Benefits-Led Business Intelligence Can Drive ValuePosted 2012-09-14 Print
Many companies have failed to develop successful business intelligence initiatives because they approach BI as either a business issue or a technology issue, when it is actually both.
Step 3: Developing Flexibility
Finally, flexibility needs to be infused throughout the business design—looking not just at current needs, but also at what the business will require in the future based on the business model and strategic direction. To keep the solution fresh and relevant, it’s imperative to develop flexible data models capable of addressing future business requirements and organizational change without the need for significant BI redesign.
As the solution is developed in line with benefits realization (using information technology to deliver business results consistently and predictably), opt for agile development methodologies that pull business and IT teams together to identify the requirements, prioritize what is built first, develop the solution, and test and tweak it so that you have rapid delivery of relevant solution components in a 12-week period—instead of many months.
Consider the consumer goods company that needed to develop a BI solution to capture near-term savings while creating flexibility to meet the future needs of its rapidly changing organization. The company looked beyond its current structure to consider how its BI data model, master data and hierarchies could be developed to provide flexible analysis as the business changed. The design was further future-proofed by linking the BI plan to other ongoing and planned business and IT projects to ensure the company had a portfolio-wide view of potential future organizational change.
After the Build: Sustaining the System
Of course, you’re not done once your BI system is built. Your business will change, new requirements will come through, and if you’re not careful, your system can quickly fall into disrepair, directly affecting the desired benefits realization.
So, how do you coordinate and prioritize new requirements? How do you know what to build and how to build it? How do you monitor the effectiveness of the system to make sure it remains relevant over the years?
Whether physical or virtual, a center of excellence, or BI competency center, that includes people who understand the company’s business and IT can help you monitor user adoption and benefits realization, and drive enterprisewide standardization of your BI solution as technology improves and your business changes.
More than ever, developing superior BI is an essential component of success. To avoid the most common mistakes companies make in developing BI, tap both your business and IT resources to create a benefits-led business case that has senior-level support and is flexible enough to grow as your business evolves.
The result will be a successful BI program that delivers the right information to guide your executive team in making decisions to help your organization prosper.
Spyros Stamoulis is practice partner for the Business Transformation Practice at Wipro Consulting Services. He is based in London and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Gareth Cummins is associate consulting partner for Wipro’s Business Transformation Practice in London and may be reached at email@example.com.
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