How Enterprises are Getting More Intelligence out of the Cloud

Jim Poole
How Enterprises are Getting More Intelligence out of the Cloud

In a previous blog article, we discussed how cloud storage has arrived. In this article, we’ll talk about how this shift is increasing the importance and value of cloud-based analytics. However, the broadening acceptance of the “idea” of cloud-based analytics doesn’t mean nagging concerns about cloud security and performance aren’t still holding enterprises back from fully realizing its business benefits. The maturity of cloud analytics and better interconnection to them is the key to addressing these concerns and getting the most out of these powerful and increasingly common tools.

In the Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) report, “Analytics in the Cloud” a panel of over 250 business stakeholders and information technology professionals were surveyed and provided their insights on cloud-based analytics and business intelligence (BI). The majority of respondents said cloud-based analytics were either “essential” or “important” to their organizations.

The survey covered a range of industries, including public services, manufacturing, utilities, finance, retail, industrial and health care. The report includes the following key findings from the survey:

  • 40% of the respondents with multiple cloud-based projects said they had more than five projects associated with their cloud-based analytics strategies
  • Retail, utilities and public services had the most “cloud coverage” in their analytics and business intelligence (BI) strategies ̶ no surprise since they are heavily consumer-driven industries
  • Sales analytics (19%) is the top project most businesses are putting into the cloud

Companies are also using more scalable and responsive cloud-based CRM tools, such as Salesforce, to find new operational efficiencies and opportunities in their sales cycles.

Mature Solutions

John Myers, the author of the EMA study, concludes that this growing trend can be attributed to the increasing maturity of cloud analytics solutions. The products these companies are using are not merely on par with on-premises solutions, they actually have significant advantages in total cost of ownership, technical distribution, time to implementation, advanced functionality and ease of adoption.

Myers points out that Salesforce’s cloud analytics platform is a very easy way to take the next step in leveraging Salesforce’s BI expertise in CRM and sales data. “Many of these platform vendors have put a lot of time, trouble and effort into the features and functions to make it as easy as possible,” Myers said.

A Few Buts

There are still concerns, with 54% of the enterprises saying security was the single most critical component to cloud-based analytics implementations. Privacy and compliance go hand-in-hand with security. “A lot of organizations are looking at the issues in the news lately, such as hacks into organizations in North America and the very sensitive data sovereignty policies people have in the EU,” Myers said. Aside from security, other big concerns included reliability, performance and cost.

These challenges are exactly why we are seeing global enterprises gravitate to those solutions that enable direct and secure interconnection between data, analytics and cloud. By locating data stores, strategically close to the source of data creation and providing secure, direct, high-speed interconnections to analytics engines and network and cloud analytics providers, you can quickly and safely process data analytics and gain more accurate business intelligence much faster. And by carefully considering and orchestrating the geographic location of your data stores, your business can successfully comply with local and regional compliance and data sovereignty requirements.

Learn how you can retain control of your data storage while maintaining high performance and secure connectivity to cloud-based analytics.

Download the Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) report: Analytics in the Cloud