Business intelligence suites make their way to the cloud

Big Data continues to influence how enterprise decision-makers tackle various IT projects because most companies want to capitalize on the new information they've collected. As executives become comfortable using various cloud computing technologies, for example, they are leaning toward adopting cloud-based business intelligence suites that can give provide the insight needed to improve their internal and external operations.

Analysts at research firm Ovum stated that business intelligence (BI) solutions hosted in the cloud are gaining momentum due to the inherent scalable nature of the cloud. Companies now have the opportunity to develop a BI strategy with only a single user and quickly expand to hundreds or thousands of users as projects develop over time.

Although this opportunity can be highly advantageous for all organizations, it is particularly alluring to small and medium-sized businesses that may otherwise struggle to financially or physically support initiatives that allow them to compete with larger enterprises, Ovum noted.

"It is clear that the cloud is becoming a more cost-effective delivery model for BI vendors to offer their software," said Fredrik Tunvall, an analyst at Ovum. "Many BI vendors are increasingly betting on the 'land and expand' model as the way to push their products: a single user or department will adopt the product, champion it and spread it via word of mouth within the organization."

With sophisticated business intelligence technologies in place, organizations can take advantage of the evolving Big Data landscape without encountering significant performance obstacles.

Big data of the future
Because business intelligence tools require companies to customize resources so they can aggregate data from multiple sources, decision-makers need to plan ahead. This is especially important when leveraging cloud-based BI solutions that may require significant time to set up before experiencing the full benefits of the technology, Tunvall asserted.

A separate Dresner Advisory Services survey of more than 850 decision-makers found that more than 30 percent of respondents believe cloud-based business intelligence is either "critical" or "important" to their long-term success. Although there are several models to choose from, most executives opt for private cloud-based BI suites instead of so-called hybrid or public services.

As the cloud and Big Data landscapes evolve side by side, organizations will likely deploy cloud-based business intelligence strategies to ensure they have the scalability and sophisticated analytics needed to keep up with the continuous accumulation of information.

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