The Big Stumbling Block for Cloud Analytics: Legacy Integration

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    How the Cloud Is Changing the Way We Work

    IT likes the idea of cloud-based analytics. In a study by Ventana Research, 40 percent of respondents cited lowered costs as a top benefit, with improved efficiency a close second at 39 percent. Better communication and knowledge sharing also ranked highly, at 34 percent.

    There are other benefits to cloud-based analytics, most of which involve things you don’t need. As with any cloud solution, using an external analytics or BI solution means you don’t need:

    • An IT staff devoted to analytics
    • A support infrastructure
    • Comprehensive development and testing teams for the software
    • A huge, up-front cost justification, since cloud can be rolled out in small batches and scaled as needed

    Forbes offers another major reason that cloud-based analytics is a growing trend: Organizations want easier access to external data, including Big Data sets such as social media feeds.

    Well, sure. It sounds great when you put it that way, right?

    Many organizations seem to think so. It certainly seems to have paid off for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which reportedly is saving more than $3 million each year by using analytics and cloud tools for analyzing trading data.

    Gartner’s Dan Sommer predicted that half of all organizations would consider a cloud BI deployment this year, according to this Search article highlighting one company’s adoption of cloud-based BI.

    Okay, so what about the other half of organizations? Why are they sticks in the mud?

    Well, there’s always the usual reason: security and compliance. But Ventana Research found that organizations cite a unique and more complex reason to avoid cloud analytics and BI.

    Legacy integration work can be a major part of the problem, particularly when BI tools are already integrated with other applications, including forecasting and planning software, writes Ventana VP and Research Director Tony Cosentino.

    “Such issues are especially prevalent for companies that have legacy BI tools using data models that have been distributed across their divisions,” Cosentino writes. “Often these organizations have defined their business logic and metrics calculations within the context of these tools.”

    What’s more, cloud vendors made their first sales to end users in specific lines of business, he adds. That’s an approach that just isn’t cutting it anymore.

    If you’re curious about cloud-based analytics, I just happen to have received an email today about an upcoming webinar on the topic. It’s probably a bit of a dog-and-pony show for the host, cloud-based BI vendor Birst, so consider yourself warned.

    Still, “Data, Data Everywhere: Tap into Your Data Wealth with the Cloud,” will cover how a cloud-based solution can help push more data to end users, even in organizations with data silos.  Principal Solutions Engineer Matt Train and Sr. Director Product Strategy Pedro Arellano will also share a customer case study.

    The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1 p.m. EST, and pre-registration is recommended.

    Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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