Practically Speaking About Cloud Computing: Business Intelligence in the Cloud

Practically Speaking About Cloud Computing:

Business Intelligence in the Cloud Part I

Cloud based Business Intelligence (BI) and SaaS offerings are getting more and more popular.

Benefits of Cloud BI:

The quick fire benefits of Cloud Computing are getting extended into various sectors. The enterprise software stalwarts like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP etc… are making big noise about their cloud strategies. As far as the BI space is concerned, there are two great enablers as pointed out by Forrester blog.

  • The first is that the business climate is changing fast for enterprises. So, there may not be enough time to plan and implement on premises based BI Architecture.
  • Second the increase of RDBMS in cloud. If we take Amazon Web Services, Amazon announced its new RDBMS called Amazon RDS. Microsoft started with its Microsoft SQL in Windows Azure Cloud. Oracle is also betting big with Amazon now.

In a recent study and report by Dresner Advisory Services, the report which has been quoted in leading publications like Forbes, TechTarget, Datamation etc… there is a shocking note about traditional BI installations.  ‘But for a few specialist cases, in other cases Business Intelligence initiatives have largely been unusable or little more than demo ware’.

Cloud BI:

There are various offerings of Cloud BI. Some go as plain SaaS – Software as a Service; some are in Private Cloud; some are in Public Cloud. Some Cloud BI services offer only front interface and reporting tools in the Cloud. Traditional BI vendors like IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, SAP BuisnessObjects, Tibco are making their services work in the cloud.  Some new emerging vendors are: JasperSoft, Qlik, Gooddata, Birst and PivotLink. According to the research firm Gartner, BI has been continuously the No. 1 spending for enterprises in the past three years and the worldwide BI Software revenue in the year 2009 was $ 9.3 Billion.

Integration a big challenge:

Hybrid enterprises working with both on premises software installation along with private or public cloud face the challenges of application integration. In some cases, this challenge could be quite complex in nature. Enterprise installations are subject to automatic upgrades and changes, data is in motion, traditional middleware and message services were built earlier and governed by one or more compliance processes. This integration challenge is more evident with Cloud BI implementations. A comprehensive Cloud Strategy and Management is very much required. Rightscale has teamed up with Jaspersoft, Talend and Vertica to offer a complete integrated BI solution in the cloud. This integrated solution will give the benefit of cloud, a high performance database, BI and integration. You can launch your BI installation with the Sandbox offering and test the usage. There is also a free 30 days trial.

( To be contd. in Part II on Wednesday )

Article By Malick with

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One Response to Practically Speaking About Cloud Computing: Business Intelligence in the Cloud

  1. Hi Malick,

    I enjoyed your post. Our organization has been offering SaaS for users since 2008 and we've been able to overcome a lot of the integration challenges faced by the bigger competitors through what we call 'data mashup'. It works particularly well for ad hoc changes and experimental changes and can even be used to map a configuration for an ETL in the long run.

    That said, I think those in the industry should look out for the smaller companies. They are offering a lot of creative solutions for a far lower investment. Deployment is faster and pricing is much more flexible/reasonable.



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