BI vendors don't matter

Consolidation creates similar solutions

Businesses looking to adopt a business intelligence strategy were told "all BI vendors are the same" at Gartner's Information management Summit in Sydney today.

Gartner analyst Jamie Popkin said consolidation in the BI market has driven offerings to become very much the same.

He said users should consider BI alternatives such as open source, software-as-a-service and outsourcing along with established solutions from IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle.

"Just because a product is being offered doesn't mean it is a workable business model," Popkin said.

"A BI strategy demands a full application rationalisation [stripping unnecessary software] before modernisation [introducing BI solutions]. One of the biggest pitfalls is when business skips the rationalizing and they end up piling BI on top of unnecessary software."

Popkin said organizations need to redefine what 'success' is, what it perceives as 'value', and understand where money is being spent.

"Otherwise, organizations will fail," he said.

Popkin urged business to factor-in the number of systems retired and re-used into the definition of value.

Gartner research has predicted a "mass platform migration" in which all enterprises with platforms built 10 to 15 years ago will be forced to update to newer applications in the short term.

A local organization that recently standardized its BI platform is Centrelink which upgraded to Cognos 8 earlier this year.

Centrelink, has rationalized the number of "presentation tools" it uses, including Cognos and Hyperion, and replace its existing data warehouse platform.

Centrelink claims that by standardizing on a solution from a single vendor, Centrelink will benefit from "decreased ongoing costs associated with training and supporting products in a multi-vendor environment".

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