It was perhaps ten years ago when in a meeting, someone asked David vun Kannon, one of the primary architects of XBRL, what the potential market for XBRL was. David answered "Billions and billions."
It seems that there are some people at SAP who may think the same thing. In an article from ITBusinessEdge The Trigger Affect, James Fisher, SAP vice president of marketing for enterprise performance management and finance solutions says:
Once in place, XBRL will provide a foundation for a new generation of collaborative financial management applications that will have a profound effect on business.
He goes on to point out other ways which XBRL will impact financial disclosure management, enterprise performance management and the next generation of business intelligence applications. (Some people refer to this collectively as "the last mile of finance.")
So while to a certain degree XBRL may feel punitive, in reality it is the beginning of a major transformation in financial management that should occupy IT organizations for years to come.
I interpret "should occupy IT organizations for years to come" as meaning billions and billions. I look forward to the next 3 to 5 years which should reveal if these guys are right.