Using the cloud for banking business intelligence can give you a cost-effective solution, delivered quickly, with minimal impact on users, provided you pick the right solution of course.
Whether you've already taken the steps to ensure that your financial institution is ready to implement BI to great success or you're just beginning to consider its benefits, you might be weighing up the pros and cons of a cloud-based BI solution over an on-premises option.
Cloud BI, and particularly software as a service (SaaS) BI applications, in our opinion, have clear advantages over on-premises business intelligence – here are our top 10:
1. More secure in the cloud
Security is probably the most widely debated topic associated with the cloud. Is the cloud more secure than on-premises? We believe it is, particularly when most financial institutions do not have a security budget to match the likes of Amazon and Microsoft.
2. Time to value
You’ll get a faster return on your investment or time to value, i.e. when you can actually use the applications for business purposes, with cloud business intelligence – as well as being simpler, the cost of deployment and cost of ownership is much lower, thanks to the lack of hardware expenditure.
Business intelligence has often been considered beyond the means of midsize financial institutions, but, thanks to its low cost of entry, cloud BI can level the playing field between the biggest banks and credit unions and microfinance institutions, for example.
3. Future-proof hardware option
Cloud BI gives you access to high-powered, high-performance servers, without the associated price tag. Very few financial institutions could afford the same standards in-house, and when you increase usage server performance can become an issue.
4. Scalability for a growing number of users
Need more users? No problem. Onboarding and training new users is much simpler in the cloud and can be done remotely, which in turn increases the chance of user adoption and project success.
5. Advanced mobility - users are always on
SaaS BI enables your business users to be “always-on”, meaning that they can log in to the system on any device using any browser.
6. Freedom to focus on core activities
Using a SaaS solution removes the hassle of maintaining your own software and frees up your team to focus on other initiatives.
7. Automated software updates and maintenance
The service provider owns, hosts and maintains the software and it is in their best interests to ensure it is always performing to its best, continually refreshed and kept fully updated.
You’ll always be using the best and latest software, and you’ll never have to install or re-implement even a single line of code to get it.
8. Flexible software roadmap
SaaS application providers release new features regularly throughout the year meaning that you don’t have to wait a year or more for annual release cycles.
SaaS vendors consult their users and rely upon a collaborative approach to building and enhancing the software roadmap. They have greater flexibility to release more desirable enhancements sooner, based upon this user feedback.
9. Transfer of project risk to the SaaS provider
With much shorter contract terms, SaaS providers have to ensure that every customer is successful, quickly, or they risk losing that customer when their renewal is due.
10. True "self-serve analytics"
With SaaS BI, users can now point and click to achieve self-service analytics, saving them time and reducing the teetering in-tray of burdened IT analysts.
For a great example of the benefits of cloud BI, you may be interested to read our case study examining how Tandia fared when they executed a cloud-based financial reporting solution