Tuesday, March 6, 2012

From Legacy Headaches to BI ROI

I remember a time when the biggest debate in enterprise IT departments was whether to purchase "best-of-breed" solutions or integrated systems. Line-of-business managers leaned toward the rich functionality of the best-of-breed solutions, and executives and corporate directors were more interested in the wider and easier access to data provided by integrated systems. IT departments were caught in the middle, trying to please multiple masters.

These past battles come down to us as today's legacy applications. The average enterprise IT department may have dozens of software systems to maintain. But they also have to maintain the numerous platforms on which these software systems reside. And sometimes the demise of the platform overtakes the usefulness of the application.

It's a rare crisis that doesn't also present an opportunity to those who can see through the confusion. Many BI platform managers are in this position today. They have under their control a best-of-breed business intelligence solution that can access all enterprise data sources. The BI system is that formerlly elusive combination of best-of-breed solution and integrated system.

When the ROI of a legacy platform or solution is under review, the first question should be whether state-of-the-art systems such as your BI system can absorb the legacy function for increased BI ROI and reduced TCO.

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