Cloud Business Analytics: we get closer to pervasive adoption

Business analytics and business intelligence evolve, and this is mainly driven by Digital Transformation. Enterprises requiring more agility towards their market space: customers, competitors and suppliers act more agile, and as a result business decision takers need to be able to respond at least as quick. To do so, they require decision making support systems to follow on this and be as equally agile. Is Cloud the ideal architecture for them? It often seems, but are users yet fully adopting Cloud and especially Cloud Analytics?

The Digital Boardroom

To my stance the Digital Boardroom is one of THE best appropriate cloud based analytics solutions enterprises may want to use to monitor, steer and adjust their companies heartbeat. The Digital Boardroom, its features and all benefits are already discussed here, but this article focusses on the readiness of the market for cloud based analytics solutions. Most of my information is based on an IDC research that can be found here.

Basically anybody in a modern enterprise relies on analytics is some matter. Whether it is on operational level to better anticipating situations, on tactical level to respond more agile towards market fluctuations, or on strategic level to better plan investments; analytics is everywhere and as such a core asset. Below is a good overview of the different roles of analytics "customers" versus their aim of working with analytics. I think it is more than fair to conclude that the need for analytics is irresistible; everybody involved in some level of decision taking, uses analytics (I spend even a whole website on it :-)).

Leaves us justifying why a Cloud based analytical solution might be a consideration. Is the market ready for Cloud and why should you opt for cloud analytics?

A quick survey around market readiness brings us to predictions of a cloud analytics market worth 23.1$ Billion in 2020. This number composes of everything; Cloud BI tools, hosted data warehouse solutions, complex event processing, enterprise information management, enterprise performance management, governance risk and compliance, and analytics solutions; by deployment model: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and community cloud. (sources MarketsandMarkets and MarketWatch). Th outlook for the growth of Cloud analytics is very positive. Amongst others, there are 3 main drivers:

  • Cloud and software as a service: adoption of Cloud based software solutions and software as a service in general in getting momentum. Where the US traditionally had the highest adoption rates initially, European, Russian, African and Asian markets start massively adopting Cloud too. These regions have a slightly stronger attitude of "show me that it is working with somebody else first, before I go with it" than the US. See also this Forbes estimate.More and more customers also start really understanding the benefits on the cost structure which are primarily in the ongoing lobar costs efficiencies.

  • BigData: BigData (no matter how you define it as big volume, triple V or complex data structure) is everywhere. The simple facts that enterprises nowadays have access to almost any data at any moment, says it all. BigData implicates enterprises want to get insights on it whilst still being able to use analytics on corporate data to drive performance. This combination requires an infrastructure that is scalable without limits, adjustable to loads and access at any time and as flexible as can be. In other words; an infrastructure that is hard to maintain in an on-premise situation. Cloud offers this flexibility and scalability and more and more enterprises recognize this.

  • Agility: customers, competitors and environments that are being more critical and in the same time better informed, require decision takers to be way more agile to fluctuations than 5-7 years ago. Enterprises need to be able to respond to the market at lightning speed to stay ahead of competition (I refer to the various blogs I wrote about Digital Transformation). For this reason the same decision takers require environments that allow for that agility. There key requirements are about flexibility, performance and responsiveness. With the markets changing this rapidly, their local IT departments have difficulties following and prefer the Cloud infrastructures.

Why the SAP Digital Boardroom

SAP's Digital Boardroom is currently the only Cloud based analytics application that allows executives for a unified and unique insight on their organization in real-time and online mode while still having access onto the transactional level.

Based on - and accompanied by - BusinessObjects Cloud technology, it does a few very unique things:

  • closed loop portfolio: in one overview, the users have an interactive combination of business intelligence, planning, risk and predictive analytics. This so-called closed loop portfolio allows for continuous adjustments and insights in company performance

  • real-time and online onto the transactional level: thought the boardroom represents a highly graphical overview of the company's performance, at any moment it is possible to drill down to the individual transactions. In real-time!

  • simulation: while using the boardroom, the users can simulate any situation in real-time. When the audience for example discusses to increase the support levels for a certain product, they immediately can simulate what the effect is on things like resource capacity, margins etc.

  • unified and trusted helicopter view with an eye for detail

  • seamless integration with other cloud based applications (i.e. SuccesFactors, Concur, SalesFore, Hybris, Fieldglass, Ariba and many others) and with SAP HANA or SAP BW.

IDC has written a comprehensive analysis on cloud analytics, it's potential and t's applications. Definitely worth a read. Read the IDC report here.

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