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Move to the cloud can be stormy for business intelligence

September 03, 2013

Over the past few years, the cloud has become a seemingly necessary move for companies and IT network services departments seeking to store and leverage vast quantities of information. A study earlier this year from Virtustream found that more than half of American companies are using the public or private cloud. However, despite the seemingly ubiquity of the technology, firms are finding it more difficult than initially believed to deploy the cloud to benefit business intelligence.

A stormy forecast
When paired with business intelligence (BI), the cloud is able to tackle large swaths of customer data and access analysis at speeds previously unavailable, Forbes explained. Yet achieving these results has proven difficult, as the limited number of tools available and the disparate nature of the customer and market data has made integration a much more challenging process than it's often described to be.

Furthermore, the differences between companies suggest that cloud-based solutions must be customized to the needs, size and abilities of the firm.

"BI, despite what some hypesters are saying is not easy," Brad Peters, CEO and co-founder of Birst, told the news source. "It's never been easy. ... You have to take a toolset and wrap that around [an] individual's business problem and deliver them the answers to their questions. ... And everybody's is different. So the one size-fits all is hard to do."

This doesn't mean enterprises should give up on using the cloud to advance BI. Such solutions are advancing, but at a slower pace, Forbes asserted. BI in the cloud is still in the early stages of migration, and thus, some enterprises are finding it difficult to fully trust it with their confidential data, giving it a lower rate of success.

There are a few tips technical support can keep in mind when deploying such strategies to temper expectations and boost their chances of success. For one, businesses should consider the cloud an aid to BI rather than a replacement for all existing structures. Additionally, firms should strategically assess their processes—where can cloud-based BI streamline processes and offer value-added additions to current modes of analysis, the news source asked.

As the industry continues to develop, organizations will be offered further tools to help define their mission and better target clients.

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