There’s a lot more to cloud–based business intelligence tools than easy data accessibility. This article examines why CFOs and accounting pros see cloud BI as a great return on investment.
Like a lot of productivity and management software, business intelligence (BI) tools are moving to the cloud. Why? Sure, the cloud makes BI more accessible, and deployments more manageable, just like data of every kind. Whether it’s Corporate Performance Management (CPM) or even music, you can access it via any web browser or mobile device, anywhere, anytime.
But there are other reasons why the cloud and business intelligence tools are a perfect match, especially for CFOs or accounting pros who rely on BI to boost bottom-line performance. We’re talking about solving problems such as lowering costs, gaining flexibility, and increasing productivity, all while realizing BI’s promise of delivering the right information to the right people at the right time so they can make more informed decisions. As Solver builds – and gets ready to deliver BI360 as an innovative cloud service, we continue to discover reasons why cloud is the future for Business Intelligence.
Here are 9 reasons why a cloud-based Business Intelligence Tool may be right for you.
A subscription-based cloud model means less work and investment for your company. The right solution reduces time and money spent on on premise set-up, installation of new versions, hardware, hiring and management. There are no infrastructure costs and no potentially expensive software to install. You get fast, flexible performance at a smaller investment. ROI alone is a great reason to go cloud.
The cloud’s accessibility makes your workers less dependent on IT. Your cloud BI provider manages the environment for you, for instance, software updates, including security patches. That’s less time your employees will spend on filling out help desk tickets and then waiting for IT to learn how to install, manage and upgrade a 3rd party software – and more time they’ll have to get things done. The gains in productivity can only help your profitability.
Flexible Capacity for Private Cloud
Still want to own that software and not go subscription? Some BI cloud vendors allows you to still tap the power of cloud infrastructure and get profitable benefits by deploying in a private cloud. If your BI demand and data storage increases, just scale up your cloud capacity, utilizing remote servers. If you need to scale down, no problem—it’s just as easy.
Maybe this one’s a surprise. But the greater flexibility to scale to your BI needs can help you lower your carbon footprint. When a cloud provider can fine-tune their server capacity, you can reduce your energy use. For many businesses, this goes beyond good corporate citizenship. Besides burnishing your brand, being greener can help land new business with like-minded organizations.
As your teams enjoy greater access to Business Intelligence tools thanks to the cloud, they’ll start to collaborate more. Which makes sense—the cloud empowers information sharing, not just data storage. Cloud-based workflow and file-sharing apps enable real-time updates, along with more visibility into reports, budgets, forecasting…you name it.
As collaboration grows, so do the opportunities to lose track of current versions of spreadsheets. Back in the pre-cloud days, employees often used email or an on premise Windows File Servers to distribute files. Some files suffered “death by inbox,” whose symptoms include conflicting content, formats, and document titles. Centralized cloud storage keeps everyone on the same page (literally).
Power and Functionality
Today’s clouds match or exceed the power of on premise equipment. Bandwidth and speed are non-issues. What’s more, a good cloud-based BI solution offers depth of features once available only in locally installed software—all the integration and automation that define best of breed.
Cisco estimates that within the next three years, over 80 percent of data center traffic will be based in the cloud. The cloud is finally secure enough to entrust your data to it. By contrast, the loss of sensitive data due to misplaced or stolen laptops is a problem that adds up to billions. And what remedy do you have when laptops, and your stored spreadsheets, vanish? That’s right, the cloud. It lets you remotely wipe data off stolen devices, so crooks or competitors don’t get their hands on it.
Not an “Either-Or”
As cloud BI solutions continue to get smarter, it’s likely that hybrid models will appear in the marketplace, combining cloud power with the control of on premise. So, if you decide on a cloud-based BI solution, you could still choose to keep certain functions in house. Payroll, for example, might be a good candidate. When you’re doing your homework on BI, ask the CTO or head of R&D if hybrid is on the road map, or at least on the radar.
Cloud computing has changed the world almost as much as the Internet itself, the mobile revolution and now the Internet of Things. It’s no wonder the cloud is reinventing business intelligence, too. Now, small and mid-sized companies can tap the same world-class technologies as Fortune 500 firms. Pay-as-you-go service and business applications give you a leg up on the competition, no matter how big they are.
Think about it. You want BI to translate your data into actionable decisions. To drive better productivity across your organization. As you pursue these goals, why wouldn’t you use the cloud? The benefits only begin with all that accessibility.
Watch this video to learn more about next-gen cloud BI as Solver moves toward BI360 into the public cloud.