Many organizations using cloud, SaaS to enhance business intelligence functions

January 26, 2012

In today's tough global economy, businesses are looking for any possible advantage to increase sales, and many are now using Software-as-a-Service and other cloud-based solutions to improve business intelligence programs.

According to a recent study by research firm Gartner, nearly one-third of organizations are either using or plan to implement cloud or SaaS solutions to augment their critical business intelligence (BI) tasks.

"Business users are often frustrated by the deployment cycles, costs, complicated upgrade processes and IT infrastructures demanded by on-premises BI solutions," said James Richardson, research director at Gartner. "SaaS- and cloud-based BI is perceived as offering a quicker, potentially lower-cost and easier-to-deploy alternative."

The survey found that 27 percent of enterprises already use or are planning to add cloud or SaaS in the next 12 months to enhance their current business intelligence capabilities. Meanwhile, 17 percent of respondents said their organization has completely replaced or will replace their business intelligence programs with cloud-based or SaaS solutions.

"If their operational business applications are in the cloud, organizations should consider pursuing cloud BI/analytics for those domains," Richardson explained.

Gartner examined three major reasons for increased cloud and SaaS adoption among users of business intelligence applications. According to the report, using SaaS business intelligence enables companies to deploy programs faster and analyze data more quickly. Additionally, cloud and SaaS can reduce business intelligence costs by limiting software implementation and support expenses.

Both cloud computing and business intelligence solutions are among the top technology priorities for CIOs this year. According to another recent Gartner study, cloud computing is the third-ranked technology priority for CIOs this year, behind business intelligence and mobile technologies. Decreasing operating costs and gaining new customers are among the top overall goals, the report said.

-McAfee Cloud Security