Divided We Fall, United We Stand
Some say it’s a war zone. It’s been one in the past.
The relationship between IT and business users has often been a rocky one. Business users want the tools and applications they need to do their jobs, and IT struggles to provide it — while keeping costs under control.
But don’t despair! Insightful organizations are bringing together technology, analytics and user-friendly applications to make peace — even partnerships! — between IT and business.
Let’s start at the beginning
Real time data is the foundation of leading organizations. They can win or lose the battle based on how quickly they can access relevant information.
Data is everywhere. It is stored in and pulled from a multitude of sources.
Decision-making happens everywhere, from the executive level down to the customer-facing employees. So all areas of the business need access to that data, and they need it to be accurate.
One of the problems is data locked inside data warehouses. Another is data residing in varying states (structured, unstructured, live and analytic, and even in flight), which leads to current IT solutions taking too much time to pull it together into a useable format.
People are not getting the information they need when they need it, according to a recent IDC whitepaper. And their businesses are suffering.
Current software does “not provide enough flexibility in accessing/analyzing/manipulating data,” according to more 36 percent of respondents cited by “Blueprint for Success; Ingraining Insights into the DNA of People and Process.” And 30 percent said that “data is not updated frequently enough.”
Making partnerships (and peace!) between IT and business users
A well-integrated data environment that reduces complexity is key to achieving peace. There is more cohesion and harmony when business can be more agile in decision-making for both needs and opportunities.
This once was a pipe dream, but it is now reality thanks to recent advances in technology, such as granting business users self-service access to relevant data analysis tools. “IT can now be seen not as a cost center,” the IDC whitepaper stated, “but as an enabler of value.”
What peace provides
The value of a partnership between IT and business users is in the ability to respond to market changes quickly — and with the right mix of business process adaptations. Retailers can track purchasing patterns and, along with various other factors, make quick decisions on pricing and inventory management. Logistics companies can track shipping routes and idling time, making decisions to minimize fuel costs, lowering delivery times and improving customer service.
“Companies will finally be able to run a real-time enterprise that simultaneously transacts, analyzes and acts,” within the next five years, according to IDC.
That sounds like a valuable proposition. And business users are all about value.
So if IT can truly provide value, peace can surely reign supreme!