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White Paper

Business Intelligence on the Cloud: Overview and Use Cases


Business Intelligence (BI) on the Cloud is a delivery model that is slowly catching up and an area that is being actively watched by many. Although it is not expected that customers will rapidly replace their onpremise BI solutions in favor of Cloud BI options, it is observed that there are a few, legitimate use cases where the Cloud BI model would be beneficial and worth consideration.

Cloud deployment strategies are often categorized either as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platformas-a-Service (PaaS), or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In the current scenario, the adoption of cloud BI has been observed in the following categories:

  • Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs)
  • Large Enterprises
  • Systems Integrators (Sis)

Cloud BI Options

The following options list the basic models by which BI can be deployed on the cloud:

  • Public cloud-based IaaS for a BI system
  • BI/DW Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Analytics on the Cloud
  • Public cloud or externally hosted SaaS BI for operational reporting on cloud-based operational data
  • Private cloud-based BI system running internally

This paper touches upon the primary drivers for Cloud BI as well as the main challenges and concerns around it. It further delves on a Return on Investment (RoI) calculator designed to aid a customer to calculate the long term savings of moving to a cloud model as against an on-premise solution. Finally, the paper touches upon the Cloud BI product landscape and the leading vendors in this space in the current date, along with a few use cases where the Cloud BI model could be considered.