Launched by Apple as recently as 2007, some 2 billion people today own smartphones. Yet the smartphone revolution is really more about computing than telephony: increasingly, people use them as small mobile computers, not as small mobile phones. And now, a similar revolution is taking place in respect to Business Intelligence for midsize companies.
Smartphones bring together three distinct technologies. First, processing power: according to a recent article in The Economist, even a basic model boasts more raw computing power than NASA had access to when it put a man on the moon. Second, it brings easy-to-use apps, custom-designed for the smartphone format, delivering information as a service. And third, ready access to the Cloud, from where those apps download and display users’ data—e-mails, documents, news and weather, stock prices and so on.
But sliced and diced in a subtly different way, those same three technologies are also revolutionising Business Intelligence for midsize companies. And in the process, they are delivering a transformation in Business Intelligence for midsize companies that is every bit as significant as the smartphone revolution.
Because simply put, today’s Cloud-based Business Intelligence for midsize companies offers capabilities that were undreamed of as recently as 2007, when Apple’s Steve Jobs first announced the smartphone.
Let’s take a look.
Business Intelligence for midsize companies: the power of the Cloud
Traditional Business Intelligence solutions are ‘on-premise’, meaning that they run on physical servers that are owned and operated by the businesses that are using the Business Intelligence solutions in question.
For midsize companies, that can be a problem. Budgets are tight, and the typical midsize company typically has very little spare server capacity. Generally speaking, its servers are sized so as to run their ERP systems, and even the ERP systems’ own reporting capabilities can be enough so as to seriously degrade processing speed and response times.
So in terms of on-premise Business Intelligence for midsize companies, a midsize company installing a separate Business Intelligence or reporting solution can expect a level of degradation in system performance that is even more acute.
The solution? As with the smartphone, Business Intelligence for midsize companies should leverage the Cloud. In short, do all that number-crunching and data transformation in the Cloud, using the Cloud’s high-powered servers and optimised architectures.
Business Intelligence for midsize companies: reports on tap
From Amazon.com to eBay, and from the BBC news to Google Finance, there’s usually an app to mirror what is available on users’ traditional desktop computers.
But those apps are different from the traditional desktop paradigm: more interactive, more customisable, and designed and built to be more accessible.
So too with Business Intelligence for midsize companies: the Cloud, once again, shoulders the burden of delivering to users the information that they need, on-demand, and in a readily digested and easy-to-access format.
And powerfully, Cloud-based Business Intelligence for midsize companies does away with the traditional ‘SQL report-writing’ paradigm, where analysts create reports, and users run them.
Because with Cloud-based Business Intelligence for midsize companies, users can create their own reports, using the Cloud to power an intuitive ‘point and click’ self-serve reporting capability.
Business Intelligence for midsize companies: a revolution in capability
As with smartphones, all of this is relatively new. Understandably, many midsize companies still view Business Intelligence through the lens of traditional, on-premise software.
Yet that is changing. As word gets out, more and more businesses are seeing the scale of the revolution that is taking place in Business Intelligence for midsize companies.
It’s a revolution that re-writes the art of the possible. Just a few short years ago, midsize companies simply couldn’t get Business Intelligence ‘on tap’, delivered on-demand from powerful Cloud-based servers.
Likewise, the reporting paradigm has been turned upside down. With self-serve reporting, users can easily define and specify their own reports, bringing an end to report-writing bottlenecks and delays.
And finally, it’s a revolution that redefines how Business Intelligence for midsize companies is acquired and paid for. No more software to buy. No more servers to acquire or upgrade. And no lengthy implementation timescales. Because Cloud-based Business Intelligence for midsize companies is delivered as a service, paid for on a subscription basis.
To find out more about Business Intelligence for midsize companies, check out our free eBook below