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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

07/29
2011

Making Sense (and Dollars) of Cloud-based BI

Cloud BI Making Sense (and Dollars) of Cloud based BI Remember when you were a kid lying on the ground under a shade tree looking up at the sky, watching the clouds float by and imagining they looked like hearts or faces or your favorite animal.

Well these days, organizations using business intelligence (BI) can look up and see dollar signs in the clouds.

Recently there’s been an increase in new providers that offer cloud-based BI as well as the migration of existing providers to the cloud, according to a blog post by David Linthicum (@DavidLinthicum).

In fact,  the use of cloud-based BI is a “game changer.” But not because it adds any new BI functions, but because cloud computing makes BI affordable and accessible to those who need to access their companies’ information.

Typically data warehousing and BI have always been too expensive and you can spend a minimum of $1 million to get a basic system up and running. Also don’t forget the money you’d have to pay consultants and analysts, Linthicum says. And most of the time the users who need data to make critical business decisions had no access to their BI systems, which meant more money had to be tossed at IT to deploy and manage the complex front-end BI tools.

According to Linthicum, cloud-based BI has significantly cut the costs associated with traditional BI. Business users can access the critical analytics they need and cloud-based BI offers better support for information delivered to dashboards as well as smartphones and tablet computers.

Midmarket companies are looking to cloud computing to be more productive and control costs, according to an article at eWeek.com that points to a report from Fonality, a provider of cloud-based, VoIP and Unified Communications solutions for small to medium-size businesses.

And cloud-based applications can help global organizations deliver better performance worldwide than on-premises application scans Grant McCormick, CIO of Imperva Inc., an internet security appliances vendor, tells SearchCIO.com.

“If we went with client/server, we would have had to choose where to set up the server,” McCormick says.

Because his company is based in California, and its engineering offices are in Israel, performance could have varied tremendously between the two locations. But with a cloud-based service, performance is acceptable in Israel, even though the cloud provider is in the U.S., he says.

At last, BI systems are available to those organizations that actually need them.

“This is a case of the cloud providing access to flexible and elastic computing resources at an affordable price,” he says.

Next steps: Watch the Spotfire blog this week for a Q & A on BI in the cloud with Shawn Rogers (@shawnrog), Vice President Research for Business Intelligence at Enterprise Management Associates. And don’t forget to view the August 2nd On-Demand Webcast “Cloud Analytics and the Consumer” featuring Rogers.

Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

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