Inside the Information Age, we have seen the democratization of computers in the 1970s, started by Apple and then followed by IBM/Microsoft. Before that, pcs were only affordable and employed by large corporations. That they were huge mainframes in giant computer rooms, managed by trained staffs in white coats. The personal computer revolution claimed that computers could be employed by mere mortals, private individuals, and small companies, and computers were not the privilege of only the big institutions.
We also saw the democratization of networked computers in the 1990s with the Net revolution. Ahead of the wide-spread of Internet, only in businesses the computer are network together and share information, and the network is maintained by skilled THIS staffs. With the Net, average Joes may easily hook up their computer to the vast network and gain access to almost the complete human knowledge.
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We are seeing the democratization of business software. In the past, only corporations with million dollar IT budget can afford ERP, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT or other types of business enterprise software. Software program as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing are changing that right before our eyes and rendering it possible for up-and-coming small to medium size companies to increase their performance and competition by incorporating these technology solutions into their business.
I believe were still in the beginning level with this revolution that allows companies with limited THAT resources to have gain access to productivity boosting business software, and reap the fruits of technology progression.
Various studies show that business intelligence gathering and analysis is important for a company to get a competitive edge, but DRONE solutions can be very expensive to implement. With costs for the software, infrastructure, customization, implementation, training, and IT resources, the total cost is often in six digits or even more, and so that it is unattainable for the majority of small companies.
For a BI solution to be affordable, it takes to be “simplified” therefore it requires least IT involvement and least users training. This requires a totally different procedure from traditional BI software, and should be designed from the ground-up for non-techies. To lower the cost, the software should be easy to release and need no or minimum development or rendering effort from IT. And for end-users to perform data mining/ad-hoc reporting, it needs to be “smart” at learning the data model and the information, mapping the data gold mining request to the data model, and retrieving the relevant and correct data. The software needs to be flexible, adaptive, and can study from experience, so the end-users can do data mining quickly using their business knowledge.