AUG 17, 2011 4:41pm ET

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In business intelligence, and information management generally, it can be as politically touchy to suggest there's been progress as it is to say there's a problem in the first place.

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Comments (3)
It should probably be said that business re-takes ownership of technology solutions. In the days before a PC on every desktop, business owned their own processes, managed their own data (often paper filing systems), etc. In recent years the business units of some companies have become like Admiral Fisher's depiction of the British Army as "a projectile launched by the Navy". In some companies, business processes are defined by the software that runs them, whether that makes sense for the business or the customer or not. Going back to a business focus might be hard for us in IT, but it's good for the business.
Posted by R. J. L | Thursday, August 18 2011 at 10:23AM ET
Jim, That was a great DM Radio show last week and I fully agree with the notion of Business trying to reassert control over their own processes and supporting technology. When we look at the emergence and maturation of data governance programs, we see a lot of momentum in this area. When applications began to automate many of the business functions in an organization, business relinquished control of managing their own data. Data became attributes in a technology stack to which only the "techies" in the back room had access. Then ERP began to exert their influence in the technology landscape and business relinquished control of their business processes. Rather than doing what they do best, they began to conform to the way systems ran their business rather than the way that business thought that operations should be run. Technology added speed, but took away flexibility and (that dreaded word, agility). However, one thing that was NOT taken (or given) away was accountability for business performance. So business is in a position of having to account for their performance outcomes using applications that they don't control being fed by data that they don't own - OUCH! This is where we see business data policies coming to the fore. The ability of the business to exert their influence through the expression of data policies from their perspective, the perspective of the business process, creates a culture of shared accountability across the Business and IT landscapes. Without the linkage from "measurable outcome" (a KPI), the business processes that produce that outcome, and the applications and data that support the process, then data governance, business process management, enterprise modeling etc. are all destined to become merely academic exercises. The conceptual must meet the real world, and fully defined business data policies expressed from the business process perspective is just the rally point that is needed to begin that transition!
Posted by Mike W | Thursday, August 18 2011 at 11:53AM ET
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