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What to budget for BI infrastructure costs

Before budgeting BI infrastructure costs, make sure to answer these important clarifying questions.

What should we budget for BI infrastructure costs?
BI is an area of high expenditure -- as much as any IT infrastructure area these days but there's no simple answer to this question because the definition of BI varies with each shop. Do you consider source system extracts part of BI infrastructure? How about business analysis and business contribution? How about the applications that "run on top of" the BI infrastructure, yet have an infrastructure as well? Is BI more than data access to you or is it simply a feeder system to other "applications"? Once you've put your bounds around the definition, the key inputs to an effective infrastructure include data size, user size, usage characteristics and acceptable downtimes. Once you know these well, you can proceed with an infrastructure, but even with similiar answers to these inputs, each shop can go gold-plated to barely-gonna-make-it. You also have to consider future scalability of the infrastructure. Are you building something to last 3 years? 5 years? 1 year? What performance are you expecting users to receive?


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