Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Self-Service vs. IT?

symbiosis (sĭm'bē-ŏnt') noun.
  1. any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc.
Users need IT and vice versa.

The question mark in the title is on purpose. I believe it is an open question, with no right answer.

Just a few short years ago, I don't think anyone would have doubted the requirement for the IT department. Nowadays, with SaaS, appliances, and Web 2.0, many people/companies are.

Specifically in the BI space, Gartner published an article: Emerging Technologies Will Drive Self-Service Business Intelligence. Techworld cited it in a release: IT's role in business intelligence to lessen. The Gartner publication is also the focus of an article published today by DM Review called Gartner Says Emerging Technologies Will Marginalize IT's Role in Business Intelligence.

Aside: The focus of the article is on interactive visualization, and alternatives to data warehousing. I couldn't have made a better case for InetSoft products if I had written it myself.

I don't think the role of IT will be reduced. Rather, I believe that IT will spend less time on the mundane tasks like producing reports, and be able to focus on other, more advanced, BI projects. For example, predictive modeling, decision automation, and embedding BI in business processes are all still firmly in the realm of IT.

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