Oco, Inc., a software as a service (SaaS) provider of business intelligence (BI) and data integration solutions, released its predictions for five key BI trends affecting businesses in 2008. Most notably, Oco sees BI solutions targeting the intersection of business functions and industry market segments, and opening up enterprise-class capabilities to mid-sized companies at affordable costs.


Here are Oco's predictions.


BI Goes Diagonal


In 2008, we will see the era of vertical or horizontal BI solutions converging toward diagonal solutions - those focused on specific business problems extending across similar industries. Examples of these types of solutions include applications for calculating product margins with vendor-specific adjustments, or reducing transportation costs for companies in the retail, consumer packaged goods and discrete manufactured product segments. BI providers will incorporate detailed functional knowledge into their products to deliver diagonally oriented BI solutions.


BI Best Practices


As we have seen happen with many software applications, BI customers will insist on best practices for key metrics to measure and improve their businesses. The convergence of dashboard and metrics consulting companies with analytics tool providers will result in new packages of best practices by industry and function.


Technology will Move from an IT Priority to a Business Decision


IT departments have typically set the technology agenda for corporations. They have established technology standards, architectural guidelines, and infrastructure and tool requirements based on traditional approaches to business needs. Now, business users are taking more control, and in 2008, we will see them continue to move into the driver's seat, not only deciding which type of technology to use, but also selecting which business model and, in some cases, which vendor to support their business needs.


Growth of the "IT Light" Solution Model


Typically, IT organizations have a list of critical and pressing projects that would take years to address. Forward-thinking organizations are looking more strategically at their projects, deciding which ones can be addressed using business models and vendors that don't require full-time oversight, involvement and ongoing maintenance. The growth of the IT light solutions will continue to gain momentum in 2008 and make BI accessible to midsized markets. Early signs include the increased outsourcing of IT maintenance to U.S. and Indian offshore service providers and increased use SaaS models.


In 2008, we'll also see the introduction of more quick-start programs and accelerators in the marketplace, which will enable organizations to implement solutions in a shorter timeframe.


BI Adoption Rate Expands into Small and Medium-Sized Organizations


While large companies have been early adopters of BI because their business models have been well suited to its benefits, we will see BI become more mainstream in 2008. BI will increasingly penetrate into medium and smaller companies as more affordable solutions evolve that can cost effectively meet their needs.


For more information, please visit http://www.oco-inc.com/.

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