Timo's column is well written as usual, but unfortunately, I'm not sure that his own words support his claim. I quote, from the later part of the entry:
"Note that most organizations will never reach their standard, because there are inevitable trade-offs between efficiency and local flexibility -- but heading for a standard is obviously better than accepting chaos."
Which is pretty much my point exactly. With BI capabilities residing in so many places within an organization--on the desktop, in the ERP system, in a BI tool, in a spreadsheet, there is no one system that has all the capabilities that you need to effectively do all your BI in a single environment--so there's no such thing as a "standard" in business intelligence. Of course it's going to be less costly to have fewer tools than more, from an administration, training and education, implementation, customization standpoint; in fact, across a lot of factors. But that's rationalization--not standardization.
I will stipulate that if we want to narrow the scope of the standardization claim to "structured BI tool standardization for business analysts," then yes, there are certainly organizations that "standardize" on a single tool (that is, until they download the pivot table into Excel to do "real" analysis, but I digress). But again, if the BI tool is only one place I go to get the answers to my questions, then being the "standard" is a pyrrhic victory at best--not unlike Farmer Ted and Samantha in the body shop in the movie "Sixteen Candles" as he talks about how he wants to be the coolest Freshman in the class, to which Samantha replies that's that's kind of like being "King of the Dipshits."
Now c'mon, you know I'm by no means calling Business Objects or BI vendors "dipshits"--far from it. My point is that to say you're the BI "standard" is great, but ultimately you're not providing, nor are you able to provide, a full spectrum of information to solve a business problem. So what are you really the standard of?
Actually, the recent Business Objects acquisition of Inxight further proves my point. They too realize that all the information you need is not in the Universe--you need to be able to search text, get to unstructured data, and aggregate information to find a trend and make a more informed decision.
So let's continue the discussion! BI standardization is an admirable goal. But I remain unmoved that it actually exists.