IBM wants to take the concept of pervasive business intelligence past the theoretical stage and into the hands of end users.
At the IBM Information On Demand and Business Analytics Forum today, IBM released version 10 of its Cognos business intelligence software. According to Eric Yau, IBM vice president for business intelligence, this release not only adds better support for mobile computing and social networking, it also make BI more ubiquitous by eliminating the artificial barriers between dashboards, scorecards and reports in general.
Instead, IBM is promoting the concept of a BI workspace because, as Yau puts it, no two customers refer to a dashboard or a scorecard in the same way. A new BI workspace makes it easier for customers to find the relevant BI information they need without having to get caught up in a lot of vendor terminology that isn't relevant to their business, said Yau.
Like most BI vendors, IBM sees mobile computing in general and tablets such as the Apple iPad as ideal platforms for distributing BI data as companies look to increase productivity. To that end, IBM is making it easier for users of these devices to access BI data residing in an IBM BI workspace. As part of the effort, Cognos 10 also adds support for Lotus Connections software to integrate with a variety of social networking and collaboration application platforms.
And finally, IBM is also showcasing a new implementation of DB2 running on SystemZ mainframes that can better correlate past, present and future information to enable better business decision-making, said Yau. The new version of DB2 is also also 40 percent faster while also providing a 10 percent boost in scalability.
In the wake of the economic downturn, business executives are looking for simplified access to more relevant information they can trust. That makes BI software in general one of the primary areas in which companies are willing to invest. The challenge for IT organizations, of course, is finding a way to actually deliver on that promise.