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The weekend review: agile BI, the future of work, and IT spending analysis

This week, as we enter the final week before our Mobilize conference, our analysts have just rolled out their latest report on IT spending, an area suffering stagnation in all segments except mobile. Also popular this week: a look at the rise agile business intelligence and the new face of workplace productivity.

First, in “Agile business intelligence: reshaping the landscape,” George Anadiotis takes a look at a series of technological advancements that are altering business intelligence, effectively converting BI into a faster, more accessible process. Anadiotis refers to this new form as “agile BI,” and his report analyzes the differences between traditional BI (“focused on extract, transform, and load [ETL] and reporting”) and its newer, agile counterpart (“focused on data exploration and visualization”) before concluding that both forms of BI actually share many important aspects, especially as features such as cloud support, usability, and ubiquity become a more crucial selling point.

Next, in “The future of work: new paths to productivity,” Stowe Boyd looks at continuing trend toward a distributed, decentralized, discontinuous workforce (something he refers to as a “3D workforce”) and the corresponding set of challenges this presents to the traditional corporate structure and the enterprise IT department. With the rise of cloud-based systems such as virtual distributed file systems, the IT department’s role has shifted from tasks such as selecting hardware and maintaining physical servers and towards serving as decision makers and arbitrators who ensure that end users can continue to work across these cloud-based systems while maintaining productivity and adherence to corporate regulatory requirements. On a similar level, the new 3D workforce presents changes to executive decision making, and Boyd includes insight from corporate and startup executives and industry experts like Reid Hoffman and Brian Solis that outline some of the most pressing concerns and trends.

Last, in “Third quarter IT spending analysis and outlook,” Ralph Finos presents a somber picture of global technology spending, which has shrunk to a 1.8 percent growth rate in 2013: In fact, smartphones and tablets are the only hardware area experiencing growth. Finos provides an in-depth market analysis for the past two years, with a detailed breakdown of segment revenue growth in 2013. He also takes a macro-level view of what factors are constraining IT spending on a global level before diving into regional trends. He draws on this data to present a series of conclusions about the past year while making a few forecasts for 2014.

Also popular this week:

What the enterprise can learn from GM’s mega data center

Forecast: smart homes and the internet of things

HP’s Meg Whitman follows Marissa Mayer’s lead: all hands on deck