The rapid proliferation of cloud and Big Data projects has led to the convergence of the two strategies in several ways. Currently, business intelligence (BI) processes are steadily moving to the cloud because many professionals involved in the analytic procedure believe cloud-based initiatives are easier to deploy and use and provide more substantial results.
These findings were highlighted in a recent Dimensional Research study of more than 400 BI experts in which 80 percent of respondents using cloud services said they were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the tools at their disposal. Meanwhile, only 51 percent of premise-based BI users expressed the same gratitude.
Although there are many benefits associated with using cloud-enabled business intelligence solutions, 83 percent of respondents said the ability to implement the tools faster than their on-premise counterparts was one of the most significant advantages, Dimensional Research reported. Cloud projects can often be deployed in less than 3 months, compared to on-site initiatives, which tend to last more than 6 months.
“These results confirm that cloud BI solutions are strongly preferred, offering faster, easier, and more economical deployment and lower total cost of ownership, along with superior ease of use, which drives broader user adoption within the organization,” said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst at Dimensional Research.
Cloud tools are easier to use
For the most part, companies are more willing to leverage cloud computing tools for analytic processes than conventional in-house services. In fact, the study found that more than half of respondents would select a cloud-based initiative over a premise-based strategy, and only 14 percent said they would choose on-premise BI software over a hosted environment. This preference is partially because organizations using the cloud experience higher adoption levels: the majority of respondents said more employees have the ability to access and use cloud BI solutions, compared to only 17 percent of BI professionals who perceived traditional offerings as more user friendly.
A separate report by Dresner Advisory Services echoed the growing use of cloud-based business intelligence technologies, noting that more vendors are offering these types of solutions, which will encourage a major market shift during the next several years.
“Cloud business intelligence continues to gain ground, becoming more mainstream all the time,” said Howard Dresner, founder and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services.
Dimensional Research also found that respondents believe it is easier to educate employees on best practices involved with using cloud-based business intelligence suites. According to the report, 60 percent of experts said cloud solutions require less training than conventional software. At the same time, 80 percent of professionals said premise-based offerings require more overhead. This finding suggests that leveraging traditional strategies will force organizations to do more work, which will make it challenging for firms to compete in the long run.
“The truth is that regardless of how beautiful your application is, how many features it offers, or how much it costs—if employees don’t use it, all of that is irrelevant,” BI expert Brad Peter said. “This survey proves that more people prefer—and actually use—cloud BI to gain the critical business intelligence they need to drive success.”
Decision-makers must prepare for the inevitable migration to the cloud as Big Data projects gain momentum. By planning ahead and launching user-friendly, cost-effective, and highly efficient analytic initiatives, companies of all sizes will find it easier to experience the benefits associated with gathering large volumes of information and converting data into meaningful insight.
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