I read an interesting article today Fastest-Growing Category of Cloud Computing: Business Intelligence and Analytics. Here is some of what was said
"To be sure, we’re still only in the early stages cloud-based BI and analytics. A new survey report from Saugatuck Technology concludes that, as of year-end 2011, only about 13% of enterprises worldwide – including all industries and all sizes of enterprises – indicated that they had cloud-based BI/advanced analytics solutions in place and in use.
But this is about to change. Saugatuck’s survey also shows that cloud-based BI and analytics will be among the fastest-growing cloud-based business management solution types through the next two years. Cloud-based BI and analytics will see an 84% compound annual growth rate over this period. This is based on a survey sample of 200 user enterprise IT and business leaders, along with input from about 30 vendors.
BI and analytics — whether on-premises or in the cloud — has long been the hottest area of software. Even when the economy and IT spending are down, companies still keep spending on BI, because it helps provide data-driven clarity and some predictability in market trends, and therefore quickly pays for itself.
“Inevitably, cloud is opening up business intelligence and analytics to more users — non-analysts — within organizations”. There already is a drive to make BI more ubiquitous, and the cloud will accelerate this move toward simplified access.
Not only do cloud-based BI solutions have advantages over on-premises BI for the usual reasons (rapid deployment, low upfront cost; quick and cheap scalability for processing, storage, operations and accessibility), but there are advantages specific to BI applications
For example, cloud-based BI enables the instant propagation of updates and changes, “of particular importance due to changes in data sources, and need to include new types of analysis,” but it also more cost-effectively supports a wider variety of initiatives, including one-time analyses, experimentation, trial deployments, broadening of the usage base, and agile development/deployment.” Cloud also offers a way to better share data with business partners and the supply chain".
Cloud computing is the ideal way for small and medium sized businesses to get the technology that previouly was only available to large multi-national companies. To learn more about how cloud computing can help small and medium sized businesses read our blog post
Cloud computing has been described as the ‘ultimate form of outsourcing’. Traditional outsourcing resulted in an organisation moving out its internal IT staff, but maintaining their IT software and hardware resources on-premise. Cloud computing is taking this to a whole new level by transferring out IT on mass, including the IT resources.
The benefits of cloud have much to do with the economies of scale that cloud computing vendors can achieve. Instead of having individual IT resources for each organisation, one cloud computing solution delivers services to multiple organisations by sharing the IT resources. Due to this multi-tenancy concept, IT resources can be exploited much more efficiently compared to on-premise IT. Most on-premise IT resources rarely exceed a utilisation rate of 20 percent (meaning that 80 percent of its capacity is being wasted) and greater efficiency could be achieved.
For each layer (infrastructure, platform and software), cloud computing provides already installed and instantly useable services. Therefore, the implementation of cloud computing services is generally less complicated and less time consuming compared to on-premise alternatives.
By using various types of virtualisation and load-balancing, cloud computing can be easily scaled up and down. Combined with the ‘pay-as-you-go’ or subscription models that are common to cloud computing, customers only pay for what they use and the required IT capacity is always available. In contrast to on-premise, where capacity can lie idle.
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For many corporate treasury departments reliance on spreadsheets is still a common practice today. The problem is, these manual methods are highly inefficient, error prone, and costly. Manually inputting or processing data (which typically involves pulling in data from many different sources) is a drain on valuable time of employees who are required to re-key the same information into multiple spreadsheets or systems. Data entry errors on spreadsheets also put companies at risk as they can lead to inaccurate cash positioning and forecasting.
Technology helps treasurers to construct policies and procedures that support the company in a globally competitive market, and assists them to take advantage of greater automation and best industry practices to ensure that resources are engaged in a value-added manner. Regardless of company size this is important. With a single centralised platform, corporations can achieve better connectivity to banks and other trading partners, establish consistent controls and audit capabilities and obtain a global view of information, regardless of how widely dispersed their operations.
That’s where cloud computing is assisting SME’s to align their practices with industry standards, without the crippling capital expenditure costs. Software as a service reduces costs and improves scalability for all businesses. TGold treasury management system offers a secure, reliable and cost effective alternative to traditional spreadsheets for financial controllers and company treasurers.
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In the past, only large multi-national companies needed or could afford enterprise software. This is no longer the case, as many small and mid-size businesses can now benefit from this technology. The emergence of the cloud is yet another step toward making this powerful technology available to those who otherwise may not be able to afford it.
A recent survey from Microsoft indicated that businesses with 50 or fewer employees are rapidly adopting cloud technology – everything from business-class email to payroll, accounting systems to treasury management systems like TGold. Small and mid-size companies face unique challenges, and choosing a solution in the cloud can help address many of these.
1. Faster Deployment
Young companies today are pressed to become profitable as soon as possible. A cloud-hosted ERP solution can be deployed quickly, allowing businesses to start reaping the benefits of the solution sooner. By streamlining and connecting internal processes, such as finance, sales, marketing, invoicing and others, organizations can work more efficiently and gain a competitive edge from the beginning.
2. Limited Budgets
We all feel the squeeze on budgets, and “doing more with less” is usually a common theme. It’s difficult for many small and mid-sized businesses to afford the up-front costs of an out of the box software solution. Wouldn’t you rather invest this money in business-critical activities that can increase profits?
3. Security and Data Management
For a small company, the cost of maintaining hardware and backing up data can be daunting. With the cloud-hosted option, you can focus on getting the most out of your new system and growing your business, instead of worrying about these tasks. Cloud hosting providers make sure your data is secure.
4. Disaster Recovery
Business continuity is essential for all organizations, but it’s extremely important for young companies who can’t afford any downtime. When choosing new technology for your business, it’s important to consider a solution that is accessible via the cloud, because you will be able to recover data more quickly than from a physical database.
5. Growth and Scale
As small businesses become larger or fluctuate in size, cloud-based applications can easily scale to accommodate growth – users can quickly be added or removed as needed.
Traditional on-premise solutions are still a good option for many businesses, the shift to the cloud has many advantages especially for SME’s. Many smaller companies are adding cloud-based solutions to their application portfolio. Even for organizations without the resources or the capital, cloud-based applications can provide fundamental business services to young companies at a fraction of the cost.