Corporate Executives and IT Managers Aggravated by BI Complexity

    August 25, 2004

A new survey, sponsored by Unisys reveals that corporate executives and IT managers are growing increasingly aggravated by the complexity of business intelligence (BI) solutions intended to streamline their business decision-making processes.

According to the survey, these professionals are exploring server infrastructure standardization to address the overwhelming number of individual business intelligence applications operating across their enterprises. More than 30 percent of respondents reported running 11 or more separate business intelligence applications, with most companies running at least seven.

Business intelligence – services and software designed to help companies analyze customer, market and operational data and transform it into information to enhance sales and performance – comprises a market currently valued at $25 billion worldwide, according to major industry analysts.

Business intelligence market growth and sporadic advances in its software development have forced companies to add business intelligence applications one-by-one. The result is a collection of disparate applications lacking one standard reporting capability, which can create inefficiencies. The new Unisys survey shows that 92 percent of IT decision-makers are ready to standardize these applications for more efficient reporting.

“It’s like BI gone wild,” said Bill Jefferis, director, Business Intelligence, Unisys. “A significant number of people in the survey said they are using business intelligence software to improve their own business processes, yet, it’s these very applications that may be contributing to the confusion. After all, the endgame in business intelligence is the ability to make better, faster decisions, and the way to accomplish this is through standard, easy-to-use reporting capabilities accessible to employees throughout the enterprise.”

Despite industry concerns about the viability of delivering business intelligence across the enterprise, 80 percent of respondents agree that non-IT staff should be able to easily and effectively use business intelligence applications.

The survey, sponsored by Unisys and conducted by market research firm KRC Research, queried C-level executives and IT managers about their organizations’ business intelligence strategies. Respondents work for large companies in the U.S. with a minimum of $500 million in annual revenue.

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