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IT and Commodity?

Innovation of information technology in companies frequently occurs in waves in which former technology is not substituted but additional business capabilities are enabled. This means that  the IT-lifecycle cannot be mapped simply on the classical and standard S-curve concept of technology lifecycles. Nevertheless, services of various IT domains are obviously on the way to a “commodity”. Issues such as outsourcing, virtualization, cloud computing with XaaS (Anything-as-a-Service) and best practice frameworks like ITIL flank the road to industrialization. The intended higher efficiency requires the transition from a mainly hand-made development and deployment of IT functionalities to a continious progress of standardization, modularization, automation and optimization of corresponding processes.


Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence as Commodity?

The research project “DWH / BI-Industrialization”studies how a highly-efficient information supply network can be designed taking into account the competing objectives “minimal development time and maximal agility”, “minimal cost” and “maximal quality”. Here, standardization should cover shared conceptualizations, including relationsships, frameworks offering best practices as blueprints or patterns and tools implementing accepted standards or quasi-standards.

Modularization needs re-usable building blocks of the architecture level as well as the solution level, which can be combined in a flexible way.

Automation includes more than the aspect of the automatically provided information units. It should also cover the generation processes of the information supply network’s infrastructure.

The continuous improvement culture reflects constant efforts to assess new methods, techniques and technologies so as to modernize Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence where an further optimization with respect to cost, quality and agility can be achieved.

Finally, industrialization should take into account its limitations. Here guidelines are needed to decide which parts of the “information supply network ” can be industrialized and which parts should remain individual and company-specific so as to give an competitive advantage.

Interested parties are invited to contact the research team:


Empirical survey

A survey conducted in December 2015 and January 2016 will try to highlight the status and perspective of DWH/BI-industrialization. It  addresses DWH/BI-stakeholders like information consumers, DWH/BI-users, DWH/BI-developers and consultants as well as vendors of DWH/BI-solutions. The survey includes up to 22 questions, although only nine questions require mandatory entries. The mandatory part of the questionnaire can be processed in less than 10 minutes.

The results will be used in an anonymous way. The results will be offered to participants.

URL of survey:

Catalogue of questions:

  • Which sector is your company working in?
  • Number of employees in your company?
  • Where does your company operate (company’s scope)?
  • What are typical tasks in the field of DWH/BI for you?
  • You are involved in the field of DWH/BI as …?
  • Please choose the most important DWH/BI-drivers in your DWH/BI-projects. If you choose more than one order them according to the priorities!
  • If you have chosen “Other” for DWH/BI-drivers. You can describe the other drivers you have in mind here:
  • How many percent of your time do you spent in DWH/BI-projects in which DWH/BI is considered as an important business enabler and leads to differentiation from competitors?
  • Please describe your personal involvement in DWH/BI-phases (Plan / Build / Run) by checking relevant DWH/BI-layers!
  • Which DWH/BI-techniques and architectures do you use? What do you think about their perspectives in future?
  • Do you believe that importance of DWH/BI-industrialization will significantly increase in the next five years?
  • How do you rate the relevance of the following knowledge or skills for DWH/BI-professionals in the next five years?
  • Which of the following statements would you agree on?
  • Do you have proposals which topics should be teached in universities to prepare students for DWH/BI-industrialization?
  • Do you have proposals or demands for software vendors to improve DWH/BI-tools with respect to DWH/BI-industrialization?
  • Do you see obstacles which impede the progress of DWH/BI-industrialization?
  • Are you interested to get a report about the results of this survey?
  • Our research team is interested to find interviewees who would give us a deeper insight than this survey about how DWH/BI-industrialization is handled in companies. Are you interested and able to offer a timeslot in January 2016 for a personal interview in a way that you prefer (e.g. telphone conference or a personal meeting)?
  • Do you have comments about this survey in general?
    • Conditional: Please enter your email address here.
    • Conditional: Please, leave here your comments about this survey in general.

More details about this research: westenberger/kooperationsangebote/dw-bi-research/

published by Hartmut Westenberger, 10. December 2015