Forecast: Persistent Cloud Cover, High Chances it’s Going to Rain Analytics

Finance, healthcare, manufacturing or retail – whichever the industry, enterprises today are sitting on huge volumes of data. And what is data without insights? Which is why all stats lead to analytics – especially on the cloud. Here’s the scoop on what your peers around the world are thinking about analytics and the cloud.

Across industries, companies today increasingly believe analytics is set to transform the mode of business with increased focus on augmented customer relationships and data-driven decisions. Organizations are seeking the right technology that provides insightful analytics, with CIOs lining up increased expenditure on analytics and business intelligence (BI) applications. In fact, the size of the global market for analytics-as-a-service is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 30.4%, to $49.27bn, by 2022, a recently published Orbis Research study estimates. Moreover, as large enterprises aggressively pursue digital transformation, a substantial portion of their IT budgets, as well as those of small and medium businesses (SMBs), are being allocated toward cloud analytics. For effectively leveraging predictive analytics, many enterprises are investing aggressively in public and hybrid cloud services.

But what’s so alluring about analytics on the cloud?

The shift across the enterprise landscape, from on-premise technology toward cloud analytics, can be attributed to several business benefits accruing from the latter–including faster and higher return on investment, affordable implementation, low capital expenditure on infrastructure, as well as lower maintenance and administration costs. The pervasive quality of the cloud is another feature that attracts companies, since it facilitates better access and smoother company-wide collaboration–beside enabling accelerated, informed decision making.

Moreover, by fulfilling the requisite scalability and performance requirements, the cloud platform also has the capacity to integrate new interface technologies. These technologies foster faster development of new analytics applications, as well as efficient information exchange and data migration from multiple sources.

Cloud platforms are the preferred choice for Big Data analytics that rely on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Such platforms provide a cost-effective solution for enterprises to leverage the cloud’s state-of-the-art hardware, without setting up an in-house data center.

Flies in the ointment - Understanding the challenges

While companies are recognizing and reaping the benefits of employing the cloud platform, some continue to harbor a few apprehensions about embracing the technology. The prevailing lack of trust in the cloud is largely a function of the concern among IT decision makers over the security of public cloud. Another challenge lies in adhering to stringent compliance laws regarding data privacy, which increase the complexity for large enterprises. Companies also face difficulty in integrating legacy data center systems with cloud platforms, and the lack of high skilled professionals who are qualified to operate analytics in the cloud. In order to tackle this issue, companies offering cloud analytics products provide self-service options that enable firms to have better control of their data and analytics.

Major trends in cloud-based data analytics

Rise of the public cloud: As vendors enrich the public cloud with superior features and offer competitive pricing, customers are favoring it over on-premise stacks. Subsequently, cloud analytics companies are developing solutions that operate seamlessly on all the major cloud platforms. Enterprises are also deploying hybrid clouds to ease their transition of Big Data assets to the public cloud.

Mobile analytics: Given that provisioning real-time access to data and analytics for the distributed workforce is a priority for most organizations, cloud analytics has naturally extended to the mobile platform.

Cloud business intelligence (BI) driven analytics: Companies are increasingly tapping into BI solutions that provide relevant information to the right audience at the right time. A recent study carried out by Dresner Advisory Services showed that a majority of organizations have included cloud BI in their overall analytics strategy for the foreseeable future. Subsequently, there is an increased demand for features such as dashboards, advanced visualization, ad-hoc query, data integration and self-service from BI solutions. Moreover, Business Intelligence cloud analytics service companies are harnessing platforms such as Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud service to provide enterprises with fast, reliable and intuitive insights. As cloud BI gains traction across industries, 62% of financial services companies, 54% technology and educations firms are likely to be the top three industries with the highest cloud BI adoption, the Dresdner poll revealed.

Conclusion

Trends and industry research all indicate that analytics on the cloud is here to stay for the foreseeable future. If the cloud is an inevitable facet of your work life, ask yourself these questions. Do I leverage the cloud for analytics effectively? Does my company have a solid cloud strategy?  Which of the cloud platforms should my organization employ? Finding answers to these questions is the first step toward capitalizing on the benefits of analytics on the cloud.

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