While less than 30 percent of the potential users of organizations' standard business intelligence (BI) tools actually use the technology, the consumerization of IT and the growing popularity of iPads and other smart devices might change the picture in Hong Kong, said Gartner Friday.
"While senior business executives make the decisions on IT purchases, they often leave the use of technology to subordinates because it is too difficult or not friendly," said Gartner's Hong Kong-based Research Director and BI expert, Daniel Yuen. "The iPad and other smart devices represent an opportunity for these senior executives to unlock the power that BI offers, using tools designed and built for the iPad or other smart devices."
Gartner's research shows that BI is not pervasive and adoption is not in line with the investment made by most firms.
Part of the problem is that people's experience of interacting with Internet-powered technologies changes their expectations of IT, said Yuen. "BI users want to be able to just pick up and use the technology -- they don't want to have to read the manual," he noted.
Yuen added that this places a high degree of importance on the human/computer interaction aspects of BI product and deployment design.
According to him, three key factors that can drive adoption of technology can also discourage the sustained use of BI by its intended users, if weak or absent:
* Ease of use: If BI is hard to work with, or completely static--or sometimes even if it just looks bad--users will stop using it.
* Performance: If users are frustrated by delays in query responses or report production, then they will be likely to stop using the BI tool--or they'll use it once each time they need to do some analysis, and simply load its output into Excel.
* Relevance: If the BI platform omits information that users need, or does not express content in line with their frame of reference, then they will stop using it or, once again, use it to move--and probably add--data into a spreadsheet for "correction."
A failure in any one of these areas can be the cause of poor takeup, and goes some way toward explaining why just 28 percent of users have adopted the organization's standard BI platform of choice, according to Yuen.