Software // Information Management
Commentary
6/6/2004
08:24 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Standardizing BI Improves Performance

Cost reduction and improved organizational effectiveness top the list of latest CIO initiatives.

VentanaView™

After a decade of companies acquiring and deploying Business Intelligence (BI) software across their organization, Ventana Research is beginning to see these same companies trying to rationalize and consolidate their BI investments. CIOs grapple with reducing costs and simplifying the IT infrastructure while business users dread giving up their favorite BI tools. At the same time, BI vendors are positioning themselves as the market leader, trying to be the new BI standard within the company.

BI standardization/consolidation has become a hot IT issue for two main reasons: cost reduction and simplification of the IT portfolio. But Ventana Research is advising our clients to consider BI standardization/consolidation for another, more important reason: to improve business and operational performance to create lasting value for the company.

View

BI is an essential information technology component for companies with performance improvement initiatives. At its core, business intelligence is the extraction and transformation of data from disparate internal and external sources to information that is used to make decisions in the organization.

Today, business intelligence tools access, analyze, and deliver information in the form of KPIs or metrics to business users through applications like dashboards, reports, or portals. Complete business intelligence solutions have evolved to facilitate collaborative decision making that fits the needs of business users in various departments and at various levels. BI technology has become a highly integrated and visible component of both the IT infrastructure and business operations in successful companies.

The problem for most companies is that individual departments and regional units have implemented their own BI solutions and nearly every software application (ERP, CRM, e-commerce, financial) the company has procured has its own BI tools. Factor in solutions inherited through mergers and acquisitions and you are easily into dozens of BI tools within an organization. Over time, as these deployments became larger and more entrenched, they began to accentuate a silo-ed view of information that created challenges for users trying to obtain both consistent and quality business metrics. CIOs are trying to rationalize all this information and reduce redundancies in their enterprise. This is the primary driver for consolidating and selecting a new standard for BI within their enterprise.

The other problem is the wasted money associated with direct costs attributed to each BI tool deployed: software costs, installation, maintenance, training, integration costs, duplicate hardware, and the risk of obsolescence. Most IT and business managers would look at these costs and think this is acceptable for deploying a new software solution. But this will hurt the company's bottom-line when this is done dozens — if not hundreds — of times needlessly, simply because there isn't a coordinated BI standard.

While costs involved with disparate BI systems are somewhat obvious, Ventana Research points out that the real damage to a company with a mess of BI tools comes from the costs that are hard to assign a dollar figure to, but could be devastating to the competitiveness of the company — an unnecessary risk:

The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government Tech Digest Oct. 27, 2014
To meet obligations -- and avoid accusations of cover-up and incompetence -- federal agencies must get serious about digitizing records.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.