Cloud BI – Benefits and Potential Issues (cloud vs on premise)


Are you wondering whether to maintain your data warehouse in a privately controlled data center as an on-premise solution or deploy it in the cloud? There are advantages and disadvantages with both options. However, there are some cloud BI benefits that make it an affordable option for enterprises. This surely puts it above on-premise option, which is more secure than cloud.

Cloud-Based BI Benefits

If you are unsure whether to put your data in the cloud, here are a few benefits of doing so that you may want to consider.+

  1. Quick Implementation

One of the key benefits of cloud-based BI is its fast implementation. Previously, it would take months for enterprises to implement their BI infrastructure within their premises, but with the advent of cloud solutions, it has become a quick process. Now you can implement the solution within days or hours.

Additionally, there are many self-service analytics tools that offer automated solutions that are ready to use for business users. On top of it, many SaaS providers offer free trials so users can decide whether the concept brings any tangible benefits for their enterprise, without having to fear the risk of failed investment.

  1. Scalability

Scaling up is easy and effortless with a cloud BI solution. However, the story is different when scaling up an on-premise system, which is a time-consuming process and involves purchasing new hardware. The best thing about cloud is that data held can be instantly scaled up or down hassle free.

However, several cloud storage service providers offer limited bandwidth. This means if the amount of data surpasses the limit, users will need to pay additional charges, though some providers allow unlimited bandwidth. So when scalability is a priority, this is an important factor to consider.

  1. Speed

Another cloud-based BI benefit is that the cloud can quickly serve multiple geographical locations. If your business serves a range of locations across the world, you can ensure fast turnaround with a cloud-based solution.

But in some situations, on-premise solution is the better of the two when you want to manage latency and speed locally. As data has to travel a long distance from the cloud to the client, it may involve a good amount of time, which may not be unacceptable to clients.

However, if your business measures speed in seconds, then you may opt for either solution, as both provide excellent performance.

  1. Cost

When you are looking for a cost-effective business intelligence solution, you do not want to get entangled in investing in a high-cost on-premises tool. SaaS or cloud-based BI solutions are easy to use and highly cost effective, as they do not involve huge investments.

Additionally, they involve a lower learning curve and are highly accessible anywhere anytime if you have a working Internet connection.

Not only this, another cloud BI benefit is that it is available as an all-inclusive service, as service providers are responsible for the infrastructure, maintenance, and upgradation of their tools. This means users do not need to spend out of pocket on anything except the monthly or annual subscription.

Since most cloud-based BI tools are user friendly and do not require technical background, the cost of use per capita is lower. Additionally, another subscription-based cloud BI benefit is that you do not need to make huge investments and can enter short-term contracts. This means you need not buy the full license to use the product. As a result, the total cost of ownership is significantly lower in the cloud.

Contrarily, on-premises software involves the one-time upfront investment, besides secondary costs involved, such as server maintenance, investment in human capital, need for technical background, and server replacement.

However, there is a lot of concern about the security of the data in the cloud. This is one of the biggest challenges in the adoption of a cloud-based BI solution. But there are many arguments in favor of cloud solutions as far as security issue is concerned. Many companies have started to see cloud as a secure platform for their BI solutions, thanks to data encryption that provides security for the stored data.

The Bottom Line

All in all, each company is different. This means the solution that you choose should depend on your specific requirements. Unfortunately, one biggest disadvantage of a cloud BI solution is that it cannot work without Internet connection, which means in the event of a server problem, the solution is not accessible.

But if the advantages and disadvantages are considered together, the benefits of cloud BI solutions outweigh its challenges.

If you are still unsure about the cloud-based BI benefits, let the ITQlick experts help. Our top software professionals can make the best recommendations to help you find the right fix for your specific business needs.