Business Intelligence Software and Post-Crash Strategy: Page 2

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• Proliferating business model experiments will necessitate a new type of financial monitoring to weed out the losers fast. A hallmark of Internet era innovation is to proliferate new approaches quickly and kill the losers fast. The finance department and line of business managers will need BI and analytics tools that can be quickly configured to incorporate new data sources and metrics and accelerate decision making.

“Most corporate reporting practiced today are based on management concepts invented a century ago,” notes Philip Say, a vice president for financial apps at SAP. “However, speed is everything today. Online analysis, collaboration and search processes are the norms for how people expect to find information, formulate decisions and act. If organizations expect to adapt to this new world order for how decisions are made, then yes, it will translate into some new investment in either infrastructure or data management services.”

• Broader access to financial and operational data are pre-requisites for developing and deploying new business models. The best ideas will come from the people closest to the markets and the customers, and they typically don’t have access to financial data in the ERP system or the analytics tools in the BI suite, or they can’t find the right information.

“Insight is waiting to be liberated from within most organizations today,” Say notes. “Most companies have all the data to model smart decisions today; however the search and rescue mission of finding information often requires excessive time and energy. Speed should be front of mind for IT managers leading BI or enterprise performance management efforts today.”

• Faster access is another pre-requisite. The monthly report is history in the current environment. For some new ventures, daily or weekly data updates and analytics will be required. Are your data warehouses and transaction systems ready for the increased workload? “Data drives smart decisions, but speed and access still remain a bottleneck, often forcing managers to rely on intuition, experience and educated guesswork,” Say notes.

• New metrics will drive new business modeling. Everyone uses TCO—total cost of ownership. Total cost of utilization (TCU) may soon replace TCO in finance department discussions with IT managers, product managers and other decision makers. And capital spending analyses will also change, since most companies will be shifting to an asset-light, operating expense emphasis. In a world where outsourcing design, production, and IT are purchased via a cloud services provider, standard metrics like return on assets become less valuable. You and your finance colleagues will need to rework several components of your standard business modeling tool to accommodate those new ventures.

Allow me to promote a quick and simple solution to some of the BI and analytics challenges. Rather than rebuild an existing BI and analytics infrastructure to accommodate new business models that may be here today and gone tomorrow, consider promoting a Software as a Service solution.

Cloud BI and analytics have matured to the point where they can provide a viable solution to the challenges of incorporating unstructured data and predictive analytics into a BI infrastructure designed to find and manage new ventures. Trying this alternative not only gives you a fast and low cost way of solving an immediate problem, but it gives your organization a chance to try a new model of IT in a relatively low cost, low risk situation.

After all, cloud computing is part -- and ever growing part -- of many new business models, too.

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Tags: cloud computing, BI software, financial, business intelligence software, predictive analytics

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