Considerations for implementing cloud BI

The rising prevalence of cloud computing and the use of business intelligence throughout many different sectors are two key trends of the modern business world. Both are revolutionizing the way countless companies perform their daily operations. Software platforms that combine these two trends are also on the rise among businesses, as shown by research conducted in 2012. In fact, BI is making itself known as the fastest-growing aspect of the entire cloud computing market.

Firms that are looking to adopt cloud-based business intelligence and analytics can be confident that doing so might be tremendously beneficial to these organizations' day-to-day operations and overall bottom line. Even so, it is essential to look over a number of major considerations before instantly committing to such software.

Looking closely at the market
In mid-2012, Saugatuck Technology conducted a survey regarding the past, present and future state of the cloud-based BI and analytics market. In 2011, things did not bode as well – only 13 percent of organizations questioned stated that they had implemented such solutions at the end of that year. However, the research made it clear that adoption figures would not remain that low for long.

The report's authors claimed that between 2012 and 2014, cloud-based BI software would experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 84 percent. Brian Dooley, one of the study's co-authors, elaborated on this in a statement accompanying the survey.

"Inevitably, cloud is opening up business intelligence to more users – non-analysts – within organizations," Dooley explained.

Solution attributes to examine
It won't be wise for business owners to adopt business intelligence simply as a way of latching on to a trend. They will need to examine whether this type of solution is right for their organizations' needs.

According to an op-ed piece in Digital Journal, factors that should be looked at carefully include the scope of a business' BI needs, pricing, vendor support, security and mobile compatibility, among others. The capability for mobile integration may be one of the most important of these. Considering the increasing popularity of employees using mobile devices for business tasks – including tablets, smartphones and laptops – this needs to be a feature of a cloud BI solution.

Real-time data access is yet another majorly important attribute. The rapid pace of modern business necessitates that companies have to be able to examine the most up-to-the-minute analytics and use them to make more informed decisions. Finally, the solution should ideally be easy for employees in all departments to use. 

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