A decade ago the phrase cloud-based analytics would have conjured images of meteorologists basing their weather forecasts on the analysis of data describing cloud formations and atmospheric movements. Today cloud-based analytics refers to the use of cloud computing to provide more business users with access to the data and analytical functionality needed to forecast business outcomes, calculate risks, predict market shifts, develop profitable promotions, and make more informed business decisions.
According to research conducted by the Aberdeen Group, user adoption and engagement is key for enterprises looking to exploit the power of business analytics, which is why a cloud environment can be a useful backdrop for analytics and provides the ability to deliver analytic capabilities in a familiar interface, with reduced or minimal IT intervention. Compared with companies taking solely an on-premise approach, the research revealed that companies taking a cloud-based approach are able to get analytical capability into the hands of more users, support more self-sufficiency with analytics, and ultimately create a more engaged workforce when it comes to making data-driven decisions.
Managed service providers (MSPs) are in a unique position to exploit the growing popularity of, and demand for the usability of, business analytics since they are already delivering cloud-based IT services for infrastructure, platforms, and software.
This is somewhat similar to the data and technology today’s meteorologists rely on for creating accurate weather forecasts. The satellites circling the earth, buoys bobbing in the ocean, and Wi-Fi-enabled sensors strapped to trees in the rain forest are not managed by meteorologists. Instead a myriad of service providers manage it for them, and this technology generates a continuous stream of climate data measuring temperatures, rainfall, wind speeds, carbon dioxide levels, and pressure pulses of solar wind.
MSPs adding analytics to their cloud-based services would be analogous to meteorological providers embedding analytics into the technology they already manage. By offering analytics as embedded functionality within their existing cloud-based services, MSPs can empower their customers and build a competitive advantage.