Decision-making in business has undergone several cycles of rethinking primarily due to the influx of structured and unstructured data available to diverse business functions. Today organizations are banking on Cloud BI as the best way to convert this information into knowledge and remain competitive.

Purposeful decision-making is not possible in the present day and age, without basing deductions on sound data. Utilizing data in multiple formats is imperative for organizations to succeed as efficient, goal-oriented entities. However, in order to integrate Business Intelligence processes into mainstream functioning, organizations must precariously balance BI solution benefits to suit their costs and flexibility.

Cloud BI

Cloud BI is a Boundaryless Paradigm for any Business Size with Obvious Benefits

Cloud Business Intelligence provides flexibility and dynamism to contemporary organizations by virtualizing infrastructural constraints, opening the door to device independent accessibility, and minimal maintenance. By enabling consumers, partners, and vendors share infrastructures (IaaS), platforms (PaaS) and applications (SaaS), organizations have the opportunity to focus on core competencies while still remaining seamlessly integrated with their IT capability “in the Cloud”.

  1. Cloud BI enables low-cost “elastic computing” allowing instant, high-speed resource scaling to accommodate data-intensive projects
  2. Flexibility in resource utilization allows organizations to ensure cost efficiencies while remaining strategically adept and focusing on value
  3. Streamlined processes, superior customer service, device independent accessibility of business data provides agility and scalability to business
  4. Businesses are furnished with intelligence that is easy to interpret and more usable, bundled with security, encryption, and regulatory compliance

However, security of data is a concern even when encryption practices are in place. Moreover, data control and ownership is a complicated premise. In the present refinement scenarios, vendors need more maturity, prices must be standardized, and migration simplified to traverse beyond performance goals. When deployed judiciously, Cloud BI promises financial and non-financial returns on investment.

The Preferred Cloud BI Strategy

Gartner evaluated 24 Cloud BI vendors for 2015, evaluating them for market intelligence and vision based value creation.  Vendors were also evaluated for their ability to successfully execute that vision for the most competitive BI platform and classified in four quadrants, namely, ‘challengers’, ‘leaders’, ’niche players’ and ‘visionaries’.

Gartner gives an insightful approach for organizations to embark on the most fruitful strategy to implement an effective Cloud BI strategy, elaborating on plus areas and caution notes from organizational perspectives. Cloud BI platforms are predicted to grow at an unflinching compound growth rate of 8.7% on an annual basis, and vendors analyzed by Gartner have entirely different capability vs use case profiles.

  • Data discovery and interactive analysis are increasingly becoming popular among organizations, opening the door to vendors such as Tableau and Qlik. Even when data governance is not entirely optimal in these platforms, ease of use has propelled widespread adoption.
  • Vendor capabilities are distributed disproportionately and no single vendor deals with all requirements flawlessly. Limited product feature set, license and implementation costs were major limitations even for market leaders.
  • While security concerns might hinder organizations from embracing Cloud BI, organizations have increasingly adopted SaaS, as surveyed by 91% organizations participating in Frost and Sullivan survey.
  • For most businesses, it makes sense to use the Hybrid form of Cloud BI since the data they want to analyze comes from internal and external sources. In this way, organizations can still benefit from the power of Cloud BI even when part of their data is on premise.
  • Overall, most businesses are set up to take advantage of Cloud BI, projecting itself as more promising than even Hybrid Transaction / Analytical Processing (HTAP).

Cloud BI adoption, now or in future, will enable improved focus on the business problem, taking away any architectural concerns and inventing new workflows throughout the organization. Practical use cases point to the numerous benefits of Cloud BI adoption even in spite of security concerns. In-house BI supplementation, cost-efficient expansion of analytical business capabilities, on-demand analytic needs, and Big Data ventures are major scenarios for Cloud BI adoption. The future is bright as more and more organizations will sooner or later switch to the flexible cost, growth, accessibility and productivity benefits offered by Cloud BI.