Business Intelligence and Cloud Computing

Your business generates a lot of data. You have sales figures, reports, analysis, costs—all kinds of things, some useful, some not so useful. Whatever they are, though, you want to keep hold of them and keep them accessible. Moreover, you want to be able to analyze that business intelligence, to understand your business processes more thoroughly and to tune them for best results. The smartest option for all these things is the marriage of business intelligence and cloud computing.

Combined, they allow greater accessibility, greater flexibility, and greater bomb-proofing of your BI systems. Many of you will already be familiar with stand-alone, on-site BI software and will know what you need from it; others may be new to the whole concept. Those who are well versed in BI might find these early stages a bit feature-sparse. The software at the moment is not as developed as the stand-alone versions, but you can be sure that this will be remedied in short order as the popularity of the technology increases. Those of you who are new to the concept will be able to cut your business intelligence cloth to fit the software available.

Advantages of Business Intelligence in the Cloud

If you get to the office tomorrow to find the building is a smoking ruin, your BI is still going to be intact, along with everything else you have entrusted to cloud computing. Your data is stored off-site, safely, securely, and with a series of elaborate mechanisms to ensure everything can be recovered no matter what happens.

If you are traveling and get to your destination and find your beloved business laptop has been lost, stolen, or broken, a quick trip to your nearest electronics store will furnish you with another one which will be able to access and process your data every bit as well. You not only free yourself from having to carry your data around, you also free yourself from needing a powerful computer to crunch the numbers. Your $500 emergency-buy laptop from Bob's Bargain Bytes is just a terminal to let the big computer do the hard stuff. You're limited only by your Internet connection.

Business Intelligence and Cloud Computing Challenges

Business intelligence is pretty well established as a discipline, by contrast, cloud computing is new and a bit scary for many people. Is it secure? Yes. It's alien, though, and we'd be foolish to expect everyone just to trust it. We'd also be foolish to think that it's so secure that there'll never be a failure, never be a theft, and never be a loss of data. All those things will happen—to someone—but the risks to the individual business are small.

Also, as the combination is comparatively young, you might not get all the features you're used to if you're a seasoned BI hand. Someone who is already steeped in BI software might be well-served to cool his heels for a little while and let the upcoming, more feature-rich cloud versions of BI software catch up with his expectations.

But the real, big, and pressing problem is that while you're hemming and hawing over it, someone else will be jumping right on it. The one thing you really can't allow is for the other guy to get ahead of you. When is the right time to move? There is no easy answer to that question; it hinges on too many factors. We'd need to talk some things through before we could reach any sensible decision. So why not do that?

At Infidati, we'll be happy to hear from you, to discuss the most appropriate approach business intelligence in the cloud for you. If it's right for you, we'll outline how we can help you do it. If it's wrong for you right now, we'll tell you straight out. Whatever the case, you can be sure that Infidati will be able to give you the right advice and help for your business.