Business Intelligence - IT vs Management
Conflicts between IT departments and business managers are no secret and are a common occurrence within most organisations. While the reasons for tensions vary, the implementation of Business Intelligence projects is one that’s becoming more common in the data driven business environment we know today. In the past it was IT that owned Business Intelligence projects, but the responsibility is now shifting to Business departments. Business management departments are beginning to realise the potential of the data a BI platform can provide and are seeking to gain independence from IT so that they can become more agile and deliver results faster.
According to a study from ICD, only 25% of business managers believe that the IT department is best placed to lead Business Intelligence projects.
This is mainly due to the emergence of BI tools that are easier to use, "that are self-served and that are also available in ‘SaaS mode’". They require no installation and IT doesn’t need to be involved at all.
But should IT be bypassed altogether?
A faster implementation
IT departments are increasingly perceived as a hindrance to the fast implementation of Business Intelligence projects. Involving IT would significantly lengthen projects by increasing implementation timelines. According to a Vanson Bourne study, 65% of respondents considered that the waiting period for business units for the provision of services by the IT department is 5 months. Such a long wait affects a company's responsiveness, competitiveness and performance in the meantime.
With cloud-based Business Intelligence solutions now allowing a BI project implementation in a just few weeks, or even a few days, the choice is simple for business departments.
Cloud-based solutions redistribute roles
Cloud-based BI solutions are attracting more and more business users. They are faster and easier to implement than on-premise offerings, principally because they do not require IT department resources. As such, there is perhaps a temptation to bypass the IT department. However, it would be short-sighted and detrimental not to consult your IT department at all. Even when no technical input is required, as is the case with many cloud-based BI solutions, the IT department should remain a partner and an advisor to business managers throughout the selection and implementation process.
In the end, even if new solutions that are easy to implement put business departments at the forefront, it remains key to work hand in hand with IT departments who will always have a lot of experience to bring to projects of this nature.