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Lyndsay Wise

Hi and welcome to my blog! I look forward to bringing you weekly posts about what is happening in the world of BI, CDI and marketing performance management.

About the author >

Lyndsay is the President and Founder of WiseAnalytics, an independent analyst firm specializing in business intelligence, master data management and unstructured data. For†more than†seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay conducts regular research studies, consults, writes articles and speaks about improving the value of business intelligence within organizations. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources†are available in Lyndsay's BeyeNETWORK†Expert†Channel. Be sure to visit today!

With all the hype and increasing popularity of SaaS BI, organizations are used to hearing the positive aspects of using a SaaS BI solution. Some of these include:

  1. BI as a service vs. the effort required to develop and deploy an in-house solution
  2. No additional hardware required
  3. Lower initial implementation costs
  4. Subscription licensing models
  5. Professional services expertise

These areas represent common benefits for companies interested in SaaS offerings.  For smaller businesses and targeted applications, the use of SaaS may be the most practical way of integrating new BI applications within the organization due to quicker implementation times and lack of dependence on IT for long-term maintenance.

On the other hand are considerations that organizations should look at to identify whether SaaS BI represents the right choice for them:

  1. Growth over time Рmany SaaS providers charge based on users and data storage.  Initial implementations take into account current requirements but may not consider future growth, additional historical data captured, or end user expansion.  All of these areas can increase the yearly subscription fees astronomically.
  2. Full BI suites Рalthough some exist, the reality is that most SaaS BI offerings are limited in overall scope of offering.  With Salesforce plug-ins being the most common application within the realm of analytics, organizations may have limited expansion options when trying to expand their BI use over time.
  3. Integration РIntegration considerations remain a challenge for any organization.  Depending on the type of data sources required, limitations might exist.

Although an attractive choice for many, the value of SaaS doesn’t exist for every organization in the same way. ¬†Businesses should use the above areas as a guide to determine and weigh the benefits and costs of SaaS versus traditional BI offerings.

Posted May 1, 2011 2:32 AM
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