Whether on-premise or in the cloud, Business Intelligence plays a key role in helping companies improve their performance.
Moving part of your IT infrastructure to the cloud or choosing SaaS BI software meets this need for improved performance. But that’s not all; making the switch also offers other advantages.
Such as more agility, a better return on investment and greater security.
Here are 5 great reasons to move your Business Intelligence to “full cloud” mode.
Before listing the arguments for full cloud BI, it is worth noting that the cloud is already a solid trend for business intelligence. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2022, public cloud services will be essential for 90% of data and analytics innovation.
The same source reports that 70% of organizations currently using cloud services plan to increase their cloud spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as a result of extending remote work policies and fast-tracking plans for digital transformation. And on-demand SaaS software, including BI software, accounts for over half of cloud spending ($18 billion out of $213 billion in 2021).
#1 : the cloud simply gives you access to more data
Now that data is kept in the cloud, BI is also moving to the cloud more and more often. Cloud storage is a great way to handle the soaring volume of structured and unstructured data within a company. IDC estimates that 44% of the Big Data & Analytics (BDA) market will be cloud-based in 2022. Business intelligence systems can be fueled by this Big Data, generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) or multichannel interactions with customers. With cloud object storage, companies can manipulate their data with the tools and languages of their choosing, whether SQL, R, Python, Scala or Spark, just to list some of the main ones.
#2 : cloud BI bolsters your security
You naturally approach cloud BI as cautiously as you would any cloud project. Data is a precious commodity to a company and its partners, but also to cybercriminals. And protecting personal data also calls for heightened vigilance. This is why SaaS, PaaS and IaaS providers offer a level of security that is up to the challenge. It’s estimated that the main cloud providers offer a security level 10 times higher than that of most organizations.
This assessment, for which we can thank Alex Stamos, former CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) at Yahoo, factors in both material and software security. It also considers governance and risk management model, which these cloud players work to improve every day. Lastly, their size helps them attract and retain top talent in cybersecurity and compliance, and spread the cost over their entire customer base.
#3 : Pay-as-you-go increases your business intelligence ROI
The cost of a BI project should include infrastructure, software and human costs with both salaries and training. Choosing full cloud business intelligence means you can increase your project’s return on investment in all these areas. With pay-as-you-go costs as an operating expense (OPEX), instead of fixed infrastructure costs as a capital expenditure (CAPEX). Ultimately, using more cloud for your analytics strategy does more than just optimize BI costs. It helps fast track innovation initiatives, accelerating the ROI of other projects. Lastly, making BI more accessible means it will be used more, which will add more value to the company.
#4 : You become more agile and future-proof
Cloud BI is also more agile and future-proof. More agile because it quickly allows more employees to access the data they need, and to collaborate by safely and securely sharing their analyses. More future-proof because SaaS BI software will be regularly upgraded with new features and APIs to connect to new data sources. For example, data from social networks, to better understand customer needs, assess customer satisfaction and identify consumer trends.
#5 : You can take your BI anywhere with the cloud
BI consumer habits have changed. Today, an employee may need to access a dashboard remotely or check data from their cell phone in real time. Before COVID-19, 30% of employees were already working remotely at least part of the time. Now over 48% work remotely, according to Gartner’s most recent estimates. The cloud makes this BI accessible from any terminal, and therefore from cell phones, for these new on-demand self-service BI uses. This move will also help improve the employee experience. Since employees will be able to apply their expertise in data analysis and data storytelling, without being limited by technology.
In conclusion :
Full cloud BI is the answer to both your technology and business concerns. This approach can also be paired with a hybrid cloud strategy, to use data stored in the public cloud and the company’s private cloud. By taking data silos that often go unused and putting them all in the cloud, BI will help companies get as much value as possible from them.