It wasn’t more than a few years ago that we were still waiting for cloud business intelligence (BI) solutions to reach maturity for mid-market customers to use. Sure, these types of solutions existed, but there were still a handful of missing features and capabilities that were preventing mid-size organizations from taking the leap. Jump to today, and issues surrounding security, cost management, and ease-of-use have all but disappeared thanks to recent advancements.
A lot has changed in the past year or two when it comes to cloud business intelligence. We’ve been closely watching these developments and can now confidently say the latest cloud business intelligence solutions are officially poised and ready to be used by mid-market customers.
Why NOW Is the Time to Leverage Cloud BI
To help cut through the noise, we’ve identified the top 5 ways cloud BI has changed for the better over the past couple years, and why NOW is the time for mid-market businesses to start leveraging analytics in the cloud.
The #1 question I get asked about cloud adoption is, “can I trust the cloud enough to send my sensitive data to it?” Over the past several years, cloud vendors have invested billions (yes, billions) of dollars to address this issue, and their investment has finally paid off. Not only is the cloud secure, but cloud service providers are able to offer even better security than what most mid-market organizations can assemble internally because the scale of large cloud providers allows them the ability to hire the industry’s top experts and employ the latest technology.
2) Comprehensive Solutions
When it comes to deploying a data analytics solution, one of the biggest points of frustration has been the integration of various unrelated systems to make everything work. For instance, in order to make my Data Visualization Solution work, I would need to integrate it with a Microsoft Data warehouse, then add an open source R solution for predictive analytics to make the solution work. Although most solutions are pre-engineered to work together, this piecemeal approach to deploying a solution can be extremely time-consuming and complex for most mid-market organizations. Jump to today, and data analytics suppliers have come a long way to provide complete solutions to address your operational, prescriptive, and predictive reporting and data needs – all wrapped up in a single cloud stack making deployments a breeze. It’s time to get going!
3) Data Science for the Mid-Market
One of the best things to come out of the cloud revolution are new pre-built data science packages and capabilities for the citizen data scientist. No longer do you need to be a data scientist with a PHD in Machine Learning or Text Analytics to visualize and analyze data. The power of these new Data Science technologies coupled with low cost to entry has evened the playing field, giving mid-market organizations a distinct advantage to leverage advanced analytics and gain market share in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.
4) Pervasive Data
For years, businesses have relied on their finance and IT department to provide important numbers on the state of their business. Data analytics has now moved beyond IT and finance to the majority of business functions. Businesses and business users of all types are now able to process all kinds of data using cloud computing resources and leverage their data to drive their business without huge upfront investments, long development cycles, or the need for a lot IT resources. This allows organizations to drive business value right away.
5) Research and Development
One of the questions I get asked about often is, “what solution should I invest in for the long-term?” If you are looking to put your bets down on a solution that will allow you to grow and scale over the next few years, look at where the research and development (R&D) dollars are being spent. Technology and the competitive landscape is evolving faster than ever before, companies who are leading the way in data innovation investment will be the most likely to provide your organizations with capabilities and strategies for long-term success.
Thanks to advancements in cloud technology, there are a number of mature, cloud-based business intelligence solutions on the market that are capable of helping mid-size organizations increase ROI, agility, and keep pace with the speed of innovation. This represents a great opportunity for mid-size companies to leverage analytics to gain market share in ways that weren’t possible a few years ago.
To gain a better understanding of the latest data analytics solutions, or to speak to one of our specialists on how you can jumpstart your cloud BI strategy, contact us to learn more.