Who will eat your lunch in 2011?

As 2011 rapidly unfolds into another blur of activity, it recently struck me just how many conversations I have already had since the turn of the decade just a few short weeks ago that reflect consistently recurring themes.

When it comes to BI for SMB’s there is a lot of misunderstanding in the market about what BI is, what its role is for SMB’s and whether small and mid-sized business owners should actually take the plunge and invest some time and resource into a BI strategy and solution. I don’t want to repeat the same things I have said many times before but I saw a great analogy from the wilds of Africa which I thought holds relevance in this “should I or shouldn’t I” insecurity around a BI investment decision. When I read this passage, the wisdom that comes with clearly understanding your own context and making decisions accordingly resonated very strongly for me.

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

Much like the options that face the animals in the wild, if you don’t make a decision around BI, there is someone out there who is going to be quicker or smarter than you, and is very interested in eating your lunch.