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Business Intelligence moves to the cloud

According to a recent survey by Gartner, almost a third of organisations surveyed stated that they plan to incorporate the cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) in their change their business intelligence functions in order 

The survey was taken across 1,364 individuals in the field, including users of business intelligence platforms and IT managers. The survey also found that 27% of organisations are already using or making plans to use cloud computing or SaaS to complement their business intelligence capabilities.

Business intelligence is clearly following the trend started by other areas of business and gravitating towards the cloud and related services. In a press release, Gartner cited a few driving forces for this change. Among them, was a reduced time to value. SaaS in particular, lets companies reap the benefits of faster deployment, meaning they can work around current constraints and satisfy the organisation’s needs.

Another driver is the cost associated with implementing the cloud or SaaS for business information functions. This one is a little trickier, because the findings show that SaaS can only be cheaper for the first five years of its implementation, Gartner says. The real cost savings come from reduced expenses in other areas of the organisation.

The final driver that was seen as part of the catalyst for the switch is that SaaS BI solutions let companies compensate for a lack of in-house knowledge through what the release referred to as “prebuilt intellectual property.”

Overall, the switch to the cloud and SaaS for business intelligence functions shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. A large number of companies already rely on the services for some of their back-office functions, so it seems natural that it would eventually get incorporated into the business intelligence segment. It’s safe to expect growth of SaaS and the cloud for business uses as the solutions become more cost-effective and practical.

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