Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Consumerization of Cloud Analytics

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One of the most pervasive trends in the technology world is the ‘consumerization of IT’. THINKstrategies believes this same pattern is beginning to emerge in the business intelligence (BI), big data and data integration world.

Consumerization of IT refers to the growing tendency among ‘empowered’ business end-users to ignore the enterprise applications imposed on them by corporate executives or their IT departments in favor of more user-friendly apps they found on their own. Some people refer to this ad hoc or clandestine acquisition and utilization of unauthorized hardware and software as ‘shadow IT’.

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This trend was prompted by the inability of many legacy, on-premise applications and systems to meet the needs of corporate executives and end-users alike. A new generation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other Cloud-based alternatives have been specifically designed to appeal to the disgruntled business worker looking for simpler apps that can be acquired and implemented more quickly and economically.

Rather than complex and costly like their predecessors, today’s SaaS/Cloud apps are simple and cheap. More important, they can be acquired on a try-and-buy basis or via a pay-as-you-go subscription model.

So, like the plethora of mobile apps which consumers can download on-demand to their smartphones or tablets, today’s proliferation of SaaS/Cloud apps also appeal to this same appetite for low-risk, rapid-time-to-value functionality.

But, in the analytics world there is another macro-market force at work. In this case, the leading SaaS/Cloud business intelligence (BI), big data and data integration vendors are appealing to people’s rising awareness of the power of numbers.

For instance, many men are increasingly infatuated with online fantasy sports leagues supported by ready access to vast pools of statistics from various sources. Without sounding sexist, women can track their favorite pastimes in the same way. And, men and women alike made the term ‘Moneyball’ part of their everyday vocabulary because to the Brad Pitt movie.

Everyone tracks their website hits, blogpost views and Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn stats. And, it’s easy to monitor calories burned, protein or carbohydrates consumed and personal performance milestones achieved using an online calculator.

The point is that more and more people are monitoring, measuring and analyzing various aspects of their personal lives and loves because of the ready access they have to web-based tools aimed at them as consumers. Smart Cloud vendors are capitalizing on this trend to target corporate end-users and executives seeking similar solutions to satisfy their business needs.

Jeff Kaplan is Managing Director of THINKstrategies (, an independent consulting firm focused on the business implications of the on-demand services movement. He is also the founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace ( He is also the host of the Cloud Analytics Summit ( on April 25 at the Computer History Museum in Mtn. View, CA. He can be reached at

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