Cloud-based business intelligence services in 2012

According to Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, about a third of organizations are using or would use cloud offerings to augment business intelligence capabilities.

Based on the survey of 1,364 IT managers and business users of business intelligence (BI) platforms, analysts found out that just 17% of the surveyed organizations have substituted or plan to substitute key BI functions with cloud/SaaS offerings. Nevertheless, close to 27% already use or are in plans to use cloud/SaaS offering to improve their BI for specific business line in 2012.

According to James Richardson, research director at Gartner, “Business users are often frustrated by the deployment cycles, costs, complicated upgrade processes and IT infrastructures demanded by on-premises BI solutions. SaaS- and cloud-based BI is perceived as offering a quicker, potentially lower-cost and easier-to-deploy alternative, though this has yet to be proven. It’s evident that, despite growing interest, the market is confused about what cloud/SaaS BI and analytics are and what they can deliver.”

SaaS (Software as a service) has gained major prominence in business applications, including accounting, payroll, sales management, customer relationship management (CRM), and human resources and so on. The key benefits of SaaS include quick implementation of applications, affordable subscriptions and maintenance, greater insights into work related matters, improved accuracy and high-degree of transparency. Besides, it helps to save time by eliminating cumbersome spreadsheet management task. Overall, SaaS is a great tool to help big and small organizations have a clear view of their business standing.

According to Gartner, the key drivers for the improved adoption of cloud/SaaS services for BI, performance management and analytics include:

  • Saves time
  • Cost concerns
  • Lack of skills or expertise

Mr. Richardson added, “If their operational business applications are in the cloud, organizations should consider pursuing cloud BI/analytics for those domains. However, they must assess risks on an ongoing basis and ensure their chosen cloud provider has appropriate business skills to provide a viable outcome. They must also ensure their BI strategy outlines how to ensure that data flows to and from these solutions in order not to become yet more silos of analysis.”

Source: Gartner press release

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