Posted by  Charles Clark  Published on  3 Dec 2013
  • Data Strategy

For companies of all sizes, it’s a heady time: Management teams are leading the way to business growth, and launching strategic initiatives to align with their ever-more demanding business goals.

Analytics is set to reshape every area of the business, and as Google has so successfully done with Google Analytics, analytics will form a key supporting and differentiating role in the services we deliver our clients and customers.

Your analytical capabilities are now a critical fuel cell which will radically replace traditional decision-making based on instinct, with data-driven insights.  With the combination of competitive forces, constantly changing needs, the requirement to do more with less, volatility and shorter decision-making cycles in business today, cloud analytics is a key component for every company in a competitive market place.

For the developers of analytics, this is a time of great opportunity, innovation and creativity, as they prepare to meet (and surpass) higher expectations. However, for those managers in large IT departments, it is also a time of great challenge, as budgets and resource levels are similar to those some 5 years ago.

Compounding this, the relentless number of upgrades of existing applications in the race to keep them relevant to a challenging and mobile user base, it is no surprise then to see these teams struggling to find capacity and resource to undertake new projects aimed at opening up new and exciting opportunities. This heightens the risk of succumbing to the pull and ease of the past legacy systems and potential missed opportunities to invest in their future.

So if we are going to free our future from the pull of the past we need to adopt a new approach which releases resources to focus on the future.

It’s time for a new approach to how we exploit our data

In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, the traditional ways of approaching analytical projects consumes far too much time, labor, and budget. Added to this, no IT team wishes to be perceived as a roadblock to delivering critical information to decision makers.

The solution that leaders are turning to is in a fully integrated, open architecture, cloud analytics platform - enabling them to easily develop, deploy and consume data and applications.

Some see cloud analytics as the new and the only way, whilst others shun it for being too risky and confusing.

Neither is right.

What we call “cloud analytics” is just a business model for the development and deployment of advanced analytical services in an agile manner. The multi-tenanted platform enables resources to be shared, new economies to be achieved, and collaboration to become the norm. This results in your analytics becoming truly elastic.

As for those that remain cautious about cloud analytics, according to analysts from Gartner, Forrester, Ovum and more, while cloud analytics is yet to go mainstream, it is going to happen. And soon.  The benefits are potentially massive.

Should cloud analytics be taken more seriously?

In our experience, the answer is a resounding Yes!

If you look across our client base the benefits that are consistently at the top include:

  • Complete Cloud Deployment – All the technologies are centralized in one place to extract, integrate, cleanse, enrich and develop and deploy applications real time - without having to purchase any software or hardware.
  • Speed – Massively reduce the decision making cycle, and the process of deploying analytics into the marketplace.  For example, exploiting adjacent markets in real-time is now lower risk and infinitely faster.
  • Scalability and Elasticity – Most clients prefer to start small, prove value, then scale. In an on-premise environment, the whole business case needs to be developed prior to PoC and PoV!
  • OPEX vs. CAPEX – Because there is NO capital investment required with the cloud, you are drawing down the operating budget. So many clients are rightly tightening up their processes for approval of capital expenditures, and the shift to OPEX enables businesses to utilize valuable technology in a more cost-effective way.
  • Utility Pricing – Transparency in pricing and costs will reduce wasted spend ensuring that your payments match value you’re created from your service.
  • Data Enrichment – This critical piece of analytics was missing and is now far more accessible for businesses, so they can achieve true intelligence.

For businesses whose resources are limited these benefits are highly attractive allowing them to allocate resource more valuably, and make smarter use of their data.

Where we have seen the greatest results is where leading teams are complementing their overarching analytics strategy with the cloud.

They are radically increasing their analytical capacity for minimal cost; there is no footprint on premise, allowing them to focus their resources on core responsibilities and systems.  This means that IT teams can deliver analytics further and deeper, thereby being far more responsive and agile for business needs.

Cloud analytics development in an enterprise

Developers, data stewards, analysts, business professionals – can now access all their data and then bring to bear the necessary tools to develop and deploy an application in real time, and on-demand.

Administrators can easily manage deployments and ensure that the right folk have the right tools at the right time, regardless of where they are in the world. Almost certainly, the cloud infrastructure is going to be considerably more resilient and the continuous flow of improvements and upgrades is immediate.

One additional facility that so many are struggling to include is data enrichment.  The connecting of enterprise data to multiple external data sources from DnB, Equifax, to news, Twitter and which then brings to bear geospatial capabilities, adds massive value to the data and allows companies to seriously challenge with enhanced intelligence.


Moving forwards, apps are going to be the main way enterprise will deploy their analytics. They can be easily built and deployed at speed, and in a way that they cannot in a traditional on-premise environment.  However, this is happening at a time when resources are constrained as business are constantly being subjected by the pull of their past.  Leaders are now freeing their future by not so much replacing their existing systems, but complementing their portfolio and supercharging their analytical capabilities with a cloud analytics platform.

Cloud analytics platforms provide a complete suite of integrated technologies which allows companies to rapidly test and prove the value of a project, and then quickly scale and deploy in an agile environment.

As we go into a new hyper-competitive market place, being agile and responsive is going to be a necessity. And, with IT teams resource-constrained today, it is important we free them up as much as possible so investments in the future of the business are opportunities not to be missed.