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Managing the Rising Costs of Global Business Intelligence; Putting Control of Business Intelligence in Your Hands

From business intelligence advancements and remote work capabilities secured by new cybersecurity advancements, every industry has felt the ramifications of events that have taken place in 2020 and 2021.

The public health crisis had a significant impact on the global economy at a macro level and individual organizations on a micro level. First, according to Brookings, "the COVID-19 global recession is the deepest since the end of World War II. The global economy contracted by 3.5 percent in 2020 according to the April 2021 World Economic Outlook Report published by the IMF, a 7 percent loss relative to the 3.4 percent growth forecast in October 2019."1 On a micro level, companies of all sizes can show the damaging effects of the pandemic, which can be helped by the growing field of business intelligence services.

While many businesses were forced to close due to lockdown procedures and have subsequently closed permanently due to loss of income over time, those that have been able to stay open have spent a large amount of money to do so. According to the Wall Street Journal, for example, “A food distributor has paid $20 million for testing and plexiglass. T-Mobile US Inc. has spent $50 million on extra cleaning and safety gear. Walmart Inc. and three other big retail chains have put more than $3 billion into higher salaries, benefits, and other COVID-19 measures.”2 This, in conjunction with lost sales from people fearful of shopping in public venues, means that while bearing additional and substantial costs to remain open, those costs did not necessarily result in continued sales.

This has certainly affected the 2021 budgets of many companies, which according to Statista, has typically resulted in a 2% to 11% reduction in spending on IT and business services worldwide for nearly every industry. Of course, anticipating an end to the pandemic, the forecast has most industries increasing spending in this area by 2023 by the same amount.3 Despite these swings in budget, according to Deloitte, “many technology leaders reported that the pandemic brought an opportunity to quickly recalibrate technology investments, and in many cases, hasten existing investment plans.”4

Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, we should also consider the advancements in technology that have come from it. COVID-19 changed the fundamental nature of business globally, and opened the door to more opportunities for remote work. Companies have had to adjust dozens of policies, adapt flexibly and frequently, and adopt new services and platforms to enable their employees to work remotely. One of these adaptations is the technology-driven process for accessing data, managing that access and the associated costs, and delivering actionable information that is Business intelligence (BI).5

The importance of this remote access cannot be overstated. Based on a compilation of business intelligence data, Finances Online shared that "in 2019, 64% of users reported that BI data and analytics helped improve their efficiency and productivity. Meanwhile, 56% believe it has allowed them to make more effective decisions faster, and 51% think it has led to better financial performance."6

According to SelectHub: "Advancing technology, increasing accessibility, and steadily improving benefits for users are some of the main factors driving the growth of the business intelligence market." In this space, "Gartner expects global revenue of BI to rise to $22.8 billion by 2021, and Reuters foresees additional growth to $29.48 billion by 2022."7 With these rising spends, companies are looking for efficient, effective business intelligence platforms to facilitate and manage access to information, while also reducing costs.

At the same time, while there is widespread recognition of the importance of BI in its many forms, trends across industries highlight the value companies place on reducing all operating expenses -- including those associated with BI. To address the rising costs of licensed information, many companies are turning to a business intelligence solution that can help them manage access, manage contracts, and reduce costs overall: Couranto. Couranto's Clarity Service provides a broad list of useful tools including detailed analytics and reporting to track the usage and efficient deployment of licensed data and business information and then assists with right-sizing, identifying alternative information sources, and negotiating with publishers to lower costs and assure favorable terms. These features come in one platform, which provides single-click direct access to publisher e-content resources and serves institutions in multiple ways.

First, beyond the convenience of a platform that puts all the company’s digital content, corporate memberships, SAAS licenses and licensed data in one place, Clarity also makes it easy to manage master and subordinate license agreements, and global agreements across multiple regions and workgroups Contract data gets rationalized and indexed, so it is easy to locate all contracts associated with a particular vendor, administrator, workgroup, or even a specific user. Timely renewal notifications are included, by the content or vendor, to avoid urgent "fire drills" and allow time for renewal polling and vendor discussions.

Clarity enables administrators to poll users, individually or in groups, by workgroup, region, or content to assess interest in renewing vendor contracts and provide alternative sources. Live renewal responses are displayed numerically and graphically for actual interest-based renewal decisions that help control costs by right-sizing contracts. Then, expenses can be allocated across workgroups or subsidiaries, based upon actual usage, and even invoiced in multiple currencies.

Couranto’s publisher experts will negotiate with vendors if requested to improve pricing and terms on content and corporate memberships. With significant experience across industries, serving clients large and small in diverse sectors, we have benchmarked publisher pricing, negotiation flexibility, best practices, and best terms. Couranto has been very successful on behalf of clients, often providing cost reductions in the 10% to 15% range.

With a growing volume of licensed information delivered throughout a company or institution, it is increasingly important to ensure that users comply with the policy and legal requirements of both the vendor and the company itself. By centralizing acquisition, management, and access, Clarity enables an organization to enforce these requirements and reduce compliance issues like credential-sharing and copyright terms.

Through integration with InfoDesk’s powerful RSS technology, Clarity can deliver the highly targeted business-critical information to the right person, at the right time, in a way that suits them best. InfoDesk’s InfoViewer, for example, provides knowledge managers with the power to personalize, view, organize, publish, and export real-time news and information. The resulting insights can be pushed directly to an information portal, the feed of a mobile application, or included in a briefing.

In a single, easy-to-use platform, Couranto and its strategic platform partners help clients manage and deliver business intelligence to help companies reduce costs, organize all their subscriptions and digital content, and provide actionable data to move forward.

1https://www.brookings.edu/rese...

2https://www.wsj.com/articles/h...

3https://www.statista.com/stati...

4https://www2.deloitte.com/us/e...

5https://searchbusinessanalytic...

6https://financesonline.com/20-...

7https://www.selecthub.com/busi...




Information about the author

Nick Collison

Nick Collison

Director, Content and Library Support, Couranto

nick@couranto.com

Nick Collison has decades of experience in managing information access, budgeting, strategic planning, and knowledge services. Collison is a Fellow of SLA, the Special Libraries Association.