Too many companies have implemented the "software du jour" - frequently switching to different hardware; operating systems; databases; applications; programming languages; extract, transform and load (ETL) tools; and reporting and analytical tools. Granted, no large company is going to have a homogenous environment; this is justifiable, as software and vendors change, grow, merge and disappear. However, this doesn't negate the need to be disciplined when we select data warehouse (DW) or business intelligence (BI) tools. We first need to develop an architecture, then make technology and product choices that support it.
You should develop standards in different tool categories or establish a preferred product list to increase both the ROI of your IT investments and the value of your IT organization. Too often, tools are selected on a project-by-project basis, which doesn't work for several reasons. First, taking a project viewpoint versus an enterprise viewpoint may result in a tool that is only useful for one project. Second, by placing the burden of tool selection on each project, you're spending time, resources and money on tool selection instead of your project. Third, restricting the products used allows IT to develop expertise with them. Finally, the most obvious benefit is lower licensing, training and support costs.
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