Cloud BI has never been as important as it is today. It’s evident in the current COVID-19 business environment, where organizations of every type—from state and local governments to supermarket chains such as Harmons—are leaning heavily on cloud BI to respond intelligently to any situation, on the fly, with the teams they’ve got. And it’s supported by Dresner Advisory Services’ latest Cloud Computing and BI Market Study, where an all-time high of 54% of respondents rated cloud BI “very important if not critical.”
Given the fact that percentage has increased four consecutive years, it’s a good bet cloud BI will only become more mainstream. But why, exactly, are more and more business leaders placing a higher value on cloud BI?
For answers to that question and others related to cloud BI trends, we turned to Jim Ericson, who led Dresner’s research for the annual report and has been studying data management practices for more than 20 years. The interview that follows comes on the heels of the release of the report, which included an evaluation of 15 cloud BI vendors, with Domo ranking No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year.
Q: Thanks for joining me today, Jim. I think a natural place to start is with that 54% statistic. Why do you think we’re at an all-time high as far as how important cloud BI is to business leaders?
A: I think there are more proof points now than, say, nine years ago, when Dresner conducted its first cloud computing study. More organizations are using the cloud, and you can’t ignore the competitive pressure to look to simpler, cheaper, and more agile ways of doing your job or running your business. There are a lot of product offerings out there now, and those that have been around a little while have matured.
Q: You’ve been involved in this study for seven years now. Was there anything about this year’s findings that jumped out at you or surprised you?
A: The thing that always surprises me with this particular study is that cloud adoption isn’t moving faster, quite frankly. It’s definitely been a steady ramp, but the benefits have been fairly clear from the beginning. So, it’s easy to think that organizations would move more quickly on this. But you can’t underestimate the power of culture and politics. It’s a leadership decision. And if you’re in IT, you’re going to consider cloud implementation very disruptive. And it can be. But as with anything, it’s an evolution, and I think organizations and the vendors themselves are pretty much on the same page now.
Q: As most everyone knows, the use of cloud does not necessarily guarantee success with BI. In your opinion, what’s it going to take for that to change?
A: Whether it’s cloud BI or on-premises BI, people want the same things—the same kind capabilities, the same kind of ease and continuity. But what we find is that successful BI organizations—at least from a numbers standpoint—are much more likely to embrace cloud BI. A possible reason for that is that they got to a level of success and they wanted to get to the next level. If I adopt a cloud solution, it allows me to scale more quickly. So, the change will be driven by how many organizations really start to understand what’s possible.
Q: Domo’s mission is to give organizations BI leverage, so they can respond in record time to whatever comes at them—including a crisis like the one we’re all forced to deal with right now. How does this jive with how you see the market changing and shifting?
A: I think we were already starting to see a shift in consumer behavior and how data was driving a greater level of digital transformation. For example, people aren’t going into stores anymore. They’re buying cars online. The car gets delivered to their house, and they inspect it in their driveway. Everything’s going digital, which means there’s a lot more data you have to take advantage of in order to succeed. Cloud technology allows you to better harness all that data. This pandemic is just accelerating things. The world is simply more dynamic through individual use of data. If you don’t take advantage of that, you’re at a disadvantage.
Domo provides BI leverage without limits. To learn how Domo customers are leveraging BI at cloud scale in record time, click here. To learn how you can get on the fast track to delivering the leverage your business needs, join us June 10, when we host a webinar with Dresner’s founder, president, and chief research officer, Howard Dresner, on that very topic. Register for the webinar now.