I will go out on a limb with this: I think the current popularity of “business intelligence and analytics” is about to play out its course. I also think, and this is why BI will take a hit, that Business Process Management (BPM) movement will again become number one priority for CIO’s in terms of strategic investments.
BI and analytics has been top priority for CIO’s, according to our CIO surveys, for the last couple of years. This has kind of wound me up a little (smiley face goes here). For me, BI is incomplete. Too much of it, the majority, is focused on “decision making”. But the actual action taken, as represented by the business process, and instantiated by the business application, is left aside as if it doesn’t count. For too long IT money has “gone toward the data warehouse” and not enough money is left to focus on how the action is specifically taken, and how the outcome assured. As I used to say, if you are on a rail road track and your analytic tells you that the train is early, no amount of data warehousing will save your life. You have to take action and get out the way. That is not BI, that is Business Application.
Kidding aside, I think my point is not far from the truth, even if I don’t quite know the right way to make it clear. I read through our 2014 CEO Survey report (see “The 2014 Gartner CEO and Senrior Executive Survey: ‘Risk-on’ Attitudes Will Accelerate Digital Business”) and I was very interested to read what is the CEO’s top technology priorities are.
The “most important technology-enabled capability investment over the next five years” is not BI. BI came in fourth. The top priority was “digital marketing”. To me, the insight gleaned from information about customers, markets, and trends and intentions is a good thing, but actually taking action and doing something about that insight, and impacting the actual outcome, is the real deal. Thus BI is being seen for what it is – a means to an end, not the end itself. CIO’s need to wise up, I think, and lessen their focus on BI in isolation, and talk more about how business processes need to become more intelligent. And how information is used in many more ways than with analytics, to express behavior and define how organizations work with their digital business environment.
The “process outcome” and “process integrity” of the next five years will certainly have a much stronger BPM focus; and the decision making element will be improved through embedding analytic within the process for sure. So information management itself will get another flip, even as BI lessens in priority, and BPM will likely become top of mind yet again.
Just a hunch. What do you think?
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