Three Reasons to Move Your Analytics to the Cloud During the COVID-19 Crisis

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As enterprise concerns and uncertainties around transitioning to the cloud continue to disappear, organizations have pivoted and are identifying and prioritizing business and IT initiatives that can benefit most from a cloud deployment. Business intelligence and analytics is at the top of that list.

Why? Because the current climate around COVID-19 has created challenges for every single industry and function by impacting customer traction, delivery models, production priorities, and budgets. Businesses are in unprecedented flux, and the only real way to assess and examine the impact of this situation is with data-driven insights.

Analytics helps assess the impact of a business’ environment and how mature or equipped they are to handle it. It delivers accuracy with measurable outcomes, which help gauge current state versus future state—with all of the variables in play.

Analytics is the only way that large enterprises can take stock of the situation and systematically plan for the short term or long term. Even after the crisis, as organizations recover, analytics will redefine best practices with new practices that cut costs, increase productivity, or drive sales.

Dresner Advisory Services’ most recent Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence Market Study shows that user confidence in the cloud has increased sharply over the last few years—with the majority of organizations (51%) now using cloud BI instead of traditional on-premises offerings. This percentage has doubled from just 25% in 2016. With more than 400 MicroStrategy customers having moved their analytics to the cloud in 2019, this trend has become evident to us.

The study also reveals that in 2019, very large businesses showed the most dramatic increase in cloud adoption. This gives more and more enterprise organizations the access and agility that was once a competitive edge for smaller businesses that started with their analytics in the cloud.

For organizations still contemplating a move, the three most common factors that have swayed others are:
1. Cost Savings: The cloud eliminates capital expenses for infrastructure, including servers and storage. Without physical storage, companies don’t have to worry about hardware becoming outdated, needing upgrades, or requiring repairs over time. The cloud also saves organizations time and money by eliminating the need to download, install, and configure environments. Brands also benefit from different instance types and sizes based on budget and usage requirements, and being able to stop environments during non-peak hours.
2. Performance: Companies can seamlessly scale a cloud environment up or down based on usage, and achieve rigorous security standards at a fraction of the cost of on-prem security. Cloud also provides the easiest way to tap into a broad set of APIs to embed intelligence into custom apps and integrate with the latest voice, AI, ML, and data technologies.
3. Agility: The cloud transforms any organization into a modern technology company with the ability to automate (do once and reuse), orchestrate (with no touch workflows), deliver business continuity, and ensure seamless disaster recovery. The time to value and time to insights are also dramatically accelerated.

Our customers who have taken the step towards the cloud have realized dramatic savings and improvements in speed and security. A global retailer reduced their AWS costs by 33%. A large insurance provider increased their performance by 400%. A national grocery chain decreased their deployment time from four months to a single day.

Back to Dresner Advisory Services’ market study: the percentage of organizations with no plans to use cloud BI has dropped to 18% today (from 38% in 2016). Is your organization part of that 18%? Perhaps it’s time to look to the cloud.

Vijay Anand is VP Product Marketing, Enterprise Analytics at MicroStrategy.