Business Analytics to Become The Center of Business Value For Asian Organizations in 2012, says IDC

Singapore and Hong Kong – November 24, 2011 – Over 65% of the 1,300 CIOs and IT decision makers who participated in a recent Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) survey consider Business Analytics (BA) a top priority for their organizations – both in the short and long term. In the “Big Data” era, the need to cope with the aggressive growth of data – particularly as we move into the semi-structured and unstructured realm – as well as contend with the increased variety of data sources, is introducing a number of challenges for organizations but also significant opportunities. In addition, with the shift towards a less predictable market, where uncertainty is becoming the norm, International Data Corporation (IDC) expects increased awareness and adoption of BA in order to support faster and more accurate decision-making. More insights will be revealed in a forthcoming report, “IDC Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) Business Analytics 2012 Top 10 Predictions”.

IDC's Asia/Pacific Business Analytics Pulse Survey, which was administered in June 2011, found that 29% of organizations in the region are evaluating “Big Data” tools (e.g. Hadoop) and over 30% still do not have plans regarding these technologies. " ’Big Data’ is still a nascent market and the use of ‘Big Data’ technologies is still in experimentation phase for Asian organizations. However, we expect specific use cases to drive awareness and adoption of ‘Big Data’ technologies in 2012, particularly for Banks, Telcos and Governments," says Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Program Manager of Business Analytics and Enterprise Applications at IDC Asia/Pacific.

In parallel, we are seeing technology disruptors like appliances, in-memory technologies and non-relational databases impacting the traditional data warehousing, business intelligence and advanced analytics space. The more mature organizations are also moving up the “analytics value chain” focusing on predictive capabilities like forecasting, modeling and optimization. Jimenez continues, "Organizations across the region are placing strong emphasis on improving performance, while obtaining faster returns on assets, people and real estate. The focus is on measuring (e.g. past performance), predicting (e.g. business outcomes) and preventing (e.g. poor planning and customer churn). For the mature markets where increased competition will drive laser focus in defensive strategies, we will see BA being used to improve cost control and customer loyalty, as well as to optimize business operations. Similarly, as businesses in Asia invest to drive growth in emerging markets, they are harnessing analytics-led solutions to gain better customer insights, manage risk and financial metrics more effectively, and at the same time, strive for unique market differentiation."

The following are IDC’s top 10 Asia/Pacific Business Analytics predictions for 2012. These are drawn from the latest research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC's regional and country analysts. The list includes factors that we believe will have the biggest commercial impact on the Business Analytics markets across APEJ in 2012.

1. The Emergence of the Chief Data Scientist Will Make ”Big Data” Relevant to the Business

As CIOs begin adopting the new class of technologies required to process, discover and analyze the massive data sets that cannot be dealt with using traditional databases and architectures, it will become clear that the real value will be derived from the high-end analytics that can be performed on the increasing volumes, velocity and variety of data that organizations are generating – or “Big Data” analytics. IDC predicts that the Chief Data Scientist will emerge in 2012 as a job title to help organizations define their “Big Data” strategies. In most organizations, these skills will unlikely be found within the remit of one individual, and will more likely be housed in a business analytics competency center.

2. Demand for More ”Real-Time” Analytics Will Drive Adoption of Specialized Business Intelligence (BI) Appliances

In 2010, the Asia/Pacific market witnessed an uptake of the data warehouse appliance — the combination of hardware, and preconfigured and pretested software bundled together — as an alternative delivery model. In 2011, the model was confirmed due to the immediate benefits that it brings, including lower cost of ownership, and higher performance and simplicity. While regional levels of adoption of these appliances (e.g. Oracle Exadata Database Machine, SAP’s HANA, IBM’s Netezza amongst others) vary, the model has clearly become successful, especially for verticals industries that have to churn through large volumes of data (i.e., telecommunications, financial services, and public sector organizations). What started out as a trend in the data warehousing segment of the market has now expanded into BI and other analytic applications segments of the market. Given the success of the DW appliance model and the need for faster and accurate analytics, IDC expects increased demand for specialized appliances that can handle specific workloads and industry-specific use cases.

3. Chief Sales Officers Will Look at Business Analytics to Increase Sales Effectiveness

In our interactions with end-user organizations, we often see the Vice President of Sales focused on "simply" making the quarterly numbers. Today, the Asia/Pacific region is witnessing the emergence of a new executive figure that will lead corporate sales in a more strategic form, responding to the increasing competition and the uncertain market conditions. This new sales lead strategist will be armed with BA tools in order to help his or her organization respond to the new challenges – whether this is by increasing sales capacity with limited budgets or by transforming the organizations' sales techniques.

4. Specific Use Cases to Drive Adoption of “Big Data” Analytics in Banks, Telcos and Government

According to IDC's Asia/Pacific Business Analytics Pulse Survey, 29% of organizations in the APEJ region are currently evaluating “Big Data” tools (e.g. Hadoop), while over 30% still do not have plans regarding these technologies. “Big Data” is still a nascent market and the use of “Big Data” technologies is still in experimentation phase for organizations in Asia. However, IDC expects use cases such as fraud detection, pricing optimization, risk management, and brand and reputation monitoring to drive awareness and adoption of “Big Data” technologies, particularly for Banks, Telcos and Government.

5. Natural Disasters Will Focus Interest on Business Analytics in Asia/Pacific

Natural disasters continue to have dramatic effects on population, assets and real estate, causing untold human and economic losses each year around the world. While natural disasters like the recent floods in Thailand or the Christchurch earthquake cannot be predicted, their consequences can be prevented. In 2012, IDC expects governments, utilities and other related organizations in this region to take a deeper interest in BA and budget for the investments in analytical tools, techniques, and methodologies that would enable them to prevent economic fall-out (e.g., determining where higher concentrations of risk resides), as well as quickly make fact-based decisions during emergency responses to help ensure business continuity.

6. Measuring Media Performance and Improving Marketing Governance Will Drive Focus on Business Analytics in the CMO Office

In the last few years, the format and spending patterns of Asian organizations' marketing mix have changed, showing increased spending in non-traditional media channels. Pressures on marketing budgets are driving the need to become more efficient and accountable for marketing and media spending. However, the need to find a consistent and holistic way of analyzing performance and returns is extremely difficult. Driven by the challenging market conditions, IDC predicts CMOs will closely look at metrics, dashboards, data and advanced analytics, as well as marketing performance measurements in order to streamline processes and improve marketing governance in Asian organizations in 2012.

7. User's Demand for Simplicity and Interactivity to Drive Renewed Interest in Visualization Tools

Business users require increased flexibility and easy to use tools, while the IT department has always been under the pressure of having to support the constant changes required to run end-user's analysis. Against this backdrop, several vendors and BI solutions have emerged –- most of them only in the last five years – providing alternatives to the traditional BI suites, responding to some of the needs posed by end users. Some of the notable players in this group are QlikTech, Spotfire (owned by Tibco), Tableau Software, Microstrategy, Jaspersoft, Quiterian, and ADVIZOR Solutions. In 2012, the adoption of data visualization tools among Asian enterprises will rise on the back of end-user's need for simpler and affordable solutions that help business users improve decision-making, on an ad-hoc basis without the need for continual assistance from the IT department.

8. Social BI Will Drive Collaborative Decision-Making in Asian Organizations

Organizations are realizing that their success or failure depends on making optimal decisions at the right time. The use of social media tools and their related social features, which are now being built into applications across the enterprise (e.g. "Chatter" from Salesforce.com), will help break down barriers and decrease data silos in Asian organizations. Although collaborative decision-making is still at a very early stage in the region, IDC believes that organizations across the region will find ways to realize the cost benefits of collaborative decision-making technologies and initiatives. In that respect, IDC expects the integration of social networking and social media capabilities into collaboration environments to help accelerate decision-making for Asian organizations.

9. The ambitious CFO Will Look at Business Analytics to Co-Pilot the New Asian Enterprise

The need to be resilient enough to maintain profitability in the changing market conditions has increased the weight of the CFOs' challenges. The CFO is confronted with the need to have better insights in order to improve cash flows and productivity, as well as trying to distribute resources in the most efficient manner. IDC believes that the need to accelerate growth and revenue, while cutting overall expenses and efficiently managing risk, will drive BA use in the CFO's office across the APEJ region.

10. New Consumption Models: Customers Will Want Mobile & Cloud-based BI; Caveat for Vendors – How Much Will They Pay?

According to IDC's Asia/Pacific Business Analytics Pulse Survey, the majority of organizations indicated that having functionality to con`sume BI via software as a service (SaaS) or on a mobile device is either important or very important. Although IDC predicts a significant uptake of mobile BI and cloud-based BI in 2012 due to the benefits that these delivery and consumption models provide, IDC believes that it will not create a significant uplift in terms of deal size.

For more information about purchasing this report, "IDC Asia/Pacific Excluding Japan Business Analytics Top 10 Predictions (forthcoming)”, please contact Sheryl Fuertez at +65-6829-7758 or sfuertez @idc.com. To set up an interview with Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, please contact Lay Fang Tan at +65-6829-7731 or lftan@idc.com.

About IDC’s Predictions

IDC’s annual Predictions in APEJ draws upon the latest IDC research and a worldwide brainstorming exercise among IDC’s 1000+ analysts. This was followed by an extensive regional review to weigh in on key industry events, user trends, vendor strategies and economic measures that promises to uniquely define the technology trends that would impact and drive the market in APEJ for 2012. Across the globe, following the release of IDC’s global top ten predictions, IDC’s geographic, technology and industry teams will be releasing their own specific predictions in the coming months. For more information, visit www.idc.asia/microsites/predictions/2012.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.