It has been a year of change for my role in product management, Microsoft Enterprise Cube and, well, pretty much the entire world, I suppose. For my traditional end-of-year post this year, I will keep things text and reflective. So there may not be much in the way of tips, tricks or insights this month. And, yes, I did miss 2 posts in November. But things slowed down incredibily due to the economic conditions, elections, etc. so that I was not posting for speaking engagements, user groups, etc.

2009 promises to be even more challenging for those responsible for technology initiatives and implementing BI & DW solutions. Let's face it, 2009 will likely see continued economic recession slumping and business challenges that will lead to changes in the way we do IT. And the way that IT embraces and implements business intelligence will need to show value, ROI, reduced costs and focus on your business users. These are all factors that I speak about at public sessions and here in my MSDN blog.

But do not lose sight of the business units that are using your BI solutions. This has always been a problem in the past when I meet with customers or peers in that IT groups will sometimes get trapped into "playing" with the new PPS tools or the new SQL Server 2008 features without a clear roadmap on how that creates added business value, reduces costs or solves business problems. In 2009, if you are not addressing those issues with scorecards, dashboards, analytic reports or predictive analytics, then you are putting yourself in a precarious position.

Ok, so let's look on the bright side for a moment and touch on the areas that I will focus on for Microsoft BI blogs in 2009:

1. PPS: Continuation of business domain solutions to provide specific business performance and optimization solutions
2. SQL Server 2008: Continued adoption of SQL Server 2008 will lead to more things that I can report here in practice with SQL Server 2008 BI solutions
3. Heterogeneous solutions: No longer focused only on the SQL Server solution area, we can chat here about integration and cooperation between Microsoft dashboards and other tools

Happy holidays and I'll speak with you on the other side of 09!