Rising towards the clouds

With the growth in cloud based offerings across the plethora of solutions available today there comes a steady shift by many organisations over to these. With that brings new opportunities for both BI vendors and business using these tools – cloud BI.

A few years ago I did wonder how we might embrace BI in the cloud and shared the concerns of others in making this shift. However as things have matured and more products are offered via the cloud the viability has also. 

So what are the benefits in cloud BI? 

1 Easier access to external data sets outside of your corporate domain, such as social media, sensors, and the other devices out there in the Internet of things.

2 Minimal infrastructure and hardware – this brings down the total cost of ownership. However decisions need to be made about where the source data is held, if this sits in the cloud and if your business is comfortable with what part of the world that is. 

3 Improved reliability and disaster recovery where cloud offerings can utilise multiple sites locations offering resilience not possible without economies of scale. 

4 Faster deployment and lower up front capital investments with subscription based pricing and no hardware investments. 

5 Multi tenancy can lead to improved efficiencies utilising single environments which can help to manage your ongoing growth and demand. 

6 Ease of tapping into new releases and maintenance as your chased service provider will take care of all of this for you. Again saving time and money allowing you to focus on the BI.

7 Scalability and flexibility to increase or decrease users of the system and consumers of the BI. Offering much easier ability to adapt changing needs of the business without the lock in / commitments.

So with all these benefits why are we all doing it? I guess the answer is, for everyone of the 7 benefits there will be a number of reasons why you may need to carefully consider your approach; your application landscape, your business appetite for software as a service and a whole host of other considerations… I hope this all helps the thought process.

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