In 2009, IDC undertook a unique study of enterprise application buyers — decision makers and key influencers — to help application providers understand what their prospects are looking for when they purchase applications that are critical to their business today. This study was intended to help providers understand whether there are certain features or functionality they can embed in their applications to differentiate themselves and drive greater value to customers. The study found that end users are in dire need of much more flexible and interoperable solutions that can adapt with them into the future, especially as that future becomes more unpredictable in the face of rapid change. Incorporation of embedded integration and real-time business intelligence capabilities not only can address some of these critical buyer needs but also can be used as a source of competitive differentiation for application providers.
The key findings of the study include:
- Vendors must enhance the flexibility of their applications.
- Applications must interoperate easily with the existing infrastructure — including internal and external applications — and must be easily adaptable in the years to come to protect the enterprise’s investment in them.
- There is an increasing demand for transactional applications to have embedded real-time business intelligence technology.
- By embedding core integration and business intelligence features within applications, vendors are creating solutions that are more highly valued within the end-user enterprise.
This paper was written to offer insights for providers of software applications across a range of industries. It discusses key findings from an IDC survey as well as other pertinent industry trends relevant to application providers as they consider embracing embedded integration and real-time business intelligence capabilities.