Over the last decade, many large information technology (IT) shops have undergone a dizzying array of change including outsourcing, insourcing, organizational realignments, new CIOs and new technologies. This turmoil has left many large IT shops without the fundamentals for providing excellent business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing services to their customers. As if that wasn't enough, many stovepipe warehouses developed during the last 10 years will need to be integrated (thus redesigned and combined) to meet customer demands at reasonable expense over the next 10 years. What's going to insure that IT is far more successful at this than it has been? The answer is an enterprise business intelligence center of excellence (CoE).

Today's smart service vendors in the business intelligence, data warehousing and data mining arena are establishing centers of excellence in an effort to provide businesses what many internal IT groups are not – expert one-stop shopping. A number of big name vendors and many smaller ones are staking a claim to the business intelligence services market through formation of centers of excellence. It could well be that big blue's recent acquisition of PwC Consulting was partly founded in acquiring just such expertise.

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