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Building Blocks for the Data Business Case

by Jodee Hale-Schmid

January 25, 2011

Authored by David Kuketz, Solutions Consultant, Utopia, Inc.


YOU NEED A FOUNDATION

Anything of significant capital investment needs a plan, a blueprint, and a foundation; houses, an office building, even an IT or ERP system. You can’t build a skyscraper on a sandy hill – it needs a solid footing. So, after proper ROI analysis and funding, owners retain engineers and architects who work together to evaluate, analyze and maximize the potentials of a site, and the kind of building the site will sustain.

Some potentials include assuring the bedrock is solid enough to support the structure (scoping), and looking at proper ingress, egress and utility, that the foundation promotes optimal functioning of the building structure, the systems and people within it, as well as the environment (overall design). Finally, after design reviews and revision, you have construction (realization), testing and sign-off.

DATA IS THE FOUNDATION

From my perspective, data is the foundation of business. Companies may ou tlive or outgrow their facilities, and build new ones, but they never stop needing good foundations. In this respect, relating to data, some businesses run two or more flavors or versions of foundations, virtual copies, often modified, locally optimized or tuned for specific business functions or silos, but you really have one, a “single version of the truth”, inherent in your business DNA – the building blocks of business processes.

Companies need to know if their foundation of data is bedrock or sand. They need to understand if it requires shoring up because, in the figurative sense if the foundation is aged, the building structure is stressed, the mortar is cracking, or if the weather is getting worse, and let’s say there is a threat of seismic activity (analogy for a business shock) – a high risk event could shake the building (business) to the ground. Preventative maintenance and proper attention can help avoid this.

ENTERPRISE DATA LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT

To help companies firm up their data footing, fortify it, elevate its performance potential, and to keep it in high performance, a sophisticated end-to-end, cradle-to-grave strategies around this concept has been developed called Enterprise Data Lifecycle Management (EDLM). So whether you are upgrading an existing ERP, implementing a new one and migrating to it, adding Business Intelligence or other business process applications, or consolidating or divesting a business, EDLM is one solution you don’t want to over look.

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