There’s tug of war going on in the world of BI. On the one hand we have IT whose mission it is to manage and protect enterprise information assets, and on the other side there are end users who just want the data when they want it, and in the shape and form that they want it, without any limitations.
Traditional, mainstream BI vendors have catered primarily to IT target audience. These vendors will disagree, but take one look at their complex architectures, multiple layers and components, integration and support requirements, and you can’t help but agree that these are IT tools that can be used to create end user applications.
On the other hand I am seeing am emergence of smaller BI vendors that cater directly to the end users. They pitch simplicity, flexibility and little or no reliance on IT. True, these vendors do not have large enterprise functions like metadata, semantic layers, robust security and scalability, so I do not see them as enterprise-level, but rather departmental, focused solutions. Yet, the appeal to end users is undeniable.
Finding a compromise – satisfying all typical IT requirements, while empowering the end users - remains an elusive goal, and hence an opportunity for all BI vendors.
Lost in the shuffle of Monday’s other major acquisition announcement by HP was the $214 million acquisition of Neoware. Neoware specializes in Linux-based thin clients and was a good fit for HP, which specializes in Windows XP Embedded- and Windows CE-based thin clients. Despite being the world’s biggest PC supplier, HP sees alternative computing models, which includes their thin client and blade PC teams within PSG, as a significant growth opportunity for enterprises. The move was made for three reasons:
Server and storage administrators will soon be courted by someone they don’t normally deal with but has a good personality and a strong reputation. While this may sound like a worrisome proposition, it behooves them to entertain this entreaty. Cisco wants to help out with server virtualization and might just deserve a seat at the table. The true fruits of its Topspin acquisition emerged today at the Cisco Networkers event in Anaheim, California in the form of VFrame Data Center, an appliance designed to virtualize the connections between servers and storage (Ethernet, NAS, and SAN initially), allowing complete logical mapping of resources.
XenSource got a significant credibility boost today from its strategic partnership with Symantec Corporation. Leveraging Veritas Storage Foundation dramatically simplifies storage and HA services integration for XenSource, since VSF is the market leader. While XenSource and Symantec will still have to do a lot of interoperability testing before enterprises will trust it for wide deployment, the task is much simpler than the path VMware is going down, developing its own storage foundation services.
While I was looking through current offerings in Entitlement Management (EM), I was struck with the questions that will likely be the next logical thoughts in the CIO’s mind after they are sold on the obvious ROI of an EM solution.
Ever think about how much time, energy and money we expend on managing line of business data? Just drive past the Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores and you'll see a glimmering green city of glass all built on revenue from managing business data. OK, they make some money in other areas these days, but the emerald city was build on database revenue. Managing structured information is key to the success of any organization. The number in the bottom line needs to be accurate or very bad things happen.
On the other side of the coin lives unstructured information. While some unstructured information has been afforded the respect given to structured business data (engineering drawings, legal documents, pharmaceutical documentation, insurance claims documents to name few) the vast majority has languished virtually unmanaged in file servers and on PC hard drives. Even companies with the right resources and motivation, like Oracle which has the ability to manage structured and unstructured data in its database as well applications to take advantage of both, have made only minimal progress at bridging these disparate worlds.
With this week’s announcement of Research in Motion’s BlackBerry 8820, the field of enterprise devices using Wi-Fi for voice calls continues to grow. In this model, where devices use either cellular or Wi-Fi networks for voice calls, network utilization takes on a new form. Duke University recently learned how an influx of devices can cripple the network with only a small number of devices.
IBM today announced plans to acquire DataMirror, a firm specializing in real-time changed data capture (CDC) and replication technologies. This is a great move for both companies, and will ultimately be a valuable option for customers of IBM’s Information Server.
IBM wins because it fills in a significant gap in its real-time heterogeneous data integration story — specifically the ability to enable log-based CDC techniques for sources that are not DB2. (IBM was a Leader in the recent Forrester Wave evaluating Enterprise ETL, but they were behind some of their primary competitors in its support for CDC). CDC is an attractive data integration technique for scenarios in which operational data is needed on a more real-time basis and the intrusiveness on source system performance of a typical ETL extraction is not an option. Log-based CDC ensures minimal, if any, impact on the performance of the operational source systems. IBM also now has a more compelling data replication and availability portfolio.
According to DMNEws "Minnesota has become the first state in the country to enact into law one of the key components of the credit card industry’s data-security standards, the payment card industry (PCI)standards." Now any company conducting business in Minnesota is now also legally bound by the laws of the state not to keep credit card's security data after a transaction has been approved. And if a business is caught doing so, they have to refund the costs to the bank for reissuing the card and such. We here at Forrester expect that governments will continue to make PCI requirements law, and that this trend will become increasingly popular as it gives the PCI standards a bit more teeth. Storing inappropriate security information is getting more costly.