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This report discusses the benefits that are accrued to companies that have embraced Data Warehousing as an information management tool. The report further looks into the details of the SAP data warehousing solution.
Sap is a warehousing solution that is currently in use in many prominent organizations around the world and has proved very effective and efficient. This report considers some companies that have embraced this solution, highlighting how they implemented it and some benefits they have registered so far.
Data warehousing involves the collection and storage of information for a given organization in a computer database (Prabhu, 2004, p.1). The information collected is stored or preserved because it can later be used in by the organization especially in planning.
All stored information is related to daily happenings in an organization and has some value i.e. can be employed to the benefit of the organization (Prabhu, 2004, p.140).
Benefits of Data Warehousing
Many organizations have spent a lot of money instituting data warehousing for a number of reasons. Data warehousing ensures that the organization remains steadfast and focused in transforming with the changing technology needs of the time (Hammergren, 1996, p 29).
Basically, data warehousing is necessitated by changes in information technology. All organizations have to respond to changes in technology to maintain a competitive edge in their operations.
Data warehousing contributes towards a competitive edge by preserving and enabling easy retrieval of historical data for decision making. In data warehousing, information is stored in an organized way that allows for easy retrieval and triangulating of the data when need for planning purposes.
The array of data stored in the warehouse allows the management to focus on the company as a whole instead of focusing on an organization in terms of departments (Hammergren, 1996, p. 33). Through data warehousing, organizations data from different departments is stored centrally as opposed to each department managing its own files.
The second benefit of data warehousing is the centralized database. A data warehouse provides an opportunity to have a consistent large amount of information stored under a centralized database. Centralized databases facilitate easier access to all kinds of information. The information is used to solve the organization’s problems towards profit maximization.
Further, a centralized data base reduces the costs of computing (Bidgoli, 2004, p.63). Data in a centralized database makes it possible and easy for management to compile reports and analyze trends towards the formulation of policy and other business decisions. When data is stored in dispersed locations, it is harder to bring it all together and start analyzing.
The third benefit of data warehousing in an organization is report creation (Khosrowpour, 1999, p. 24). Data warehousing makes it very easy for employees and management to create different types of reports which are vital in an organization. Reports such as financial statements and sales reports, which guide the day to day operations of the organization, are easily put together using warehoused information.
In our world of today, data security is a critical aspect of operations in an organization. Data stored in the warehouse is secure (Khosrowpour, 1999, p. 95). Security is enhanced when data is warehoused because the data in the warehouse is entrusted to limited group of people. The data is managed by fewer people than if each department or unit in an organization managed its information.
Access to the warehouse is checked or restricted through application of security measures such as passwords and other security checks. The security provided through warehousing ensures that the data remains consistent and up to date; free from interference (Goikoetxea, 2007, p.112).
The SAP solution is an ERP solution. ERP are acronyms for Enterprise Resource Planning. An ERP solution outlines a broad set of activities that helps to shape and redefine businesses in the management of vital parts of an organization’s core business. The Structure and the information that is accrued from an ERP system facilitate key performance required for attaining business corporate goals (Nah, 2002, p.12).
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The ERP which means Enterprise Resource Planning is where businesses are integrated with modern technology and business management practices (Nah, 2002, p.197).
The integration of business processes with new information technology is critical towards success in the world of today (Bansal, 2009, p. 94). This integration has been transforming businesses to operate in modern information age discarding the traditional way of conducting business or managing organizational resources.
Adoption of ERP solution has been beneficial for many organizations because it has enhanced service delivery to both internal and external customers. With a touch of new technology, business processes have been made faster and easier thus improving organizational output (Bansal, 2009, p. 164).
The SAP Solution is composed of three aspects; information technology, specific business goals and business management practices (Chorafas, 2001, p. 238). Due to its capability, the SAP is designed to provide much needed integration facility to geographically dispersed businesses across a multi platform with its functional units.
This functionality of the SAP Solution is important and advantageous as it supports management executives who are always on the move or who are not stationary to have much needed details to support their decision making wherever they may be (Chorafas, 2001, p. 253).
SAP solution architecture or components evolved overtime to enhance a variety of services housed in its individual unit programs. The different functional units of an ERP system have elaborate database and are interlinked as to work in unison under a single umbrella (Grant, 2003, p. 63).
For utmost output to accrue, the SAP solution should be integrated with a facility which allows for flexibility, reliability, security and stability. Apart from the mentioned, the system should also have a global focus (Grant, 2003, p. 76).
Integration is vital aspect of a SAP solution, because it brings more benefits and shapes the communication and distribution of information. How the system integrates the different functions in the organization determines how well they interrelate (Leon, 2007, p.7). The efficiency and effectiveness of the interrelations between different units and departments in an organization is what leads to cost reduction and time management efficiency.
When time and performance is managed properly with a concern for costs, an organization operates more optimally than otherwise (Leon, 2007, p. 134). A good SAP solution ensures different departments or divisions in an organization are connected. Interconnectivity makes it easy to share files or to access pertinent information. This consequently increases production and performance in the business.
SAP solution assists businesses merge their processes from all departments within the organization and consolidate it in a central database (Malaga, 2005, p. 343). This is achieved without incurring more costs or wasting much time hence making it easy for accessibility and smooth flow of work.
Merging is achieved by building a database repository that allows integration with a variety of application software hence presenting business statistics and other information to various departments within the organization (Malaga, 2005, p. 354). To have an ideal SAP Solution, the system should have an ERP structure which is made up of integrated central database repository in a fused environment.
Sample Company that has Embraced SAP Technology
Pentland is a company located in London, UK. It manufactures Speedo, and fashion branded products. The key challenge that faced Pentland was how to streamline the IT services and business related processes. There was a need to consolidate dispersed systems of their 11 stores globally that they can have a centralized database covering their stores.
The benefits that accrued from embracing the SAP solution was that it provided support to the company’s growth strategy and it fulfilled consolidation of widely dispersed branches to a centralized pool of information thus improving efficiency in the business market. The implementation went live in November 2005 and later there was expansion to other brands and finally it was rolled out to cover 2,000 more users in 36 countries.
Organizations can no longer ignore information technology, which changes very fast. Embracing the changing technologies ensures business growth and sustainability in and information intensive age and economy. Adopting Sap which is an ERP solution helps organization to integrate their divisions, departments and units.
The Sap solution enables the use of a centralized pool of information thus enabling easier administration, accountability and efficiency. The implementation of a Sap solution in an organization lowers down information management costs and facilitates better decision making.
Bansal, S., 2009, Technology Scorecards: Aligning IT Investments with Business Performance, John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey.
Bidgoli, H., 2004, the Internet Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey
Chorafas, D., N., 2001, Integrating ERP, CRM, Supply Chain Management, and Smart Material, CRC Press, Boca Roda
Goikoetxea, A., 2007, Enterprise Architectures and Digital Administration: Planning, Design and Assessment, World Scientific, New Jersey.
Grant, G., G., 2003, ERP & Data Warehousing in Organizations: Issues and Challenges, Group Inc (IGI), New Jersey.
Hammergren, T., 1996, Data Warehousing: Building the Corporate Knowledge Base, Thomson Computer Press, New York.
Khosrowpour, M., 1999, Success and Pitfalls of Information Technology Management, Group Inc (IGI), New Jersey
Leon, A., 2007, Enterprise Resource Planning, McGraw-Hill, New York
Malaga, A., R., 2005, Information Systems Technology, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Delhi
Nah, F., F., 2002, Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions and Management, Idea Group Inc (IGI), Pennsylvania