How Does the Cloud Give Companies a Business Intelligence Edge?

By Amine Mekkaoui,

  Filed under: Business Intelligence
  Comments: None

In 2011, Saugatuck completed a survey of 200 enterprise IT users and business leaders and roughly 30 vendors that found cloud-based business intelligence and analytics would be among the fast growing of the cloud-based business management solutions in the market over the next two years. This growth represents an 84 percent compounded annual  rate, but did the prediction ring true?

Among companies that are currently using business intelligence tools and have been since 2007, the adoption of business intelligence has remained flat. The 2012 Successful BI Survey shows that approximately 25 percent of the employee base relies on business intelligence tools, a figure that has not changed in the last five years. Given the adoption of new technologies and integration into mobile capabilities, this result may come as a surprise to most.

For others, however, the result of this survey simply demonstrates that the wrong element is being measured to truly understand what is happening in business intelligence in 2013. The tools for gathering the data don’t matter nearly as much as what platform companies are using to access the data and what they are doing with it once it’s in the data center. It is the challenge of enterprise in this next generation, and one that is easily overcome with data analytics and the strategic use of the cloud.

The stagnant adoption of business intelligence tools in the enterprise and the small business is not due to a lack of understanding of the value it presents, but instead the result of significant investments in legacy systems that demanded a focused approach to every network and data center deployment and integration. The process was often cumbersome and expensive, which limited access for a number of potential users. Now, as more companies are embracing the cloud, the playing field is about to change.

The cloud is expanding business intelligence and analytics to include multiple users throughout the organization, simplifying access and making business intelligence and the use of analytics more ubiquitous. The cloud provides one level for managing the complexities of business intelligence, including the gathering of analytics components, networking and storage. As big data continues to play a dominate role in a company’s ability to effectively compete, it’s no longer enough to simply manage information.

All companies are examining the best way to manage the exponential growth in unstructured data, forcing key decision-makers to determine the best way to analyze this data in real-time to support the effective use of this information. While Gartner is predicting the growth of the business intelligence market to hit 9.7 percent this year, business analytics in the cloud is expected to grow three times faster.

Businesses of all sizes are flocking to the cloud for business intelligence and analytics as it provides vast computing and storage resources without significant investment. Plus, the ability to gather and act on granular information is a key competitive advantage and one that is difficult and costly to achieve without business intelligence analytics in the cloud. As the data bubble continues to expand, those able to embrace the cloud will enjoy greater capacity and capability when turning that data into actionable intelligence. 

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