Part II: Development, Implementation, and Diffusion
Internal Business environment
Business intelligence software can be regarded as intelligence system because it skillfully analyzes the internal and external environment of the business. This means that in order to attain its core functions like date processing, data mining, business performance management, benchmarking, predictive analysis, and others, it has to be compatible with other business systems (Shapira & Rosenfeld, 1996). There are other business systems that can be used together with Oracle including the superior Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition that is optimized for Oracle database, Ebiz, SAP, and other custom databases. There are other systems that can be used to support Oracle Business Intelligence systems in different areas. In importing data, business systems like SQL Indicators and External Scorecards can be used. In exporting data BI systems like Balanced Score Card HTML Report, Power Point Presentation, Excel, and others can be used.
In order to implement development, implementation, and diffusion of the business software application, different resources will be required including components, systems, human resources, finances and others. To start with components, there will be need to provide software and hardware device that can enable development, implementation and diffusion. Computer hardware and software devise will ensure that the system reaches where it is wanted in time. There will also be need to provide supporting systems to support Oracle. Supporting system include Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise, Excel, SQL Indicators, Balanced Scorecard, SAGE accounting systems, Halogen Software for HR systems, and others.
For the BI software application to be successful there will be need to increase innovation diffusion within the organization. The best business division to play critical role in this diffusion will be the R&D division because it is in a better position to make other department understand the importance of the software and assist in the implementation process.
With innovation becoming the competitive advantage in the retail industry, the planned innovation in the business software will be on the area of development of new products including planning the development and successful introduction in the market. Although the current Oracle software has provision for this area, it is not elaborate enough to deal with the challenges facing the market in this area. Companies in the retail industry are introducing new products in the market but they are not performing as expected. Therefore, the planned innovation will ensure that only products that meet client demand (customer driven innovation) are developed and introduced into the market.
The marketing statement for the new version will be “Oracle new version – innovating what drives your market”
Project management aspects:
Technical – Technical aspect of the project entails understanding all the technicalities of the product to ensure that those assigned to the project have the capacity to develop it to the required standards (Zhu, Kraemer, & Xu, 2006). The software should be able to work in integration with others
Estimation – There has to be an estimation of the total work that will be done. This will help in determining work to be done and work required for estimating the amount of labor required (Zhu et al, 2006).
Human – The human aspects entails the interface of the software with humans. The easiness of use must be considered so that the software will not require high technical skills that may inhibit on its use.
Time frame – The project must be completed on the given time frame. There has to be a schedule to be followed like a period of 12 months to complete the whole project.
Cost – Cost is important in software development. There has to be an accurate estimation of total cost that the project will take and ensure timely availability of the needed funds.
Consideration of the above factors will ensure that it is internationally accepted. Most important, the software will be programmed in different major languages like English, French, Germany, Arabic, and others to ensure that it can be used in other countries as well. It will also have a feature on language conversion and currency conversion to increase international acceptance.
Part III – Evaluation, Control, and Change
Evaluation and control of the business software application will be carried out from time to time in order to ascertain its reliability (Chakravorti, 2004). Throughout the process of development, there will be time to time check of the effectiveness of the business software application and any drift will be addressed before the software is released in the market. Before being released to the market, there will be pilot testing of the software where few businesses will be supplied with the software to test its effectiveness. Upon release in the market, a Gap analysis will be conducted to assess the actual performance with the potential performance. For Gap analysis, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) which is commonly used for software evaluation will be used. Customers will be requested to use CMMI framework to highlight the existing gaps that can be filled by further development of the business software application.
The business application is poised to become one of the major components of the organization culture. This means that it has to include the best practices that have been practiced in the organization over a long period of time and therefore preferred when accomplishing something (Esteva, Smith-Sharp & Gangeddula, 2006). The business software application has to be a mirror of the best side of the organization because it forms a part of its strategic growth. Therefore, it will have to integrate the best cultural and practices of the company. The best way to integrate these company’s cultural practices is to ensure that all workers in the company participate in the planning and development of the business software application. The process has to be inclusive and all propositions brought forward must be considered (Zhu et al, 2006). This will, it will be owned by up by the organization as a whole rather than look as foreign object that does not have the face of the company. After all, company’s culture is the face of the company.
The business software application will follow a normal technology lifecycles that begins with innovation and ends with laggards. In the innovation phase, there will be high input in the development of the software to include new features that will assist in development of new products in the market (Shapira & Rosenfeld, 1996). The next phase will be introduction into the market where there will be early adoption. Early adopters of the software will be fewer but when the impact of the software becomes a reality in the market, it is expected that there will be more adopters. The period of increase adoption will form both the early majority and late majority phases where the software will have real impact in the market and there will be high demand. The time the two phases will last will depend on the prevailing conditions in the market including the availability of alternative business intelligence software. The last phase in the technology cycle would be the laggards. This is the phase at which the performance of the business application software greatly declines as a result of having other alternatives in the market or the need for newer applications that cannot be handled by the software (Christensen & Overdorf, 2000). This means that there are a number of factors that can make the business software application obsolete. Among these factors include development of new software that will have more technical capabilities that our business software application. Another factor can be the need for newer applications that require higher technical capacity than our business software application. To avoid the software from becoming obsolete, there will be timely research and development to update the software to align it with the new competing software and market demands (Starbuck, 1996).