Cloud BI: Five Areas That Can Be Leveraged
In a few weeks I will be presenting 'BI in the Cloud' for Executive Summit at the TDWI Conference in Las Vegas. Based on my research during the creation of my presentation, I may be one of only a handful of BI practitioners that are excited about the prospects of leveraging the Cloud for Business Intelligence programs (Cloud BI). I am not sure whether this is because there are still formidable challenges with leveraging Cloud BI or because I spoke to the wrong people.
Many analysts have reported that the Cloud has yet to catch up to the hype. However, I think that what many have been perceived as hype has actually been confused with excitement over Cloud BI. It is exciting to think about having the ability to scale computing resources on-demand, provisioning servers for short-term use and only paying for what you utilize. This is especially true if you've ever struggled with ordering new hardware, had to live with poor query performance because of a lack of computing capacity or had to put development, test and production environments on one server.
While I concede that the Cloud has a long way to go with regard to security, the ability to scale up, persistent storage and enough network bandwidth to support large scale data movement, I feel that there are still areas that Cloud BI can be utilized today. The top 5 areas that I believe Cloud BI can be leveraged include:
- Flexibility to scale-out computing resources with few barriers for distributed applications
- Ability to shorten BI implementation windows via on-demand server resources
- Reduced cost for BI programs of hardware acquisition and support
- Ability to add environments for testing, proof-of-concepts and upgrades
- Failover support
As part of my research I deployed a Cognos environment in Amazon's EC2. While there was a bit of a learning curve, once up and running, it worked and performed extremely well. I'd be interested to hear about your feedback and/or experience with Cloud BI. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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