Companies utilizing cloud for business intelligence operations, research finds

Organizations are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency, make processes easier and lower their expenses. As a result, almost one-third of companies have already deployed cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solutions or plan to in the future to enhance their business intelligence operations, according to a new report by Gartner Research.

The study evaluated more than 1,300 IT managers in the last quarter of 2011 and found that roughly 17 percent have replaced their business intelligence functions with cloud-based services. Meanwhile, an additional 27 percent said they have already or plan to enhance these functions with SaaS solutions instead of replacing them, the report said.

"Business users are often frustrated by the deployment cycles, costs, complicated upgrade processes and IT infrastructures demanded by on-premises BI solutions," said James Richardson of Gartner. "SaaS- and cloud-based BI is perceived as offering a quicker, potentially lower-cost and easier-to-deploy alternative, though this has yet to be proven."

According to a report by Strategy Analytics, the cloud-based services market will generate more than $82 billion in revenue by 2016. This expansion from only $31 billion in 2011 suggests that more organizations are implementing the technology in different ways.

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