Business Intelligence Solutions – Points to Ponder.

The quest for business intelligence solutions (BI) continues as companies try to find the perfect balance between maximizing revenue and minimizing expenses. IT departments attempt to increase revenue by preventing service interruptions and improving business functionality, while minimizing the operating costs associated with maintaining both the IT staff and systems. The idea that BI monitoring will help achieve this much sought after Utopian balance has become generally accepted. Just as vital as understanding the need for Business Intelligence is the ability to determine a BI solution that meets ones needs.

One of the most common forms of business intelligence solutions for IT departments is systems monitoring.

Whether it is network, application, or process monitoring, their purpose is to provide a more efficient and economical way for a business to reduce the expense of system outages, which in turn increases revenue. However, many BI implementations fail at achieving that result and in some cases, will cause increased expenses in training or staff. It is even estimated that approximately 60 percent of Business Intelligence projects end in abandonment for one reason or another. One Company in particular, spent close to a million dollars for a giant wall of monitors that display all of their critical system data. The idea was to increase efficiency but in reality, no one uses it. Since an employee can get the specific information they need to perform their immediate task on their personal PC, the montage of video screens are no more useful to productivity than a piece of art. However, had they purchased the artwork, they may have had something to show for their million dollar investment.

The purpose of this article series is not to provide an exhaustive guide to developing a Business Intelligence system. After all, a business intelligence solutions implementation for two companies who offer the exact same service or product may need two radically different systems in order for them to reach peak profitability. If the two organizations have diametric infrastructure or process weaknesses, a solution that addresses the first company’s needs may not meet the second’s. Therefore, my goal is to arm people undertaking BI initiatives, more specifically, monitoring, with information that will help them determine what to look for in a product, solution, company, and/or consultant.