Indian SMBs Turn to SaaS-based BI Solutions

by Sohini Bagchi    Jun 28, 2012

SaasAccording to a recent study conducted by AMI Partners, SaaS-based Business Intelligence (BI) solutions are expected to grow around 30 percent CAGR over the next few years within the SMB segment. The study noted that Indian SMBs (companies having less than 1000 employees) are increasingly realising the need to take faster decisions based on real time analysis from a large volume of data. As a result, they are turning to BI solutions for greater efficiency.

Analysts believe that BI results in better performance management, profitability and promises rich ROI to enterprises across segments. CIOs/IT managers in the mid-market segment are also witnessing the many benefits BI can bring to their business. As the shift towards virtualisation prompted SMB CIOs to adopt cloud-based solutions and social media in a big way, the AMI study noted that the availability of multiple SaaS-based BI solutions will provide considerable impetus to the adoption of BI tools in this burgeoning segment. The trend is also towards mobile BI solutions owing to the increased use of smartphones and tablets in the SMB space.

AMI analysts believe that although there are concerns about implementing a cloud based model in the SMB segment, mainly due to security issues, vendors and the market as a whole have matured. Leading BI vendors have also started developing the mobile versions of their tools. The study noted that although the vast majority of SMBs are yet to adopt mobile BI, the launch of more simple and interactive BI tools and applications is the need of the hour. In such a scenario, optimism and a newer outlook will push Indian SMBs to adopt SaaS based BI, noted Somnath Das, Manager-Research at AMI-Partners. “SMBs are expected to spend around $45 million on SaaS based BI in the year 2013, with maximum thrust coming from the medium business segment (having 500 -999 employees),” said Das.

Business Intelligence tools are forecasted to remain one of the fastest growing software solutions. Presently, CIOs in large enterprise segment including financial services, insurance and manufacturing have shown maximum adoption. However, Das believes that the usage of BI will soon expand beyond these verticals, showing greater adoption in the SMB segment, especially in the retail sector. “Specialty retail, department stores and stores with over five branches would reap immense benefits from a Retail Business Intelligence solution that would enable them to control marketing and merchandising, product and service management, store operations, customer management and multi-channel execution,” he added.

The study further indicated that a huge scope lies ahead for both traditional vendors such as IBM, SAP, Oracle, SAS and CA, as well as local vendors to address the SMB segment with attractive bundled BI offerings.