Beginning of this year I audited the data warehouse of RDW (transportation and vehicle registration). They have setup a Data Vault architecture, developed it and run it in production as of beginning this year.
This data is used by various stakeholders, internal as well as external. Some examples are listed below:
The data originates from 10 source systems and is stored via a staging area into the Central Data Warehouse. From the Central Data Warehouse the data is pushed to several datamarts (fysical as well as virtual, relational as well as multidimensional).
The audit needed to result in a certification of their solution. I recommended the Genesee Academy (which is the certifying authority) for RDW to be certified. My exact words were:
"The Data Vault of the Central Data Warehouse of RDW is modelled conform the criteria issued by the Genesee Academy. The datamodel of RDW must be considered of great value with regard to auditability, performance, agility and maintenance. The auditor therefor recommends Genesee Academy to certify the Data Vault modelled Central Data Warehouse of RDW".
On Wednesday 17th we had a nice event on location where I handed them the certificate.
Gratz to RDW for being the second company in the Netherlands and the first governmental body that got certified.
What we all knew was true, but could not get across to management, is now more scientifically proven. The decision process regarding the outsourcing of a DSS is influenced by significantly other characteristics, when compared to OLTP. If you are interested in the details, the theory and the underlying data, please read:
Factors considered when outsourcing an IS system:an empirical examination of the impacts of organizations size, Strategy and the object of a decision (DSS or OLTP).
B.Berg and A.Stylianou in the European Journal of Information systems (2009 18, 235-248)
I still encounter organizations who are stuck in the OLTP world, even when the object of decision regarding outsourcing is completely different on many dimensions. They tend to use the same decision process regarding the outsourcing as they always did...whether they outsource an ERP, a CRM system a data warehouse or a more elaborate BI system.
In their research the authors found significant differences between the outsourcing of an OLTP and DSS in 15 of the 19 decision factors they examined. That's a hell of a difference....It turns out that the weight of these differences originated mainly from the supplier factors. In outsourcing a DSS the supplier factor where rated significantly higher as an influencer in the decision to outsource;
- The unfamiliarity with DSS technology
- Knowing the service provider's employees
- To reduce labor costs
- The service provider's expertise with outsourcing DSS
- The trustworthiness of the service provider's employees
- The service provider's current overall investments in OLTP/DSS
- To take advantage of different education systems at our service provider's location
- The service provider's employees' understanding of our needs
Bascially - outsourcing a DSS system - especially with firms that follow a differentiation strategy (these firms tend to recognize the unique strategic importance of DSSs), is very much influenced by the customer-provider relationship and the providers expertise in DSS. That sounds like a 'duh', but it is not. Because, what its also saying is that outsourcing a DSS system is not a commodity. You just can't tender a DSS into an 'open' world where service providers just sign in and win or loose based on measurable criteria. In practice we have seen that fail - big time! Now, science seems to be on our site.
Outsourcing a DSS is not the same as outsourcing an OLTP.
No, your OLTP service provider might not be the suitable provider for your DSS.