I know that cloud based solutions for big data utilization have become an increasing trend, and how your business keeps up with the trends is important. Now an even more important questions is, can cloud-based business intelligence solutions be an important investment for your business?
And, here are some questions I'll be addressing:
- Is the BI cloud sufficient for companies that need real-time analytics?
- Is it better to completely move towards cloud platforms?
- Are cloud based solutions the vision for the future?
One concern is how cloud-based solutions measure up to on-site, on-premises BI tools.
According to the article, “Midmarket BI That Won’t Break the Bank” by Lauren Gibbons Paul, most BI tools are not as fully developed as on-premises versions. Some have even commented that the BI cloud offerings are not as mature as some of the other cloud offerings that are out there.
Will All BI & Big Data Services Eventually be in the Cloud?
No, there will always be a significant grouping of customers who require their information to be on premise. BI tools as a downstream product (i.e. system of record, data warehouse then reporting) the BI tool would be required to be on-premise within the scope of its data services.
With regard to the development of BI tools, I completely disagree with Ms. Gibbins as there are BI tools completely developed which I will term as the big players (i.e. SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos & Microstrategy) with a plethora of strategic, small and under developed players in the market. All these players go after specific areas of the market to meet customer needs.
Are these same players developing additional capabilities to match the Big Players as well as competitors in their specific area?
The answer is YES. The market is constantly changing and some of the big players are not reacting to the small or strategic players, as such they will see a reduction in market share, this is the way of the market. Change either inspires innovation or a stagnate death.
Is it fair to assume that BI tools on the cloud are not as fully developed as on-premises versions?
I would agree that some tools are not at their full potential in the cloud, but this may be more of a case of organizations not wanting to undercut the on premise solution or push only specific product lines which have a life cycle longer than 36 months. The End of life cycle for a product is a long process as you need to include years of communications to customers and continued support levels even after the product end of life date.
Is the BI cloud sufficient for companies that need real-time analytics?
Cloud solutions can be used in various solutions including data pushed to the cloud. As such, reporting and predicative analytics can be real-time. The aspect of real-time which cannot be maintained is data outside of your control which would delegate your real-time effectiveness. (i.e. real estate organization who needs County Records information updates which occur monthly) Information updated outside of your control would be the only issue with a fully real-time cloud based solution.
Is it better to get rid of other costly BI tools and instead move over to the cloud?
It is best to use a tool which fits the organization with user acceptance, this is not regulated to where the tool is located (i.e. On-premise or Cloud). If a tool is not used it is a waste of resources as such should be re-evaluated for use or discarded.
As for small businesses using the cloud, I believe this will be something in the near future where Small Business organizations will benefit from analytics as the demographics for Business Intelligence has shrunken over time. When BI was first started it was used only by Multi-Billion dollar companies, now it is for organizations who are 50 million and above. I believe this number will continue to go down as technology improves and customer desires continue.
Is there a real reason to be cautious about the security and privacy of customer data in the cloud?
With the number of data breaches at organizations both Government and Commercial, security is a concerns for all industries both on premise and cloud. The IT industry has taken this thread very seriously and works to insure everything is secure. At the same time, to keep an organization at a standstill until security threads are locked down will only kill the organization. As most adviser to an organization will state, work within the confines of your organization, assess your risks and make smart decisions. Not using a cloud solutions because of a mindset is unadvisable. Use the information, technology and expertise you have at your disposal to move your organization forward.
Any product recommendations for people who are concerned about their data being in the cloud?
Cloud is yet another tool available to an organization and it should be exploited to the full extent. If you have concerns about data security, they use cloud as an application server, 3rd party data repository, and test environment for non-critical systems. Use cloud to grow your organization.When it comes to cloud solutions there are several I would recognize as the best including Amazon Web Solutions, Rackspace and Verizon Terremark. All these solutions not only have secure networks, but are able to control traffic flow to monitor intrusion issues. They are the best in the industry at this time.
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