Business intelligence applications are being marketed as fully functional, data warehouse applications that can provide immense business value to an organization. With out of the box applications, this can be done in a relatively short amount of time compared to the more traditional approach for custom-built business intelligence solutions. As companies standardize their enterprise resource planning systems across their organizations, out-of-the-box solutions for business intelligence become an option that organizations may want to pay attention to.BI applications enable an organization to add business value quickly, reduce the risk associated with custom-built solutions, and realize the value of packaged applications such as rapid deployment, built-in best practices and lower total cost of ownership. 

Many organizations must justify the decision to build versus buy as they try to align the functionalities of out-of-the-box solutions with their business and technology requirements. The failure for potential applications (BI and non BI) to align with the organization’s requirements is a primary reason why many custom applications exist across organizations today. A typical organization has both custom-built and packaged software solutions scattered across the enterprises. So what has changed to justify implementing packaged BI solutions, choosing to buy versus build, and when are BI applications a more favorable option custom-built solutions?Custom BI solutions are often subject to a high risk of failure either through poor execution and/or failure to add the expected business value. These solutions are highly complex (even when executed correctly), requiring technology and people to come together from across the organization. The organization often does not have the right structures in place to be successful, resource levels and especially time frames are under-estimated, experience across the required technologies is not sufficient, and most importantly the organization does not have a roadmap in place to drive their overall BI strategy. Initial projects take many months to complete, with enterprise initiatives sometimes taking years. Lengthy implementation times are costly, and there is often an inability to add business value quickly. Data and integration architecture, but are often highly underestimated. And consulting organizations often fail to address this adequately, focusing on reporting and analytic functions over the complexities of architecture and data integration.That’s where BI applications come in to play.BI applications are complete solutions that have been developed using best-of-breed technologies. Often,skilled technical resources and co-operation from industry and functional experts are able to deliver solutions that offer immediate business value and a robust technical framework that is supported by the application vendor. Much of the risk associated with building custom BI solutions has either been reduced or eliminated. The customer can purchase and deploy an out of the box BI application in a short time frame with fewer resources and less risk than if they had built the solutions themselves or in collaboration with third-party providers.

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