Cloud computing is a major technology innovation. Many companies already use the cloud for business functions such as customer service, sales, marketing, finance and human resources. Analytics and BI, however, have not migrated to the cloud as quickly as other businesses applications. But by now most suppliers can address concerns and cloud-based analytics are moving into the mainstream.

Cloud analytics can provide the same general benefits as other cloud-based applications. They offer enhanced capabilities, affordability, flexibility and IT staff optimization. Using the cloud, organizations can enjoy a sophisticated IT infrastructure without having to hire and retain the staff to install and support it. There is no need for comprehensive development and testing because the provider is responsible for maintaining and upgrading the application and the infrastructure. The cloud can also provide flexible infrastructure resources to support sandbox testing environments for more advanced analytics deployments. In many instances, a cloud deployment is more affordable because costs are shared across many companies. When used departmentally, application costs need not be capitalized but can instead be part of operational expenditures. Enhanced capabilities can be put to use as quickly as vendors develop them and updates need not disrupt use. Finally, cloud-based interfaces are often more intuitive for end users since they have been designed with the user experience in mind.