Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence
One of the major constraints of business intelligence deployment
is performance management of the existing enterprise infrastructure.
For many companies, enterprise infrastructure has been designed
and built around transactional systems and communication requirements.
However, today these two driving technologies have been superceded
in focus by the need for business intelligence.
Business intelligence is not only about supply chain logistics
and sales and marketing analytics. It helps redefine the way the
business operates, its processes, the decision making processes
and the organizational performance management.
However, the infrastructure needed to suppport execution of high
volumes of small file sizes typical of communications and transactional
systems does not meet the needs of the large performance demands
for analytical business intelligence systems.
Whilst this is easy to recognize, it is not quite so easy for enterprises
to upgrade thier enterprise systems is a way that does not disrupt
current capabilities. That is, until cloud computing entered the
scene. Whilst all the issues around cloud computing have yet to
be resolved, most are getting very close. A major step forward in
that resolution process occured when virtualization leader VMWARE
launched their recent virtual OS - VSphere.
vSphere 4, virtualization has almost been demoted from being the
latest word on everyones lips, to being a small part of something
much bigger – and something much more exciting. vSphere provides
the missing link in cloud computing infrastructure and provides
new hopes for IT managers for a realistic option to support BI Applications.
One of the biggest challenges in upgrading enterprise systems is
the budget, and during economic downtimes, enterprise systems fail
to make the cut list - but BI still remains in the top 3. So how
does an IT manager resolve this dilemma?
Today, 75% of IT budgets are spent on keeping the lights on. This
is severely restricting allocation for business building technologies
such as business intelligence. However, cloud computing can and
will change that. The strategies and concepts around cloud computing
and BI are challenging IT managers to rethink and restructure the
role of IT in business. Cloud computing provides the opportunity
to move computing requirements off the Capex budget and onto the
But the change doesn't stop at the source of processing power
or budgeting. IT will typically become more engaged with the business
outcomes of IT, rather than the technology itself. The role of IT
managers is also changing. Changing from selecting boxes and pipes
that run the business transactions and communications to selecting
and negotiating IT service contracts, managing SLA’s and seeking
out new technologies to boost business performance.
Cloud networks keep the lights on – and let IT managers sleep
at night. Not only are cloud infrastructures intelligent in recognizing
that a network is failing to meet a client SLA, they are self healing,
adding additional resource or capacity on demand. No IT intervention
required. This is exciting news for many businesses who are struggling
with their BI programs through underperforming infrastructures,
and prior to vSphere the nightmare of ungrading to meet the processing
demands on BI.
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