Mobile Computing, the Cloud and In-Memory Computing Drive BI Adoption

    As a subset of business intelligence, applications that specifically address enterprise performance management (EPM) tend to suffer from the same adoption issues. For many business users, the familiarity of spreadsheets continues to trump all other applications, regardless of how much more visibility into any given process those applications may provide.

    But with the rise of mobile, cloud and in-memory computing, the folks at SAP say that’s about to change. At the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference, SAP announced the general availability of a suite of EPM applications that are all delivered via a cloud service that is based on the company’s in-memory database platform.


    Known as SAP Enterprise Performance Management OnDemand (SAP EPM OnDemand), the applications in the suite address expense management, profit and loss analysis and capital project planning. According to Bryan Katis, group vice president and general manager for SAP EPM Solutions Management, the expectation is that most of these applications in the cloud will be accessed using mobile computing devices. As end users become more dependent on mobile computing devices, many of them are expanding their scope of application usage well beyond traditional spreadsheets. At the same time, Katis says that SAP has made sure its suite of applications can easily be integrated with Microsoft Excel.

    Part of the reason that Katis says SAP expects to see more usage of EPM applications is the SAP High Performance Analytics Appliance (HANA) that they run on. As an instance of in-memory computing, Katis says these EPM applications are capable of overcoming most of the latency issues that users often experience when accessing cloud applications via mobile computing devices.

    Now that mobile computing has become a standard element of enterprise computing, the downstream impact of that shift on enterprise application usage is just starting to be felt. Clearly, there is going to be a lot more dependency on the cloud, which means that the makeup of the application portfolio in the enterprise is about to look a lot different than what is typically found on the average PC today.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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