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Business intelligence in the Cloud

February 28, 2011 No Comments

Shifting business intelligence and analytics off-premise can make financial sense, as it does with other applications. Instead of buying servers and software licenses up front as a large, sunk capital cost, paying monthly fees from operating budgets can be less expensive over the life of the application.

But doing BI in the cloud also carries some particular challenges, one of which is that it can be hard to define in advance every type of report you want to run using cloud-based data.

Integrating cloud applications with remaining on-premise BI systems isn’t easy, either. CIOs who dawdle when weighing these concerns will likely lose control. Yet the IT group was heavily involved in just 38 percent of off-premise BI purchasing decisions, compared to 57 percent of traditional BI projects, according to a recent survey of 400 business intelligence users by Aberdeen Group.

“CIOs have to get in front of it,” says Mark Popolano, a senior advisor at Kurt Salmon Associates. Popolano was formerly global CIO at AIG and global CTO at Reed Elsevier.

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