One of the hottest trends in recent years has been the increasing use of outsourcing. Business process outsourcing has impacted many functions, including customer service, finance, HR and IT. Yet, IDC research shows that the use of outsourcing in the search for business efficiency leads to unexpected side effects. Companies with a fragmented set of systems, both internally run and outsourced, have lost the ability to monitor the business. This deficiency leads to initiatives to improve visibility into business performance across these operational systems. Hence, the imperative to outsource business functions creates a more intense need for business performance management (BPM). With improved visibility into the business, it is time to look at improving the decision processes for taking corrective action, i.e., optimization.

There is general consensus that business intelligence (BI) is moving up on the list of priorities for IT organizations. The business drivers are also generally understood: the need to reduce complexity caused by implementations of multiple systems, the need to meet compliance guidelines and the need to monitor business performance for greater accountability.

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