Thursday, September 11, 2008

On-Demand versus On-Premises BI

The Data Administrator Newsletter (TDAN) published this month a good article called On-Demand versus On-Premises BI, by Diby Malakar. He wrote about the growing concept of On-Demand BI: it has gained adoption because it's appealing to smaller companies that can't afford to invest in a full-blown BI solution, and to larger companies that are looking for some simplicity in the way things get done. The face of BI has completely changed. Business managers today want BI to serve as a global positioning system, showing them where they are and the shortest paths to their destinations to stay ahead of the competition.

He defines the Architecture Models for On-Demand BI: infrastructure, data separation and versioning; and when to Use On-Demand BI: SaaS is a valuable addition for SMB companies and departments in large companies that don't want, can't afford or don't have the expertise to install a full-fledged BI or data integration infrastructure.

He also defines some key factors to Future of On-Demand BI: Hybrid application architectures, Inter-Organization Benchmarks, Adoption of Data Quality Functionality, Focus on Operational BI, Ease of Use to Drive Adoption, Changing Role of IT, Pricing Models, and Emergence of Predictive Analytics.

And he finishes the article with: "For customers, the reality is that for them it's not really a choice between on-demand and on-premises –they just want it all. Organizations ultimately desire a solution that can be installed on-premises (if needed), used on demand, or any combination in between. With SOA (service-oriented architectures) and data services-oriented architectures, the boundaries between on-demand and on-premises solutions are becoming increasingly vague and for a good reason. The BI users of the future really don’t care where the data comes from – it could be accessing a seamless combination of web services that are executed on systems inside their organization or systems that are outside their firewalls."

The concept of On-Demand BI is an emerging trend, but is important take care mainly with data integration and business requirements gathering. Many SaaS vendors are trying to solve the problem with data integration providing a “data integration as a service”. About business requirements gathering, despite being more critical using On-Demand BI, you need to understand clearly your business issues whatever if you are using On-Demand BI or On-Premises BI.

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