June 9th, 2008 by Alex Coté
A few years ago I wrote an article about the importance of utilizing and automating the wide variety of information that is available to credit professionals looking to efficiently and accurately make credit decisions. Now, looking back, it is easy to see how the same concept of using the right piece of information for the type of decision you are making really applies to all job functions. It is an intuitive concept that better information leads to better decisions, yet a surprising number companies still rely on a single source of insight either because of budgetary constraints or the complexity and time commitment of IT integration projects.
Building on the theme that information wants to be free, both in the in monetary sense and in terms of accessibility, the time for non-IT information consumers has never been better. Now this going to sound like I’m picking on IT a bit, but as a friend of mine wrote a few months back in his blog, “Power is shifting to the users and away from IT departments.” I completely agree. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be an IT department, but the rise of on-demand applications has ushered in a new era of productivity and time to solution expectations. Instead of multi-year (or decade) ERP implementation, customers are achieving paybacks in months (and expecting it).
This has equally extended into the world of content with the rise of free and open APIs from 100s of companies the flow of information keeps getting easier and cheaper. Mashup directories such as Programmable Web and API delivery aggregators such as StrikeIron are providing gateways to find and deliver the information needed for essentially any application you want to build. Similarly, business intelligence vendors such as Business Object’s Information OnDemand are giving access to the data for the analysis you need to conduct. These trends, combined with widgets and plug-and-play integration provided by platforms like salesforce.com’s AppExchange make it even easier to simply access content you need when you need it.
So whether you are a credit professional setting up a credit line on a small business you’ve never heard of before, or a sales rep looking for a nugget of insight that will give you an edge, now is the time to help yourself.
Or you can just stay on IT’s waiting list.