Breaking Down The Silos

Information, Intelligence and Process (Part 2) by Julie Hunt

Here’s the next article in the series by Julie Hunt, an accomplished software industry analyst. 
Knocking down the Silos

Data, information and content saturate most enterprises, so business users must become much more directly involved in creating and managing the overall solution for handling these vital resources. Business people usually hold the key to the context for data and processes, as well as future ways of using the data.

The integrated components of MDM / data governance, BI / analytics, and BPM need to deliver real results to business users but are also highly dependent on the participation of business users to incorporate reality and provide on-target solutions.

True collaboration between business and IT teams starts with requirements, results, procedures, and then leads to collaborative work on joint projects. Such collaboration fosters reuse, reduces duplication of effort and processes, and builds a network of trust between business and IT staff that is aligned with how systems really need to support key business objectives, initiatives and future strategic direction.

Commonality also crosses the business drivers for data governance, MDM, BI, and BPM where key benefit areas consist of growing revenue, cost efficiency, different levels of agility, and compliance. Efforts should provide improvements for:

  • Faster, more accurate decision-making, including real-time intelligence
  • Identifying and engendering new markets, new products, new customers
  • Enhancing and supporting customer relationships and customer service
  • Operational procedures
  • Customer cross-selling / up-selling
  • Ease of compliance, audits, and risk management

Rajan Chandras said in Data Gaps Plague Process Initiatives:

The genesis of these types of initiatives is often very different. BPM is undertaken when organizations find themselves beset with process shortcomings, and with the primary purpose of better understanding, improving and integrating business processes. Data governance initiatives, on the other hand, are usually justified by shortcomings in data quality, consistency and integrity.

Then, data governance is often closely intertwined with master data management, and thus organized alongside important “master” business data entities — customer, product, organization and such.

That said, Rob Karel, Forrester analyst and lead author of the report, suggests that IT must learn how to better educate and evangelize data issues in a language and a context that matters to the business — a responsibility that Karel puts squarely on IT, “because IT often has a more cross-enterprise view than siloed business units and functions.”

For data governance and process governance efforts to be successful, they both (business and IT) must frame their priorities and business value in the context of which business processes they are aiming to improve, transform and optimize, says Karel.

From Forrester study, September 2010

BI - BPM better decisions


About the author: Julie Hunt is an accomplished software industry analyst, providing strategic market and competitive insights. Her 20+ years as a software professional range from the technical side to customer-centric work in solutions consulting, sales and marketing. Julie shares her take on the software industry via her blog Highly Competitive and on Twitter: @juliebhunt. For more information: Julie Hunt Consulting – Strategic Product & Market Intelligence Services.

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