Business Intelligence and the cloud. The two make sense together as we explored on our last blog. Modern business environments operate better with the flexibility and accessibility of the cloud, and it could put money back in your pocket as well. But making this decision when you already have analytics deployed via your traditional infrastructure i.e. on-premise, can be slightly more difficult. After all, it’s well embedded, people understand how it works and it’s not currently causing you any issues. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be migrating your analytics to the cloud though.
SAP Analytics Cloud is an end-to-end business intelligence (BI) platform. In essence, that means it comes with every tool in the box that you should need. It covers dashboards for visualising your data and has machine learning built in to uncover insights that you might have missed. Coming from a big name such as SAP you can have confidence that this product has been well thought out and it has gone through several iterations before becoming what it is today. That means better reliability and performance for its users.
On-premise analytics come with their own set of obstacles and potential problems. Big and often unpredictable costs can be one of them. When you’re responsible for your own hardware and the cost of installing and implementing any solution things can get expensive quickly. It also means you’re not as well equipped to keep up with the latest developments and capabilities – there is no auto-upgrade feature if you’re not on the cloud. If any of those issues ring true, perhaps it’s time you considered moving your analytics to the cloud.
Let’s take a closer look at some of those benefits.
One of the biggest draws of hosting your analytics in the cloud is a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). There are huge savings to be had by reducing the amount of on-premise hardware and software you rely on. Indeed, the bulk of the savings will be gained from licenses and hardware costs. Year on year savings can be found through a reduction in maintenance and update costs as well as, in the longer-term, hardware replacement costs which can often be eye-watering in scale.
Migrating at least a significant proportion of your analytics to the cloud makes perfect financial sense. Beyond a per-user license fee and the hosting costs, there aren’t many extra bills to factor in. Your hosting costs will cover any hardware and maintenance, which is no longer your responsibility. You also get the added peace of mind that cloud hosting is fantastically reliable. Most providers will offer 99.9% uptime as part of their Service Level Agreements.
A reduction in initial outlay and operating costs is only part of the story though. The right cloud-based analytics platform can give you a faster, more efficient and more capable solution. Meaning you can do more, quicker and easier than previously. The benefits of cloud working also mean your team can now work collaboratively across different departments, locations and even time zones. When more and more businesses are turning to mobile and remote working to meet the demands of their customers being able to access your analytics from anywhere is becoming an essential criterion.
It is also commonly the case that cloud environments are more secure than on-premise data centres as well. Added to this, cloud providers are extremely hot on data regulation and compliance meaning that you don’t have to spend any time or money doing this yourself.
How you migrate your analytics to the cloud will depend on the sort of processes and infrastructure that are unique to your business. It will be affected by your overall IT strategy as well as how far you have adopted cloud computing in other areas. If you want to take full advantage of a complete cloud-based analytics solution you’ll be integrating it into your other systems, and this, by its nature adds a degree of difficulty to the operation.
A cloud consultant can help take you through a roadmap to cloud readiness, ensuring no points are missed and that the migration runs as smoothly as possible. It is highly likely you’ll migrate your analytics in stages rather than all at once to ease the change. If your analytics solution is particularly large, or your infrastructure particularly complex, we’d highly recommend bringing a cloud expert in to help show you the way. We can help with that.
Moving whole systems from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud can seem like a daunting prospect. It needn’t be. The benefits of hosting your analytics on the cloud are becoming harder and harder to ignore. You can empower your team to make data-driven decisions, from anywhere in the world, with a lower TCO – it’s hard to argue with that. It is absolutely worth the journey. Cloud computing is becoming practically indispensable for modern businesses and analytics is a central part of that.
If you’re looking to migrate your analytics platforms to the cloud or want some help figuring out how to do that, get in touch today. We’d love to talk to you.