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Cloud BI market ‘heating up’

The cloud BI market is reportedly heating up, with many vendors recently improving and expanding their cloud capabilities.

In its latest report, Ovum says major vendors including Microsoft, SAP, Tableau and Roambi have expanded their cloud BI capabilities, along with a growing number of startups, such as GoodData, BIME and Birst, whose primary delivery model is cloud.

“It is clear that the cloud is becoming a more cost-effective delivery model for BI vendors to offer their software,” said Fredrik Tunvall, Analyst, Software - Information Management, IT.

“Many BI vendors are increasingly betting on the ‘land and expand’ model as the way to push their products. A single user or department will adopt the product, champion it, and spread it via word of mouth within the organisation.  

“The benefit for enterprises is the ability to start with as little as one user and grow to thousands, allowing organisations to start smaller projects quickly and scale later as organisational needs change, which can be particular useful for SMBs or departments that can’t afford IT involvement, both in terms of time and money.

“Business IT users across the organisation can go online, sign up, and start analysing their data within minutes rather than weeks.”

According to Tunvall, however, the cloud model still has several question marks.

Tunvall says the cloud does make sense as a SaaS for BI reporting and dashboarding applications that rely on a limited set of data and are fitted for specific roles or use cases - to monitor sales performance or track success of online marketing campaigns.

But, he cautions that organisations that think the cloud provides quick and easy setup for any type of BI application “might have to rethink.”

“The reality is that most BI applications used today need customisation and rely on data from multiple operational sources, which is never easy or quick to set up, be it in the cloud or on-premise.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).