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    IT Service Companies Essential as Organizations Adopt BI

    Organizations across the globe are implementing business intelligence (BI) strategies at rapid rates. According to a recent study by Pringle & Company, worldwide spending on BI is projected to grow 16 percent annually from 2012 to 2016, increasing from $79 billion to $143.3 billion in the process.

    "BI is essentially about influencing the key levers of business performance, revenues expansion, cost control and profit, all in the context of managing risk," Tom Pringle, principal analyst at Pringle & Company, recently told Information Age. "Those four elements are relevant to all organizations."

    The report split the business intelligence market into two sectors: software and services. During the next four years, spending on BI services is expected to achieve a 15 percent compound annual growth rate, accounting for nearly $100 billion, or more than two-thirds, of all investment in BI.

    In a recent blog for ComputerWeekly, Pringle suggested that as the demand for business intelligence tools increase, so too does the need for tech professionals. For example, IT service companies will be important when it comes to implementing these solutions. Meanwhile, new IT jobs like BI specialists are becoming especially useful as companies increasingly use these programs for predictive analysis.

    Internal IT important as well
    Even after business intelligence strategies have been implemented, IT departments will still be important to make sure employees are able to use the technology effectively. In a recent blog for Supply & Demand Chain Executive, Fred Hartung, vice president of supply chain solutions and logistics at Jabil, highlighted several ways companies are taking full advantage of business intelligence.

    Some of these strategies required the service of IT professionals, including:

    - Tech departments should corroborate as much as possible with the actual employees who will be using business intelligence applications. If possible, they should allow them to test out the technology beforehand, providing feedback on what works and what they are struggling with. In addition to IT service companies, internal tech workers will play an essential role during the training and implementation process.

    - Make BI applications as easy to use as possible. Multiple studies have found that employees tend to ignore technologies that they don't understand how to use, so this common sense notion is actually very important.

    - IT departments should develop a centralized database that is both organized and accessible to all relevant parties.