The world of business intelligence is split: IT is concerned with data governance, whereas users want freedom to run the business. Decisions are made quickly and with heavy reliance on data and to keep up with the pace of the modern business landscape, users expect on-demand intelligence.

A legacy BI platform cannot support this pace. The old process of spending months collecting business requirements and even longer developing reports is a cycle that doesn’t cut it anymore and so the business finds its own way with shadow analytics and brute force Excel models which are highly prone to error. When more time is being spent reconciling reports than running the business, something is seriously wrong.

In the last ten years, a myriad of desktop discovery tools have entered the market that support analytic capabilities without significant IT involvement. Your business units have likely made investments of this nature and are rapidly creating a landscape of analytic silos.

Because business users value speed over accuracy, they will deploy lightweight de-centralised solutions with compelling graphics and dashboards. However, a beautifully displayed number that lacks accuracy can do considerable damage. In the best case, arguments ensue over who is right; at worst, incorrect numbers are driving major business decisions. Moreover, as data integrity erodes, who’s left accountable?

The cost to continue maintaining a legacy environment is greater than the cost of making a switch. When contemplating a new BI investment, you must focus not just on license and implementation prices, but also time-to-value and ongoing people requirements. In many cases, because of subscription pricing, you can replace your legacy BI environment with minimal-to-no capital expenditure and remain operating-expense neutral.

We stand at an inflection point. Abolish the bottleneck of IT reporting and free up your resources to focus on leading-edge projects that deliver value and empower your end users with self-service analytics.

To learn more about Networked BI, read our white paper.

The preceding article was originally published in Enterprise Management 360.