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BI in The Cloud

A business intelligence system doesn't have to be installed on the own servers of an organization to be able to use it. There is an increasing number of solutions on the internet, which we also call 'BI in the cloud'. This means practically all BI systems that are available online.

Cloud computing

There are different models for running BI in the cloud. The most famous are Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). In the case of PaaS, an organization purchases a platform from a so-called cloud supplier, so that the relevant company can independently develop a BI solution. The supplier only provides an infrastructure and the required software. The company - the end user - only pays for this. He himself develops the BI applications that should ultimately yield the return.

That's different at SaaS. In that case the supplier develops a complete BI solution for the end user, who purchases this solution through a subscription form or a pay-per-use construction. For example, a supplier like Salesforce.com does it that way. The big advantage is that the end user doesn't have to install BI software on their own systems and doesn't have to purchase a complete infrastructure. He needs an internet connection to perform the most advanced analyzes based on his own company data. We also call this 'On-demand BI' or 'Cloud BI'. Moreover, with SaaS no maintenance is required anymore; Updates are installed automatically without employees being bothered. Finally, SaaS offers major benefits if an expansion of the infrastructure is needed,

What is in it for me?

The story seems somewhat technical, but the practical benefits are great. A traditional BI implementation involves purchasing and requires maintenance of both hardware and software. What we must not forget: such an implementation also costs (a lot of) time. If a company chooses Cloud BI or SaaS BI, then an end user doesn't have to worry about software and hardware. He can fully concentrate on other aspects of the implementation process, such as determining the information requirement. For example: which data is (first) analyzed? And how will reports and the 'dashboard' soon be implemented? If a company opts for BI in the cloud, implementation will be shorter in most cases.

The benefits of BI in the cloud are also significant when it comes to costs. It's precisely in the case of cloud computing that it's possible to pay through a pay-per-use construction or, for example, a pay-per-services model. With such payment models, a BI software implementation is considerably cheaper. After all, you only pay for what you actually use. Major investments in software and hardware aren't required in advance; you can start immediately with all the analytical possibilities of a BI solution. Major upfront investments - including the management, maintenance and training of maintenance staff - aren't necessary. This makes the 'Total Cost of Ownership' (TCO) lower in the case of cloud computing than in traditional implementations.

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