BI Basics – Business Intelligence and Cloud Computing

The term “Cloud Computing” has been “Buzz Word” for quite some time and it is continuing to gain popularity for the benefits it offers.

In this post we will define what is Cloud Computing, Understand different Cloud Computing Models, and what is the connection between Clouding Computing and Business Intelligence.

What is Cloud Computing?

Wikipedia defines it as “Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet)

In simple terms, “Cloud Computing is the delivery/offering of a part or all of a set of Hardware, Memory (RAM), Storage, Network, Software, and Applications etc. for Use as a Service On-Demand over Internet”.

Cloud Computing Models

Cloud Computing is delivered in 3 different models as:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Cloud Computing Models

In the above representation, the components mentioned in each of the circles represent the components managed by the vendor as part of each of the cloud computing models. As we move from the inner most circle to the outer most circle:

  • The amount of things we manage reduces
  • The amount of things managed by vendor increases
  • The amount of control we have over the system decreases
  • The amount of technical expertise required to manage the system reduces

Cloud computing offers various advantages. Following are some of the major advantages:

  • Makes it very convenient to provision hardware, software, and infrastructure in a short time as the Procurement, Maintenance, and Management of infrastructure is taken care by vendor.
  • Offers sufficient flexibility/room for changes in the system during the implementation phase as provisioning is a quick and simple process.
  • Ability to scale up/down rapidly on-demand. It’s highly elastic!

Why Cloud Computing is Suitable for BI?

Many BI Projects fail due to various reasons including Lack of Vision, Overly Complex Design, Inappropriate Choice of Tools/Technologies, Poorly Defined Metrics/KPIs, Inadequate Business User/Decision Maker Involvement, Lack of Room/Flexibility for change during implementation phase, Insufficient Funding/Budget Allocation, Increased Time to Market, and many others.

Of these reasons, Lack of Flexibility for change, Insufficient Funding/Budget Allocation, and Time to Market are few major reasons for failure. Organizations often fail to realize the importance of BI System and hence allocate inadequate funds. Procuring Hardware, Software, & Setting up Infrastructure takes up a lot of time due to processes (approvals etc.) involved at the organization level, thereby increasing the Time to Market, and often does not offer enough flexibility for change, and hence lead to Project failure.

There is a need for a system/offering which allows sufficient flexibility during the phase of implementation of a BI Project, allow sufficient agility, affordable hardware/software, and faster procurement of Hardware/Software and Setting up of Infrastructure. These features are offered by Cloud Computing offerings like Windows Azure. In fact, those are some of the attractive features offered by Cloud Offering, making Cloud most appropriate for hosting BI Applications in various scenarios.

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About Dattatrey Sindol (Datta)

Datta is a Microsoft BI Enthusiast, passionate developer, and a blogger. View Full Profile

Posted on July 8, 2013, in Basic Concepts, Cloud Computing, SQL Server, Windows Azure and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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