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Virtualization: Article

Will IT Share the Fate of the Titanic?

Business’s dissatisfaction with IT is hidden under the surface

On April 12, 1912, the maiden voyage of the seemingly unsinkable RMS Titanic ended in disaster.

One hundred years later to the day, is IT is on course for a similar collision, with similar catastrophic fate?

An Increasingly Icy Relationship Between Business and IT
Business dissatisfaction with IT is well-chronicled by TDWI and others.  IT responsiveness surveys1 show an average time to add a data source of nearly eight weeks, with another seven weeks added-on to create a new report or dashboard.

TDWI research on the top five drivers for self-service BI2 show desultory results of similar magnitude:

  • Constantly changing business needs (65%)
  • IT's inability to satisfy new requests in a timely manner (57%)
  • The need to be a more analytics-driven organization (54%)
  • Slow and untimely access to information (47%)
  • Business user dissatisfaction with IT-delivered BI capabilities (34%)

Cloud Computing's Rise Validates Dissatisfaction
Accelerating growth in cloud computing growth is another example of business dissatisfaction with IT.  Forrester, in their April 2011 report entitled Sizing the Cloud projected cloud computing spend to rise six fold between 2011 and 2020. Other analysts firms are projecting similar levels of growth.

Approaching the Iceberg, Full Steam Ahead

IT's full-steam ahead mentality, seemingly with little care for their business customer, is not a course for long-term survival.

Like the proverbial iceberg, business leaders today are revealing just ten percent of their future plans in discussions covering analytics, mobile and cloud adoption.

Over the next few years, what lies surface the beneath will be fully revealed including:

  • Need analytics?  There's an app for that! Apple-like apps stores, full of easy to learn, personalize and use business applications, will serve business users' many and varied needs.
  • Need data?  Google it! Information access will be ubiquitous.
  • Need to visualize?  Play it! Location awareness and 3D visual reality will extend human sense and response in unprecedented ways.
  • Need computing?  Charge it! Massive cloud computing factories will address complexity and provide compelling economics at the expense of on-premise craftsmen and computing resources.
  • Need advice?  Twitter it! Mavens and super users will guide solutions by influence rather than IT standards.  Enjoy the wisdom of crowds!

Is IT positioned to meet these business needs? Or is a Titantic-scale disaster inevitable?

How Can IT Avoid Disaster?
What course corrections can IT take to maintain its preeminent role as business's technology partner?

Enterprise adoption of data virtualization is one course correction proven to improve business satisfaction with IT.  Increased business agility is the critical business benefit.

Examples to these benefits can be observed across hundreds of organizations and is clearly evident in the ten case studies described in the recently published Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility.

Why Business Will Value Data Virtualization
The recent Cloud Computing Journal Article, Why Your Business Will Value Data Virtualization, describes how data virtualization enables IT to provide business with the information it needs with greater agility and lower costs than traditional data integration approaches and technologies.

As a result, business units in every industry are pushing on IT to answer critical data virtualization adoption questions such as

  • How does data virtualization apply to our organization?
  • What general patterns of adoption can we leverage?
  • How can we meet our industry-specific data virtualization needs?

Will Data Virtualization Investments Payoff for the Business and IT?

IT business cases must demonstrate value through tangible business and IT metrics that align with the strategic objectives of the business units that they serve.   How to Justify Data Virtualization Investments identifies five key data virtualization value drivers for business and IT.  These include:

  • Sales Growth
  • Risk Reduction
  • Time Savings
  • Technology Savings
  • Staff Savings

Smooth Sailing or Disaster?
Like their business counterparts, IT has proven to be amazingly adaptive in times of challenge. Wary for business's growing dissatisfaction, with a few wise course corrections, for example the adoption of data virtualization, IT can continue as business's vehicle for success.

  1. Self-Service Business Intelligence: TDWI Best Practices Report, @TDWI July 2011
  2. 2011 TDWI BI Benchmark Report:  Organizational and Performance Metrics for Business Intelligence Teams, , @TDWI December 2011

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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