If you’re looking at leveraging all the power of Business Intelligence (BI) today, you need people with specialized skills. You will often find that it makes more sense to work with an experienced team, which may be an external vendor, rather than trying to build the same capabilities internally. However, if you do decide to outsource your BI requirements, you need to specify and manage it well, while the outsourcing partner will add a particular business value to the project, bringing the requisite skills and experience. Outsourcing is also cost effective as you will pay in proportion to work delivered rather than a fixed cost and avoid an upfront capital expenditure burden.
So how do you ensure that the BI projects you outsource are delivered successfully?
We compiled the 7 top tips you should consider when you outsource BI:
Define the business problem or objective: The first step in any project is to define the goals and objectives to be achieved very clearly. Clarity at the outset will prevent miscommunication down the line, and will help to measure the outcomes against the objectives.
Buy-in: Get buy-in from internal stakeholders who will benefit from the BI implementation. It is very important for the outsourcing team to understand your pain areas when they suggest a solution. Then along the line, the cooperation of the end users will be required, both for the planning and the adoption of the solution. If there is no buy-in from end users, outsourcing the BI initiative will be met with limited success.
Find the right skills: Define what skills the outsourcing partner must have. As BI can be quite complex, the outsourcing partner needs to have all the required niche skills. This helps in delivering projects as per the planned schedule.
Avoid the herd mentality: It is important to understand the value addition that your outsourcing partner brings to the table and how they will contribute to the delivery cycle of the project. What works for another organization may not work for you. If this is not judged beforehand, the implementation won’t be efficient.
Consider the overall implementation cost: Along with the hourly rate or monthly charges, it is important to factor in the overall cost of the solution.
Spend time where it’s required: Implementation has to be rolled out systematically in modules and needs to be given the time required.
Scalability: Only those businesses can really leverage the intelligence whose Business Intelligence is easily scalable and helps in anticipating the future business requirements.
Naturally, you do need to identify and engage the right implementation partner and engagement model to get all these 7 points right. For BI, there are three possible engagement models – Onshore only, Outsource only and Hybrid. In our experience, the Hybrid Model usually works the best as 30% of the work is done at your location and 70% at the service provider’s center.
Having worked as the outsourcing partner on many BI projects, we know the importance of the 7 points given above and keep them in mind throughout the project. The way we ensure success is – we sync up with the client’s team to identify the pain points and define the end objective. Then in the first phase, we evaluate and plan the technology, tools, architecture and mapping of the important stakeholders.
We have detailed discussions with your team to understand the business processes and a solution is designed. The design and testing teams begin the work and plan the required delivery cycles. Practices like SCRUM meetings, peer reviews with the onshore team, the delivery team and the client’s team help to ensure the project’s success.
Your team does a walkthrough and final testing of the project once it’s developed. Only after sign-offs will our delivery team begin the final deployment. This modular implementation ensures timely delivery. We have created an outsourcing model that can offer time zone overlap, dedicated project management to ensure daily sync up between onsite and offsite teams, and senior resources for peer review of the deliverables.
With clients aware about the 7 top tips to outsource BI, and the outsourcing partner following the best practices given above, BI projects has to be delivered successfully and in time.