Gasoline prices have reached about $3.00 per gallon, and in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes, there is talk of much higher prices. The increasing prices have impacted the technologies that are being incorporated into cars as well as our selection and use of automobiles. The manufacturers have been emphasizing fuel efficiency for several years and are introducing new technologies, including more streamlined designs, electric engines and hybrid engines to address the rising fuel costs. We as consumers are moving away from SUVs and are changing our driving habits.
In the last few years, we've seen changes in the business intelligence (BI) world that are analogous to the changes impacting our driving habits. Companies are applying their BI environments to support customer relationship management (CRM) and business process management (BPM) applications in a near real-time manner; they are increasingly incorporating the results of analytic applications into their operational environments and the BI environment is frequently used to satisfy regulatory requirements. Just as the automobile manufacturers are reacting to the changing demands, technological advances described later in this article have been introduced. The Corporate Information Factory (CIF), which provides a resilient framework for BI applications, also needs to evolve. The evolution shown in Figure 1 is largely the result of a collaborative effort by Claudia Imhoff, Colin White and myself. We call it the CIFe, or the Extended Corporate Information Factory.
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