There is much to say about the often challenged relationship between IT and “the business” that has existed since IT became IT. Centralization, decentralization, self-service tools and applications, enterprise tools and applications – the pendulum swings again and again.
You’d think by now that we’d get it. There is no one all-encompassing data management or BI solution that will satisfy all of your data related requirements. Whether driven by enterprise requirements for security, process and control – or by business needs for flexibility, agility or ease of access -- as soon as solutions are implemented, they are challenged to remain current with consistently evolving business needs. IT usually finds itself with the difficult task of supporting multiple sets of business and enterprise needs in an endless cycle.
Senior management teams need to not only accept, but embrace the balance between competing sets of corporate needs for governance, risk mitigation, and management of all technical and data assets; and end-users’ needs for agility, flexibility, timeliness and accessibility to those corporate data assets.
One side of the pendulum swing is bringing us exciting, powerful and cutting-edge technologies in enterprise data management, risk management, and different types of BI, analytics and reporting systems. Considerable amounts of money, time and other resources are being spent on these, but in many cases we can still ask the questions: Are they delivering ROI? Are they agile, flexible, accessible and delivering benefit to the business, financial and data analysts who run the day-to-day business?
The decentralized side of the pendulum swing is delivering strengths and benefits in the growth of self-service data tools, visualization tools and more. But this is also not without its share of issues. In a world of data (in)security one might ask, why does almost every company on the planet still have from a few to armies of business users using unauditable, error-prone and unprotected spreadsheets as the currency for file/data exchange, data manipulation, and reporting?
Why is this not headline news?
Certainly, no enterprise wants their data vulnerabilities exposed. So, I understand why senior management and IT don’t want to publicize how large and potentially impactful this not-so-secret secret is. But with risk mitigation becoming more and more critical in every enterprise, especially publicly traded companies, this issue will not go away.
So, what now?
6 LESSONS LEARNED ON THE TOPIC OF DATA TOOLS AND SOLUTIONS: