You’ve probably heard the phrase “you can’t know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been.” While this usually refers to acknowledging a person’s past, the same idiom can be applied to businesses: you can’t grow your company without looking at the past. Analysis of past data is a crucial step for businesses looking to grow, but it can be an extremely daunting task, especially for smaller businesses. That’s where business intelligence (BI) comes in handy. At its core, business intelligence is software, applications and tools used to analyze a company’s data and turn it into information that can be used to make decisions in the future. The main reason companies should consider integrating BI solutions into their practices is that it provides them with insights into the future. By gathering and analyzing data, companies can make better decisions, get an idea of trends, improve their sales and figure out what areas they need to improve. There are several different types/functions of business intelligence that each reveals something different about the business world.
The one major problem with business intelligence is that the programs needed to conduct the research are often extremely large and complex, and are therefore difficult and costly to maintain. For companies wishing to engage in BI functions and processes, the cloud will be a huge asset. A study by Gartner revealed that almost one-third of the businesses they surveyed already use or plan to use SaaS programs or other cloud computing features to augment their BI functions. Some (17%) are replacing at least some of their BI systems with cloud solutions. Hosting BI tools and software on a cloud platform offers businesses several benefits, ones that are typically associated with cloud computing and with virtualizing business tools:
- Cost: While Gartner states that there may be no significant long-term savings associated with moving your BI applications to the cloud, companies almost always save when it comes to the cloud. Since cloud computing is typically based on a pay-as-you-go model, you don’t pay for data you don’t use. Moving your BI tools to the cloud can also save you money in terms of IT support costs; since your data and applications are virtualized, you don’t have to have someone working on-site to maintain it.
- Time: Deployment of necessary software is faster when conducted through the cloud.
- Support: Purveyors of cloud technology generally provide tech support with their services. That way, if you encounter a problems with the software you need to conduct an analysis, someone is there to help you.
At IronOrbit, we specialize in building and maintaining custom cloud solutions for our clients. By virtualizing your desktop and hosting your applications with IronOrbit, you can perform all the BI procedures necessary to keep your business on the right track, but for a fraction of the price of what it would cost to do it on your own; our services start as low as $1/month and we guarantee we won’t hit you with any unexpected charges. Additionally, we offer 24×7 tech support as part of our list of services. If you have a problem with your virtualized software, our techs are available to help any time of day or night.