Success Trumps Value When Making Key Decisions
About SIs and Consultants

External consulting services — system integrators (SIs) and consultants — typically represent 14 percent of total BI budgets. Our latest data show expected increased use of SIs and consultants in the second half of 2023, along with notable year-over-year increases in higher percentages of BI project budgets dedicated to SIs and consultants. Perceptions of SIs and consultants as critical increased 45 percent year over year. Among areas in which organizations apply SIs and consultants, only staff augmentation shows a slight year-over-year drop in utilization.

Together, these factors indicate strongly that more than ever — likely in large part to ongoing needs created by business impacts caused by external forces — organizations regularly, strategically, and increasingly use and rely on SIs and consultants for their business intelligence (BI) projects and programs. That makes decisions about SI and consultant determination and use critical for data leaders.

Typically, organizations look to two sources when trying to establish benchmarks and/or follow best practices — success and value. Recently, we published updates to both indices that track these areas.

When looking for guidance on critical decision factors such as size of the SI or consultant, sources for identifying SIs and consultants, areas in which to utilize and apply SIs and consultants, and what percentage of BI project budgets to dedicate to SIs and consultants, the primary research from Dresner Advisory Services provides an excellent source of data for data leaders to leverage.

Those data show clearly that when it comes to establishing benchmarks and/or modeling best practices to follow regarding SIs and consultants, data leaders should focus on success, not value. Return on investment (ROI) provides extremely inconsistent results across the SI and consultant aspects we track, while BI success levels consistently show a much more positive correlation with these areas.

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