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January 27, 2012

Firms still confused about what cloud and analytics can deliver: Study

Only 17% of organisations have deployed fully or partly cloud/SaaS offerings for their core BI functions

By CBR Staff Writer

Nearly a third of companies either use cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings or plan to use them in a bid to enhance their core business intelligence (BI) functions, according to a study by Gartner.

1,364 IT managers and business users of BI platforms were surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2011 in a study entitled "Business users are often frustrated by the deployment cycles, costs, complicated upgrade processes and IT infrastructures demanded by on-premises BI solutions."

Though only 17% of organisations have deployed fully or partly cloud/SaaS offerings for their core BI functions, about 27% already use or plan on using cloud/SaaS options to strengthen their BI capabilities for specific lines of business or subject areas in the next 12 months.

Gartner research director James Richardson said SaaS- and cloud-based BI is perceived as offering a quicker, potentially lower-cost and easier-to-deploy alternative, though this has yet to be proven.

"It’s evident that, despite growing interest, the market is confused about what cloud/SaaS BI and analytics are and what they can deliver," opined Richardson.

According to Gartner, three major drivers for the adoption of cloud/SaaS offerings for BI, analytics and performance management are time to value, cost concerns and lack of available expertise.

Richardson adds, "If their operational business applications are in the cloud, organizations should consider pursuing cloud BI/analytics for those domains. However, they must assess risks on an ongoing basis and ensure their chosen cloud provider has appropriate business skills to provide a viable outcome. They must also ensure their BI strategy outlines how to ensure that data flows to and from these solutions in order not to become yet more silos of analysis."

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