The Death of Business Intelligence

A Pragmatic Approach to ERP Implementation

Posted in Business Intelligence, ERP by errahseno on September 11, 2014

The implementation of an ERP system is certainly no walk in the park. It is complicated, expensive, and stressful. It requires months or years of rigorous planning, serious financial commitment, and sufficiency of manpower.

Failure of an ERP System implementation is probably one of the biggest and most expensive failure a business will ever encounter. Sky rocketing license costs, Consult costs, and internal hours dedicated to its planning and implementation are a few of the reasons why failing in this project is a big blow to the head of its proponents and across the organization.

While it is true that the technology behind the system must be smart, it should above all be easy to install, integrate, use, and maintain. The success of the Implementation does not solely rely on the technology bought. On the contrary, a huge portion of the ERP system´s implementation success lies in the people behind it.

Many businesses put the burden of implementation on the shoulders of the IT department and that is not entirely wrong. Implementation, of course, requires software installation, integration, and migration of data. More work to an already overworked team in many organizations.

Needless to say, implementing this system means digging up details which usually does not lie in the hands of senior management, but details that are held in the hands of the front liners. Implementing the system also means deciding which of the existing multiple processes will remain, which between two departments way of doing things is correct, and who will call the shots.

This line of thinking leads us to a reasonable conclusion that there must be a person high up the organization that should spearhead the project. Why so? Because it requires buy-in from a lot of managers in different departments, it requires the mediation among employees before they pull themselves out of the project and sabotage it, and someone needs to explain why things must be done. One person cannot do it by himself, of course, so this lobbyist must be supported by Project Leaders who shall help him/her oversee the implementation and communicate to all affected employees.

It also tells us that since the ERP system will ultimately result in labor cost savings and a more real-time intellectual process, employees must be assured that this implementation is not to get rid of them or to devalue the effort they have exerted through the years in improving the business. They need to understand it is to make better use of employee time so that they can rid themselves of mundane tasks. Employees need to understand that this change is not because they were doing something wrong all these years, but because there is a window for improvement that can be used to improve the business.

While it sounds like plain and simple common sense, many businesses underestimate the impact the people have on the success of this project. People normally resist to anything new and it is human nature to do just that, but like everything else, with proper communication and sincere team effort, a functioning ERP system in place can bring a breakthrough way of doing business.

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Improving BI analysis among the top company priorities

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on September 2, 2013

Business Intelligence software has been becoming more and more popular in recent times thanks to the fact that it can aid in decision-making processes and help target choices to improve results in the long run.

A new study has shown that the positives that can be gained from the use of BI technology and analytics have made these two of the top tech priorities that can be seen around the globe, with even governmental chief information officers saying that this analysis is something they will be looking to target in the months ahead.

According to the findings from Gartner, which surveyed 398 chief information officers from around the world, the top two priorities moving forward are business intelligence and analytics and legacy modernisation.

“When faced with unsustainable business models, government executives are more willing to make targeted technology investments and undergo the extensive organisational change necessary to achieve the productivity and quality gains made possible by IT,” Gartner research director Rick Howard said.

In order to meet this demand then, it is important that BI providers, businesses and governments work in tandem to make sure that everyone is best served, with many firms making use of BI likely to want flexible contracts that do not tie them into using a certain technology.

For example, if it is the case that there are older technologies that do the same things as newer versions, BI providers may want to look at ways they can keep costs down, and this can include continuing to run the older methods.

However, clients will often want to move on to newer technologies and as a result they will be loathe to sign up to contracts that lock them into the use of one kind of software for a set period of time.

An example of this has been seen in recent times with the arrival of cloud technologies for BI software, which has made the analytical tools far more mobile and accessible, something that companies will want to be able to make use of moving forward.

However, this is something that companies and clients need to be able to work on as a two-way street. It will be preferable to clients to have a flexible contract, but they will need to be able to prove to the suppliers that they can  offer them something in return, according to one expert.

IT contracts expert Iain Monaghan of Pinsent Masons, said: “Buyers need to balance the cost they are prepared to pay for IT with the benefits that new technology can deliver. Suppliers are less resistant to renegotiating existing contracts if buyers can show that there is a reason for change and that the change offers a new business opportunity to the supplier. This is why constant engagement with suppliers is important. The contract is meant to embody a relationship with the supplier.”

What does the growth of GIS mean for BI

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on September 2, 2013

Business Intelligence (BI) software has been used by more and more firms across the globe in the last few years as they look to get a hold on the massive amounts of data that has become available and analyse it succinctly and efficiently in order to ensure that they are making the best decisions and advancing well as a firm.

However, new technologies come around or grow all the time, and in many cases these can change the way that BI is utilised, or indeed how effective it is as a tool.

One of these has been the growth of geographical technology in the consumer market. Consumers are now able to access a range of different applications that will use satellites to show them how to get somewhere, and this is increasingly used to show the nearest and most convenient locations for them to access shops and other services.

So what does the rise of this kind of technology – Geographical information systems (GIS) – the sort of which is used in Google Maps and other apps, mean for the BI market at the current time?

According to information released by market analyst firm Pringle & Company, one of the main reasons BI is becoming popular is because of the increasing need and desire to track information, and the sheer volume of things that can be tracked.

It said that the market is set to grow exponentially over the course of the next four years from $76 billion (£48.9 billion) to around $143 billion by the year 2016.

However, the use of GIS in this equation can make it a much more worthwhile venture for companies looking to steal a further march on the opposition.

The organisation said that use of GIS with BI can mean having an unprecedented view of the business, customers, opposition and the opportunities that are inherent within.

More people now make use of mobile technology such as phones and tablets when they are out and about to help them not only work or play away from the home and office, but also to find things that they need to through maps.

The company said that making decisions based on data collected through GIS can help for the better targeting of decisions that are made and stronger visualisation, strategic planning. It also said that decisions can be made faster and more intelligently.

James Buckley, writing for Business 2 Consumer, said of the rise of GIS and its use in BI: “By combining the new consumer perspective on GIS technology with more effective tools, the revelations about business opportunities based on location aren’t happening in isolation anymore. Now, that information is easily converted to actionable insights that drive sales, IT or business development.”

Global BI market to grow annually by 8% in five years

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on September 2, 2013

The worldwide market for the use of business intelligence (BI) software is set to grow at a rapid rate over the coming few years, a report that has been released by Research and Markets has revealed.

The findings show that the global market for the technology in 2018 will be worth some $20.81 billion (£13.4 billion), rising considerably from the $13.98 billion that it is worth in 2013. This will mark a worldwide growth in the space of just five years that amounts to an 8.28 per cent compound annual growth rate as use of the technology continues to grow among businesses and markets.

It said that the fastest rate of growth anywhere in the world will be seen in North America. In this market in particular, BI will continue to be more and more popular to the end that the continent commands 49 per cent of the entire BI spend worldwide. Although this is the case, it will still be a technology that continues to grow across the rest of the globe as well.

The rise in BI comes as more and more firms see the advantages of using the technology. The analytical tools can assess a range of different data and help to work out how to stay ahead of the competition, and its advances in recent years have seen it become one of the most vital pieces of software for many big global companies.

The increasing volume of data and big data available to firms around the world has made the use of analytics without these specialised tools a no-go for most forward-thinking organisations, and this is something that is set to be extended over the next few years.

So why do firms now make use of this more than ever?

According to the research, BI has proven itself as an effective piece of software and tool over a number of years thanks to the way it has helped companies see their performance on a better level and increase their profits by making the right decisions on the back of the data that has been collected.

They were faced with an increasingly difficult task in terms of data management, thanks to such roles as the fact that data has to be stored, consolidated and abstracted for future references and strategic planning of business processes.

Essentially, the rise of the technology has helped to simplify some of the most complex issues that companies around the globe were having to deal with. According to Markets and Research, these included: tracking and monitoring of business activities; analysis and presentation of large volumes of transactions carried out by business activities; control of the execution of strategy through effective monitoring of key performance indicators (KPI); and assisting in the slicing and dicing of the data that is needed for the decision making processes.

The rise of the cloud in BI: How to take advantage

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on September 2, 2013

The cloud is becoming ever-more important in the world of business intelligence so it is important to know how to take advantage.

Business intelligence (BI) software is a concept that more and more business across the world are getting a hold on, using the analytics technology to steal a march on the competition and get ahead of the game.

However, despite the innovative nature of BI itself, there are always new developments, and this has meant changes that companies need to stay on top of – one of the most pertinent of these has been the rise of cloud-based BI software.

The cloud allows business to access this technology from anywhere in the world, allowing for remote working from home and business trips, which can cause large-scale savings throughout a number of years, but how do businesses take advantage of these advances and make sure they are using them to their advantage?

Price

There is no doubt that in its infancy BI technology was something aimed at largely the biggest companies around the world, as those with the deepest pockets were able to shell out on what was an expensive luxury.

However, as it has developed and prices have come down, and particularly since the technology moved into the cloud, it has become something far more accessible to smaller firms as well.

To make the most of this, it is vital to shop around and do some research before committing. A smaller outlay on the right BI technology for the job can end up making all the difference to the bottom line.

Security

With any cloud technology, security becomes an issue. While with office-based software, someone more often than not has to be present to take advantage of any security lapses, the cloud can allow for cyber attacks more commonly.

For this reason, businesses need to ensure that they are choosing a vendor with a good track record for things like encryption and ensuring that only the right people have access to the cloud. This can stop vital information from being leaked to the wrong people and damaging the business.

Training staff well can also ensure that security is high. If they are going to be working on the cloud for the first time, it’s vital that they know how to keep the data they use safe and not risk it being accessed by unauthorised parties.

Mobile access

Being able to access the cloud over mobile channels is one of the biggest advantages of the modern age, and so ensuring that your BI vendor can provide this is an absolute necessity.

All staff will have access to mobile phones and tablets, so it can be great to put these to good use and get the maximum amount of work that businesses can from their staff. When people are travelling between offices or on business trips, having access to BI via the cloud will ensure that they can still work and capitalise on their time away from the workplace.