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Posted by Boris Evelson on October 19, 2011
“… and they lived happily ever after.” This is the typical ending of most Hollywood movies, which is why I am not a big fan. I much prefer European or independent movies that leave it up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions. It’s just so much more realistic. Keep this in mind, please, as you read this blog, because its only purpose is to present my point of view on what’s happening in the cloud BI market, not to predict where it’s going. I’ll leave that up to your comments — just like your own thoughts and feelings after a good, thoughtful European or indie movie.
First of all, let’s define the market. Unfortunately, the terms SaaS and cloud are often used synonymously and therefore, alas, incorrectly.
Therefore, I define SaaS cloud-based BI as:
Business intelligence platforms and solutions specifically designed and architected for multitenant hosting in public/private clouds. These platforms and solutions are often licensed on a subscription (SaaS) basis because the nature of their architecture and purpose often do not warrant capital investments and perpetual licenses.
Now, if you agree with that definition (if you don’t, you know where to find me), let’s automatically exclude the following categories of vendors and products from the way we just defined the SaaS cloud-based BI market:
If we stay within the parameters of the above definition and exclusions, then I do see the following reasons and benefits of SaaS cloud-based BI:
These benefits don’t come without a cost; alas, there’s nothing like free lunch in this life. Therefore, SaaS cloud BI platforms and solutions are usually:
… than their older and bigger on-premises BI cousins.
So, when would I recommend considering SaaS cloud BI? I’m glad you asked. I’d recommend it when:
If it sounds like you are in the right place and time for SaaS cloud BI, you have five categories of options:
And finally, please don’t misinterpret the tone of this article as negative toward SaaS cloud BI — just the opposite. I firmly believe that 50% to 80% of all BI applications fall or can fall under the above criteria and therefore SaaS cloud BI will be a huge market (shoot, I just broke my own promise not to make a prediction, but I couldn’t resist!).
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