Analytics and the cloud - the future is here.

Author:Dansion, Forrest

Financial executives focus on improving the company's bottom line. To do that, they need information. They need insight and, perhaps most importantly, they need the foresight to look around the corner and consistently predict what might happen over multiple time horizons. One tool that many forward-looking companies are using to gain better insight and foresight into the business is analytics.

However, the methods by which analytics is deployed throughout the enterprise are in flux. There is no one-size-fits-all method to bring analytics to the organization. To deploy effectively, it is critical to examine options and make decisions based on the information needs of the multiple constituencies throughout the enterprise.

One option that many leading companies are choosing to deploy analytics - or at least a subset of analytics capability - is the cloud. Cloud computing isn't new. Remote access to applications, platforms and infrastructure has been a staple of corporate information technology operations for at least three decades. However, today the difference is in the scale and effectiveness with which cloud computing can be implemented.

Operating in the cloud means that companies have some or all of their applications, platforms and infrastructure o offsite and managed by someone else. The cloud can give companies both cost and logistical advantages. And due to three disruptive forces that are coalescing for many companies these days, they will likely need these advantages.

Big Data, enhanced mobility and business-oriented social media can change the way business is done on a global scale. They will likely rewrite the rules of how businesses operate and how they interact with customers.

More and more companies are beginning to realize the importance of the cloud to their future information technology strategies. A recent Deloitte survey, Mid-market Perspectives: 2012 Report on America's Economic Engine, reports that 40 percent of mid-market companies think that leveraging the cloud will be an integral part of their ongoing IT strategy in 2012 and be-yond. This is up 38 percent from 2011.

To deal with the explosion of data, to respond to increased demands for mobility options and to leverage the power of social media, companies are recognizing the potential of the cloud.


Big Data, mobility and the emergence of social media as a powerful tool to gauge and influence customer sentiment are powerful forces...

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