Business intelligence at center of corporate IT trends

Business analytics technology has quickly become one of the more impactful trends in corporate IT in the past few years, and is now beginning to interact with various other solutions, services, devices and software used to run operations smoothly. One of the more important interactions to watch and embrace is between cloud computing and business intelligence, as the two are forming a more powerful and interesting relationship as time goes on. 

At first, the cloud was generally viewed as a potential foundation all organizations could use to begin leveraging analytics, as it provides the capacity, bandwidth, centralized control and spend efficiency necessary for big data. Now, that fact remains true, but companies appear to be leveraging analytics in such a way that improves cloud computing performance and functionality as well. 

A complex task
Information Management recently argued that there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure that organizations are handling analytics and cloud computing in an intelligent fashion, both with respect to each technology and the combination of the two. According to the news provider, Forrester Research conducted a study that found a lack of analytics is actually hurting the returns companies see from their cloud investments. 

Now, it is worth noting that this is part of a much bigger trend in which intelligence tools are increasingly leveraged to enact performance improvements in various aspects of the IT department. For example, analytics solutions are increasingly used for IT security improvements, performance monitoring and other core functions within computing infrastructure, helping businesses to better handle the demands of modern technologies. 

Analytics can ease the headaches associated with cloud management.Analytics can ease the headaches associated with cloud management.

The source pointed out that the research found outages, compliance issues and poor spend management were all symptoms of having cloud computing in place without the analytics necessary to properly manage, measure and monitor the technology. 

"Companies aren't just using the cloud – they depend on it," Forrester Research's analysts affirmed, according to Information Management. "Nevertheless, cloud providers fail to keep cloud users happy. As companies expand their use of cloud services, they need to be confident that their cloud providers aren't holding anything back, and are committed to their success."

What about prep?
Now, while beginning to use analytics for these types of IT needs is certainly a step in the right direction, leaders cannot forget the importance of core requirements including data preparation. When data preparation is not built into the corporate analytics strategy, chances are firms will struggle to generate the right insights in a timely fashion when using business intelligence solutions. 

Luckily, managed service providers can be tapped for support in these endeavors. In fact, some of the more advanced options will make self service data preparation an option, meaning that the user will be able to seamlessly handle this front-end responsibility before diving into the meat of the analytics project. When internal resources are not adequate to optimally run an analytics strategy for IT objectives or general operational demands, a service provider can be an exceptional source of support and enablement.