets are already tight, enacting ROI and TTV discipline can only be a good thing, but it is hardly new. By the beginning of 2011 though, look for SaaS packages bundled with light-weight management consulting and cultural transformation services which will provide a complete, turn-key, and therefore rapid to deploy, ARRA compliant web solution. These solutions will be targeted at small- to mid-size practices and clinics first, and gradually work their way up-market.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.