Cloudanomics for Business Intelligence - Part 2
Guest post by
Swati Maskara, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys
In the first part of my blog I talked about economics of using Cloud platform for performing business analytics and its obvious benefits. Through this part I want to bring forth ideas which can help a cloud BI customer as well as service provider maximize the overall benefits out of a cloud setup and reap advantages beyond the obvious ones.
The blog attempts to addresses following questions:
- How organizations can maximize value derived from a Cloud setup?
- How the Concerns around Data Security can be addressed?
How organizations can maximize value derived from a Cloud setup?
Apart from the obvious advantages, Cloud computing holds a lot of potential for revolutionizing the BI space. Cloud infrastructure involves many advantages which can be leveraged both by software companies and clients to enhance the presence of Business Analytics.
Penetrating the mid-size segment:- Small and medium businesses usually have huge volume of BI data that needs to be analyzed, but they often go for excel based or cheap analytic solution as they have limited IT budget and resources. BI on cloud can help such organizations to make use of the advance computational capabilities and huge data storage space available on a pay-as-you-use basis. As no investment in infrastructure and licensing is required upfront, and payment is made based on demand and usage, there is a huge untapped potential for penetrating BI in mid-size segment through cloud computing. BI on Cloud provides elasticity to the investment made and hence can be widely used for ad-hoc analytic projects.
BI penetration within the Business: - As businesses don't have to make capital investment in establishing Data marts and enabling analytics and reporting, there is more fund available to expand Data analytics to other operational areas of the business and hence help gain a competitive edge over other players in the market. Cloud computing will help in penetrating BI within an organization to areas which were earlier not included for analytics because of cost disadvantage. Moreover, a cloud setup also helps the customer in offloading the upgrade and maintenance costs of a given software application.
Facilitating assessment of BI Technology: - Software companies can use cloud as the default medium to make various technologies available for appraisement. Client can use this default medium for evaluating various applications without the necessity to create specialized demo by the software companies. Clients can evaluate and understand various products available by temporarily uploading test data and generating test reports. This will also help in cross selling of products, for example a client implementing Hyperion Planning could also be shown the demo of HPCM hosted on the cloud.
How the Concerns around Data Security can be addressed?
However, apart from the various advantages offered by using a cloud infrastructure there are a few factors which are restraining the adoption of BI on cloud. A major concern is around data security. Business Intelligence data is mostly sensitive and is accessible only by top management. Businesses are often reluctant to share such data on the cloud. The problem is mainly due to lack of trust between the vendor and the client. This problem with data security needs to be dealt by developing some kind of third party enterprise which can provide credit rating or credit certificate, to the Cloud vendors after performing due diligence with respect to data security, something like the credit rating agencies providing ratings to the companies.
With the increase in demand for Cloud set up for performing Business Analytics, more and more vendors are entering the space ensuring with time, vendor maturity and improved quality of services. As suggested by the famous Ansoff Matrix, when a new product is introduced in an existing market the strategy of the vendors should focus around Product development and hence the vendors should continue to be innovative with respect to their offerings primarily focusing on data security and enhanced analysis.