All You Need To Know About Cloud Business Intelligence

  • 6 min read
Cloud Business Intelligence

Data has become the new oil for businesses. Advancements in technology and the adoption of digitisation across functions have led to companies generating a humongous amount of data. By 2025, 180 zettabytes of data will be generated globally. Using the right data can help businesses obtain valuable insights, preempt risk factors and take decisions accordingly. Since most of the generated data is unstructured, making sense of this data is a major challenge for enterprises. Further, the diverse and complex nature of the data calls businesses to implement advanced and cost-effective data analytics solutions that can help them store, extract and understand this data better. New-age cloud data warehouses and cloud BI technologies can solve these challenges for enterprises.

In the post-pandemic world, the need for digitisation and the adoption of Cloud Business Intelligence solutions also grew. A recent Forbes article suggests that 54% of enterprises agree that cloud BI is critical for their current and future business strategies.

Before we delve into the details of Cloud BI, let’s understand the world of cloud, computing, and BI.

Cloud, Computing, and BI

The basics of cloud

Cloud services are servers hosted on the internet to store data. The various deployment models of cloud services are – Public Cloud hosted at a service provider end, Private Cloud built for a specific organisation, Hybrid cloud that has private and public cloud features.

The basics of cloud computing

The concept of cloud computing originated around the 1950s, when microchips and mainframe computers evolved. With things like dot com boom, VPN services, server balancing, the foundations of high-powered cloud computing were laid. Later the rapid development in computational power, entry of players like Google cloud services, AWS, Microsoft Azure cloud computation became advanced and optimised. Today, the cloud computing services can be categorised as –

  • SaaS or Software-as–Service – These are cloud software provided by third parties that organisations can access. The maintenance and deployment are taken care of by the provider.
  • PaaS or Platform-as-a-Service – These are platforms that organisations can configure as per their requirements. Application developers can use these platforms to optimally develop and run software solutions without managing the primary platform. Google App Engine is an example of PaaS.
  • IaaS or Infrastructure-as-a-Service – Cloud infrastructures include servers, networks, operating systems, and storage through virtualisation technology. These are also known as HaaS or Hardware-as-a-Service. The IaaS or HaaS providers outsource the basic end-to-end cloud infrastructures for enterprises.

Cloud Business Intelligence

Business intelligence (BI) refers to systems that help enterprises store, analyse and gather insights from the data they generate across business functions. The traditional BI systems were deployed in on-premise infrastructure that was neither agile nor cost-effective. Cloud computing helped enterprises compute the huge amount of data generated on a cloud infrastructure offering higher security and reduced costs to enterprises. It is expected that by 2024, the Cloud market will be a $1 trillion market.

Cloud Business Intelligence systems are BI tools deployed over a cloud infrastructure and accessed through virtual networks like the internet. Cloud BI solutions use the computational power of Cloud Computing to benchmark the data and gather actionable insights. Cloud BI solutions help enterprises harness the power of data with greater agility.

Benefits of Cloud Business Intelligence

In a post-COVID world, the rules of business operations have completely changed. The need for digital channels, WFH, digitising supply chain, etc., are factors that have accelerated the adoption of Cloud BI systems, making them critical for businesses today. Enterprises are increasingly adopting cloud BI solutions to increase business agility. Here are some of the key benefits of deploying cloud BI solutions –

  • Cloud BI is cost-effective –  In the case of cloud-BI solutions, businesses do not need to deploy elaborate on-premise infrastructure. They can only pay for their computational requirements and usage. Providers take care of the maintenance, cost of asset acquisition, etc.
  • Scalability –  Cloud BI solutions are much more scalable than traditional BI solutions. Since they are hosted on the cloud, the computational data can be adjusted as required. Businesses can also have the flexibility of accessing additional data when needed. Not just that, the cloud solutions can be scaled up pr scaled down based on the enterprise requirements, helping businesses manage costs.
  • Ease of setup – Since the Cloud BI solutions do not need elaborate infrastructures, they are easy to set up. In most cases, users can just set it up with a playbook given by the service provider, using internet-based software. This reduces the involvement of IT teams. This can also help resource allocation optimisation, where the IT resources that earlier managed BI solutions can be allocated elsewhere.
  • Reduced overheads –  The cost of acquisition, deployment and maintenance of cloud BI solutions is extremely low. Businesses can only pay for what they use. This benefits small or mid-scale enterprises without needing very high computational power. This also helps enterprises the CAPEX and OPEX associated with the non-core business functions.
  • Remote access and data Sharing – One of the biggest advantages of the Cloud BI solutions is that they can be accessed remotely on multiple devices by multiple users simultaneously. This becomes extremely important during times like these when remote work has become mandatory.
  • Reliable data back-up and storage –  Cloud BI solutions are critical systems businesses can rely on for data storage and backup. Since these are cloud-based systems, they are immune to the risks that might impact the company’s on-premise IT infrastructure. Cloud Business Intelligence systems have proven to be highly critical to maintain business continuity in the face of a disaster.

Cloud Business Intelligence the Road Ahead

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear for businesses that digital transformation in pockets is no longer feasible for maintaining business continuity and staying competitive. Cloud BI solutions are critical for companies to manage business activities uninterruptedly. Prudent business leaders have already deployed Cloud BI solutions and have made it a business priority. Furthermore, as data’s scale, dynamism, and complexity increase, traditional BI systems are no longer equipped to keep up. Now more than ever, Cloud BI solutions have become critical for businesses to provide the infrastructure, computational ability, and agility that today’s digital economy demands.


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