When talking about software implementation, you often come across the term “framework solution” – but what exactly is that? We will explain the concept – and its advantages!
A framework solution is neither a ready-to-install programme, nor is it completely individually programmed – it consists of a prefabricated structure (hence framework) that has to be filled with integration logics. The concrete appearance, limits or possibilities of the framework are determined by the underlying software.
Framework Solutions – simply explained
Developing a BI or EPM solution is a bit like building a house. There is a floor plan that is more or less fixed, rooms that you can furnish as you wish, and depending on the size of the bricks used to build your house, it can happen quickly or take much longer. With prefabricated construction, your house can be ready in record time, but at the same time you lose flexibility with the floor plan, rooms, ceiling height, and so on. When you move in, you may have to leave a sofa behind if you can’t find room for it, and special requests are usually difficult to implement. With smaller bricks you have full freedom to build your house as you like, gravity permitting. Software solutions are quite similar, there are small bricks (framework solutions) and prefabricated buildings (out-of-the-box solutions) –and everything in between.
In principle, a framework solution can do everything that is technically possible in the field of business intelligence. It can take scalability into account, automate highly complex processes and support special corporate structures. It can optimise a few core processes and interlink entire organisational areas. Everything is possible, from pure data preparation to extensive planning. Limits arise on the one hand from the core software used, and on the other hand from the implementation effort and the costs incurred.
Once again, when it comes to building houses: prefabricated construction is cheaper than brick on brick. But a small family can’t afford a prefabricated high-rise building – and doesn’t need one. An “out-of-the-box” software solution is similar. It fits perfectly when your company reaches the right level of maturity, before that it is too expensive. A framework solution is more like a family home. But software can be adapted with little work: When your family grows, you extend the house – or duplicate the rooms, maybe add a floor on top – copy & paste – welcome to digital house building. This makes a scalable framework solution comparatively cheap and can be implemented at a lower maturity level.
#3: Scalability and Learning System
A framework solution can naturally grow. Even better: if it is professionally implemented and connected, it grows by itself. All processes that you carry out with your application are transferred to the set of historical data, where they are available for future processes. We call this a “learning system”.
With a framework solution, you can connect almost all previous systems and bring together previous stand-alone solutions on a single, central platform. At the same time, many isolated applications can be replaced directly. The great freedom and flexibility of the software also allows you to integrate different company areas and departments in a common system.
#5 Self Service
Build the house yourself? Difficult. It is better to turn to an experienced architect in confidence to plan and model the construction. Adding a new room to the finished house or tearing out a wall – that is more feasible. A correctly set-up BI or CPM solution can be further developed by your own team with specially trained administrators. Depending on the software used, your power users are even involved in the initial development and can therefore learn exactly how the solution is designed – and how it can be changed – while working together with the “construction workers”. Self-service BI is cheaper, more flexible and more stable than an application that depends on external support.
Software suite, what does that mean?
Software suites like our bdg | suites are sets of templates, models, feature snippets and prepackaged content that have evolved from years of experience implementing framework solutions for specific industries (e.g. retail, energy) and business units (e.g. finance, HR). Instead of building each wall from new bricks, we copy whole sections of the wall that we have built before. Sure, every application is different; yet there are recurring elements – dashboards, reporting functions or typical data routes, business logics, workflows and models. All are completely customisable – they are designed to be – but the relatively high degree of prefabrication also makes customisation much faster. Our bdg | Suites combine the speed of prefabrication with the architectural freedom of bricks and are faster and cheaper to implement without losing adaptability.