In a challenging year, more organizations are looking to on-demand business intelligence to help chart a course through choppy waters. According to Gartner’s “Business Intelligence Ranked Top Technology Priority by CIOs for Fourth Year in a Row” report, CIOs continue to rank BI a top business priority.  The new twist is that more of them are turning to on-demand solutions for business intelligence that is cost-effective, easy to use and quick to deploy. Speed is of particular importance – if you want your business to benefit from better decision-making this year, you need solution that is deployed in enough time to make a real difference. On-demand (or software as a service) solutions are particularly attractive to midmarket companies or enterprise departments that have limited budgets and limited IT resources. On-demand solutions are delivered as a monthly service, so they offer a low-risk opportunity to get BI without high costs, onerous commitments or high resource requirements.  As a result of growing customer demand, a proliferation of offerings has become available. Three general approaches to on-demand BI have emerged. How can you determine which one is best for your business?

Companies are increasingly demanding an easy‐to‐build, easy‐to‐use analytics solution that can quickly deliver real business value to multiple constituencies within the organization. On-demand BI has emerged as a strong solution to these problems. An on-demand BI solution resolves the traditional BI challenges by reducing the technical complexity of implementation and by automating simplifying the deployment and analysis process, while also offering significant business benefits to the customer. These benefits include: Rapid time-to-value. Results are delivered in weeks rather than months or years, putting valuable analytics in the hands of business users who can have the greatest impact on revenue and profits. More affordable implementations. Results are delivered at less cost, because both the software and services components are dramatically reduced. Greater flexibility. Dashboards and reports can be made accessible to business users who initiate and complete their own analysis and report creation, so the system can keep pace with ever‐evolving business needs. On-demand savings can be compelling. For example, one marketing consulting company was spending more than $10,000 per month just to print and distribute reports generated by their outdated and inflexible in-house reporting system. A modern, on-demand BI solution with electronic report distribution not only gave them greater analytical power and flexibility, but it could be purchased for less than their monthly printing costs alone. The ROI in this situation is not only high, it is instantaneous. This new value proposition is drawing customers to on-demand solutions. Ultimately, on-demand BI can offer more flexibility at lower cost, making BI more accessible to more users in companies both large and small. 

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