Business intelligence is one of the most important elements in taking a company from ordinary to extraordinary. It brings out the best in a company, eliminating wasteful actions and repetitive processes while highlighting and streamlining the innovative and efficient strategies that make a business successful. In fact, according to a study by analyst Howard Dresner, 90 percent of companies surveyed said business intelligence was important to their operations.

However, technology is evolving at a blinding pace these days. The mobile phones and computers of yesteryear can’t keep up with today’s systems, and no one knows how long it will be before the technology of the future is here. Although BI grows and changes with the times, it is surprisingly adaptable. One system, with the proper upgrades and maintenance, can last for years.

But BI doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it’s evolving right alongside the technology that runs it. That’s why mobile BI is becoming so popular.

Business professionals are spending less and less of their time in an office. Video conferencing and conference calling mean that even high-ranking employees can work remotely from home or from a vacation spot. Quick, inexpensive methods of travel mean that professionals can globe trot without losing access to their email and documents. Smartphones and tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad now let businessmen and women take virtually their entire workdesk with them anywhere they go. It makes sense that BI would want to become a part of our increasingly mobile society.

According to Dresner, tablets and mobiles devices, such as the iPhone and the iPad, are making mobile BI not only possible, but critical. Tablets in particular “are a huge deal for BI,” he said. “The form factor concern goes away.”

Dresner predicts “dramatic growth over the next two years” for mobile BI, according to The push will be lead mostly by small businesses, although he sees mobile BI catching on with larger corporations as well.

Businesspeople these days are connected at work, at home and on the road. So why shouldn’t they be connected to their business intelligence?