Buy an essay: Information networks and business intelligence

Business intelligence plays an important part in the contemporary business environment because business intelligence allows companies to collect and process important information concerning business development of their rivals as well as to get insight into their own development and their prospects in the market. In fact, business intelligence allows companies to elaborate a marketing strategy that can be effective in the specific business environment. However, the main point of business intelligence is collecting and processing information, whereas information is crucial for the effective business development today. The modern age of information technologies makes information the key to business success for companies, who have information and can produce new knowledge or introduce innovations, are in an advantageous position compared to companies, who lack information and are unable to process it effectively.
In such a context, the importance of business intelligence in the contemporary business environment can hardly be underestimated. In fact, business intelligence continues to be of the top investment priority for CIOs (SAP, 2011). At the same time, business intelligence is crucial for business development because companies need to monitor the current situation in the market, policies and strategies used by their rivals and innovations being introduced in the industry to conduct their business development successfully. In such a situation, business intelligence proves to be an efficient tool to maintain the competitive position of a company and to develop an effective marketing strategy (Hillstrom, 2010). At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that business intelligence provides companies with a number of advantages, which they can use in their business development. To put it more precisely, the information collected in the course of business intelligence can be used by companies for the elaboration of their marketing strategy. In addition, business intelligence can provide companies with insights to the practical implementation of new ideas and policies developed by rivals or by other companies. In fact, the main point of business intelligence is collecting information, which can be useful for business development. This information can be obtained not only from actual or potential rivals but also from companies operating in other industries. For instance, original solutions in the field of management, company-customer relationships, innovations and others may help a company to introduce changes and to improve consistently its marketing performance. As a result, the information collected in the course of business intelligence provides companies with the possibility to develop its marketing strategy and introduce some practical solutions, which help to improve the organizational performance consistently, without wasting time and resources on elaborating original solutions or developing innovations.
On the other hand, SAP and some specialists (Hillstrom, 2010) researching the problem of business intelligence in the contemporary business environment ignore ethical issues involved in business intelligence. In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that business intelligence often raises a number of important ethical issues and, what is more important, business intelligence may violate existing ethical norms, including business ethics. However, specialists (SAP, 2011) often ignore ethical issues focusing on benefits of business intelligence, citing numerous cases of the successful implementation of business intelligence. For instance, often business intelligence may involve the use of private information or information that involves directly or indirectly private information concerning consumers or companies. In such a situation, business intelligence may be offensive from the ethical point of view. In addition, business intelligence implies the use of information respectively to needs and wants of a company conducting business intelligence. However, in such a context, the risk of misuse of information obtained in terms of business intelligence arises. As a result, the position of the company, which information has been misused in the result of business intelligence, can be under a threat. Probably SAP ignores ethical issues intentionally because ethical issues that often arise in the context of business intelligence can make business intelligence an unethical tool or, at any rate, questionable tool, which involve cases of violating business ethics.
Furthermore, SAP underestimates apparently threats and risks associated with business intelligence. In fact, there is always a risk that a company using business intelligence will go much further than traditional tools and methods of business intelligence. For instance, a company can attempt to get access to databases of its rivals, even if this means the violation of existing legal and ethical norms. The unauthorized access to rivals’ databases may be an efficient tool, which provides a company with particularly valuable information but this tool is illegal and unethical. Nevertheless, this tool can be and is used by some companies in the contemporary business environment. However, SAP does not warn against such risks and threats preferring to form a positive image of business intelligence. In all probability, SA stands on the ground of the high efficiency of business intelligence to the extent that ends justify means. However, this principle is unacceptable in the contemporary business environment, when business ethics and positive public image may be crucial for the position of a company in the market.
At the same time, SAP underestimates, if not to say ignores, limitations of business intelligence. For instance, SAP ignores possible inaccuracy of information collected. However, many researchers (Dhillon, 2007) point out that business intelligence is not always accurate and the risk of error in collecting and especially processing information persists. In fact, this means that companies can never be certain in the information they obtain in the course of business intelligence, whereas processing the collected information may be very complicated that naturally arises the risk of errors. As a result, companies can make wrong decisions on the ground of the inaccurate information or misinterpreted information collected and processed in terms of business intelligence.
In addition, business intelligence rely on open sources mainly, whereas the internal information of companies is particularly valuable for a company conducting business intelligence. Therefore, if the company conducts business intelligence responsibly and ethically correct then the company will be unable to get access to secret information of its rivals or target companies. The information obtained from open sources may be insufficient to make adequate and correct conclusions and decisions. Thus, the question of accuracy and correctness of information obtained in terms of business intelligence arises again.
Furthermore, SAP pays little attention to control over business intelligence and monitoring of business intelligence to maintain the high efficiency of business intelligence, which is essential. In fact, control is essential for business intelligence because without control business intelligence can go too far and violate existing legal and ethical norms, for instance, uncontrollable business intelligence can lead to the violation of the privacy right of individuals. However, SAP ignores the issue of control over business intelligence. In all probably, SAP avoids raising the issue of control over business intelligence because it imposes new limitations on business intelligence, in addition to those limitations, which have been already mentioned above. As for monitoring, this process is also very important because it contributes to obtaining accurate information and minimizes the risk of error in business intelligence. On the other hand, monitoring makes business intelligence consistently more complicated to implement compared to business intelligence as it is described by SAP.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that business intelligence is extremely important in the contemporary business environment because it opens larger opportunities for the development of effective marketing strategies and introducing innovations or new management methods. On the other hand, business intelligence is very complex because it can raise a number of legal and ethical issues. In addition, business intelligence has a number of limitations, whereas companies can hardly reach the 100% level of accuracy of information collected and processed in the course of business intelligence. Nevertheless, business intelligence is worth applying.

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