Information Builders’ white paper explains the hidden costs behind the solutions
London, UK, 03 February 2004 – Companies are neglecting to accurately calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) when implementing a business intelligence (BI) solution, warns Information Builders. According to a new Information Builders white paper, as BI tools become more capable and widely used, organisations are not accurately gauging the associated costs over both the short and long term, to get the best possible deal.
“IT managers need to consider not only the up front costs of hardware, software and infrastructure, but also the ongoing costs of maintaining and upgrading those solutions over time”, said Jim Irving, managing director of Information Builders UK. “In particular, companies need to make sure they fully understand the terms of the licensing agreement, to avoid being ‘stung’ when they come to expand their user base.”
Many BI applications are created initially for departmental use, but can often grow in popularity and need to be rolled out to the enterprise. In other instances reporting requirements may change or expand beyond the capabilities of the toolset. It isn’t always possible to predict these progressions, therefore it is important that any BI solution is scalable and that licensing agreements can accommodate growth without incurring vast additional fees.
According to the Information Builders white paper there are dozens of cost elements organisations need to consider when calculating TCO, most of which can be grouped into three main categories: purchase costs, implementation costs and maintenance costs. To understand these it is necessary for the organisation to have a solid understanding of the BI infrastructure: how it is configured, how it is deployed, and how scalable it is, as well as an informed estimate of the current and potential user base.
Organisations need to ask themselves the following questions:
- Which reports require real-time information versus staged data from a warehouse, and how will the infrastructure accommodate them?
- How far can the BI architecture be economically expanded to support a growing user base?
- Can the tools handle constantly expanding internal user requirements as well as external deployment to customers, partners, and other third parties via the Internet?
- How much does the BI vendor charge in license fees for self-service users (who are not named and identifiable)? Do they make a licensing distinction between generalised reporting and personalised reporting?
It is particularly important for organisations to consider how the vendor will charge for each type of user, since it can have a big impact on overall costs down the road. Additionally, organisations need to consider the monthly recurring cost of application maintenance and support – when the software vendor and systems integrator are long gone.
According to Information Builders, to meet user needs, BI vendors that were formerly concerned with enterprise reporting now have to be able to deliver enterprise business intelligence suites (EBIS) consisting of production reporting, portal connections, spreadsheet connections, ad hoc reporting and OLAP viewing. This makes it easier for companies to purchase and maintain software assets because they can minimise the number of vendors they work with. However, it also requires careful planning and cost projections for the short and long term to ensure that IT resources aren’t overwhelmed by escalating use of the tools.
Jim Irving continued, “Information Builders recognises the importance of giving value for money and ensuring the scalability of the solutions we provide. In 2003, a Ventana Research study named Information Builders as the vendor offering the lowest total cost of ownership for both user-defined and parameterised reports. This is a recognition of our commitment to developing our offering and giving our customers the solutions that they need.”
For a copy of this white paper please visit: http://www.informationbuilders.com/products/whitepapers/arch...
About Information Builders
Information Builders is one of the world’s largest privately owned software companies. With almost 30 years experience in the management and integration of information, Information Builders specialises in the supply of Web based Business Intelligence and Enterprise Application Integration. Its enterprise solutions enable the timely delivery of information to over 11,000 customers, 1800 employees and 350 business partners across the globe.
With headquarters in New York City, Information Builders has 90 offices worldwide. Fifty people are employed in the UK, at Wembley, Middlesex and in Warrington, Cheshire. Turnover worldwide is £300 million, with UK turnover at £10 million.
Magdalen Bush/Sonia Panchal
Tel: 020 7282 2901/2923
Fax: 020 7282 1064
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