4 Savvy Ways To Save Big Bucks With SaaS BI

  • Richard Thelwell
  • May 9, 2014

Why pay over the odds for an expensive On-Premise Business Intelligence Solution? Explore the benefits of SaaS BI and see how your business can save both time and money.

SaaS BI (Software-as-a-Service Business Intelligence) is becoming an increasingly popular delivery method for Business Intelligence Solutions and it is easy to see why, given the benefits it can offer.

A survey conducted by industry analysts at Gartner found that one-third of organisations either already used, or planned to deploy Software-as-a-Service tools as part of their Business Intelligence operations and this number continues to grow. According to James Richardson, “Business users are often frustrated by the deployment cycles, costs, complicated upgrade processes and IT infrastructures demanded by on-premises BI solutions” and as a result are beginning to regard SaaS BI as a more flexible and cost-effective alternative.

However, Richardson goes on to argue that, “despite growing interest, the market is confused about what cloud/SaaS BI and analytics are and what they can deliver”. In this article we aim to dispel this confusion by exploring some of the key advantages that SaaS BI has to offer, with a particular emphasis on how it can save your business bucks.

1 Reduced infrastructure requirements

With SaaS BI, Business Intelligence applications are hosted at an external location, allowing users to access these tools via a secure internet connection anywhere in the world. This drastically reduces the requirements for the physical infrastructure that traditional On-Site operations necessitate – and can save your company a huge amount of money as a result.

Through SaaS BI, Business Intelligence Solutions are now increasingly accessible, even to small and mid-sized businesses that would traditionally have lacked the infrastructure and resources needed for a BI deployment.

2 Faster implementation

On-Site Business intelligence Solutions typically take between 12-24 months to implement – and these delays are one of the underlying causes of the high failure rates associated with traditional BI projects.

In an interview with Computer World, Jim Mulholland argued that SaaS BI could be a game changer for Business Intelligence as it offers the ability to “rapidly deliver a standardized suite of analytics tools that give users most of what they need without the time, expense and hassle of developing a BI infrastructure internally”.

With SaaS BI you could be up and running in a matter of weeks rather than months – with some Solutions being implemented in as little as 4-6 weeks. This allows you to exploit the benefits of your BI Tools from a much earlier date, thereby accessing the information you really need.

3 Lower deployment/ maintenance costs

With an On-Premise BI Solution, you can estimate the ancillary costs (installation, hardware, consultancy, support, staff and so on) at between 300-700% of the license cost that you budget for, depending on the size and scope of your project. So if you’re looking at a £20,000 spend on software, you should plan to spend £60,000 on everything else. With £100,000 on software it could be £300,000 – £700,000 by the time you have fully implemented the system.

Furthermore, the high maintenance costs required to keep these On-Premise Solutions up and running may put strain on financial resources, and businesses may find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford to inject money into these projects. The cost of failure would be extremely high and companies are at risk of high fall-outs because of this significant financial outlay.

With SaaS Business Intelligence, on the other hand, the payment model is an all-inclusive monthly subscription that includes support and ongoing changes. As Tom Kemp states, since SaaS BI succeeds in “reducing IT costs by outsourcing maintenance and support to the provider”, this significantly reduces the time and cost incurred on the part of the customer.

4 Scalability

With traditional Business Intelligence Solutions, adding extra users to the system can often be a complex and expensive procedure. Adding those users will often involve installing software onto a range of different devices – and may even require significant upgrades to existing technology in order to run the latest versions.

The subscription or “pay-as-you-go” structure offered by the majority of SaaS BI vendors means that you can add and remove users with greater ease. Rather than purchasing additional software and hardware, users are simply provided with login credentials that allow them to access the BI tools easily via a web browser.

As Margaret Rouse argues, SaaS BI can allow companies to “expand their BI systems as usage grows without having to make any capital-equipment purchases”.

How Matillion can help

At Matillion, we deliver Business Intelligence projects with cost-effective, fixed-price implementation and a single, all-inclusive monthly subscription that includes support and ongoing changes.

The implementation process has been designed to be low-pain and fast, so we can deliver an effective, enterprise quality, Business Intelligence and Self-Serve Reporting project in a matter of a few weeks.

To find out more about SaaS BI download our free Ebook below