Business intelligence plays a key part in the day to day operations of an entire organization. No matter your role, you will find business solutions to fit your specific needs.
If you’re a CIO or a senior manager in a large IT organization, an important facet of your job is feeding an insatiable appetite for business intelligence in a cost-effective manner. Your employees, customers, partners and suppliers operate in a data-hungry world that demands unprecedented insight and accountability at breakneck speeds.
You probably have substantial investments in databases, report writers and other tools to create actionable reports and data files. But how do you ensure that the right information gets to the right person at the right time? Moreover, how can you reliably scale your report distribution infrastructure for the extended enterprise when you manage hundreds of applications and thousands of reports?
You may face the challenges like these:
You are a victim of success. Earlier investments spawned levels of demand for business intelligence and distribution capabilities that cannot be met. You simply can’t scale what you use today without adding people and infrastructure.
You’ve been charged with reducing operational costs while eliminating distribution bottlenecks and errors. And, by the way, you’re expected to leverage existing toolsets.
Users inside and outside of the company are asking for real-time dashboards, self-service reporting tools and support for a variety of mobile devices.
Your business intelligence distribution architecture is (or will be) an enabler for critical enterprise processes. Those reporting capabilities are no longer conveniences or supplements – they strengthen fundamental corporate operations.
You are unable to centrally manage thousands of reports that go to thousands of recipients across the extended enterprise. As well, you need to accommodate a mind-boggling variety of formats, delivery protocols and schedules.
You’ve been told to find a solution for the “action” part of “actionable intelligence”. This means threshold notifications, workflow participation and implementing response capabilities from within business intelligence delivery solutions.
You recognize that different consumers of business intelligence have different needs along the push-pull spectrum of report distribution. Some need scheduled reports. Some need on-demand reports. Still others want real-time dashboards. Wouldn’t it be great if a single vendor could provide you with a complete portfolio of “push” and “pull” distribution solutions that address these needs?
As an IT manager, you may work in an organization that is viewed as an enterprise cost center rather than a strategic asset. If so, you are perpetually squeezed between end-user needs and budget restrictions imposed by your CIO or other spreadsheet-wielding corporate authorities. Figuring out how to make do with what you have and inventing new ways of saving money has become a way of life for you and the people on your team.
How often have you heard this complaint: “I can’t do my job without the right information at the right time. Period.”
In all likelihood, you’re challenged constantly to deliver more and better business intelligence to employees and external parties (customers, partners, suppliers) in the form of reports, data files and dashboards. These need to be generated in a large number of formats and distributed in a variety of ways. And let’s not forget support for a growing variety of mobile devices, most of which are not under corporate control.
In addition, you may have implicit or explicit responsibility for homegrown solutions that are long past their expiration date. The folks on your team are on point to fix them – and no one wants to hear excuses, especially at the end of the month or the fiscal quarter. Or a department swiped a credit card and purchased its own cloud-based solution for business intelligence, reporting or distribution. No matter that it wasn’t vetted or approved by IT – you now need to fix integration problems that are largely outside of your control that will lead to security and privacy issues.
As an IT analyst, you are the primary interface to the rest of the company for IT services and support. This can be very challenging, particularly if you are responsible for business intelligence solutions. End-users rarely have enough reports or tools to satisfy their needs for intelligence derived from transactional data in business applications, yet you are constrained by the number of hours in a day, not to mention the lack of funding for more analysts.
If you need to support homegrown solutions that are well past their expiration date, you’re spending too much time fixing bugs. Your job responsibilities also include responding to untimely off-hours processing failures. And if a department head independently purchases an unknown cloud service to meet their needs, you now have the undesirable pleasure of integrating or supporting a solution that IT has not vetted or approved.
Leaders in the company and staff all want real-time dashboards, support for all kinds of mobile devices and self-service report generators, something that cannot be reliably or quickly built in-house.
Undoubtedly you are tired of being treated like an obstacle or adversary by the departments you support. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a single vendor offered an integrated report distribution platform that satisfied all these needs and decreased your support burden? If you could offer such solutions, you would be a hero in your work community.