BI (Business Intelligence) and particularly, BI Services are maturing.  Over the last couple of years we have seen an ever increasing level of interest in and adoption of BI – this on different platforms, applications and processes.  We encounter this aspiration for increased adoption of BI and providing BI services often as we meet clients, and to a large extent, we are also making this happen for our clients. This topic has also been addressed in the Forrester report  Trends 2011 and Beyond: Business Intelligence.  The next generation of BI involves consolidating and centralizing BI environments to achieve ultimate efficiency and effectiveness.

But how do you do this?

In this fast moving environment every organization seeks to better manage business information to differentiate, become more efficient, seek greater insights into their customers, exploit opportunities and become a modern “Intelligent Enterprise”.  In many cases information management – BI – has developed spontaneously and in an uncoordinated way in different parts of the organization. Different departments or functions have their own technologies, their own tools and their own processes for managing information. This is a challenge as this next step in BI no longer can be tackled in an uncoordinated way or as a one-off project. A BI transformation program requires continuous, controlled step-by-step sequencing of individual projects as part of a roadmap.  And with limited budget and resources to provide consistent BI services, many organizations are struggling to make available quality information at the hands of the business users.

Three clear steps

It is a major journey for organizations to take an enterprise view of their information, where they want to standardize and align disparate data, and introduce a factory approach to the management, processing and deployment of information. It needs three clear steps:

  1. Develop a coherent information strategy and link the output to a clear information road map.
  2. Embed a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) approach with IT and business stakeholders, that pushes the strategy into the business.
  3. Implement/build/establish Business Intelligence Service Center (BISC) that creates a scalable support structure and ensures that strategies are implemented across the whole organization.

Embracing these challenges successfully requires a factory approach. One might think that offshoring BI development is impractical as it is highly iterative and requires a high degree of interaction within the business. I disagree. While BI is iterative, achieving a high degree of offshoring is not impractical. Using a right mix of on, near and offshore skills provides a fully industrialized enterprise BI development process as it enables organizations to standardize every part of development from demand planning through to testing. Combined with lower costs and the ability to scale up and down according to demand, the BISC approach to delivery of BI services makes it a mature global delivery model.

So to move your organizations to the next generation BI, use a structured BISC approach and benefit from a high offshore leverage in delivering BI services across the globe.