Analysts and journalists appear to be far more interested in and active about analytics in the cloud than those who build and deliver analytic applications and capabilities for business use. The hype seems to outpace the adoption rate. But hype in IT circles is often the predecessor to adoption. So maybe it is time to ask what’s going on here.
The signals from the vendor community are mixed. Many business intelligence (BI) solutions providers – some new and some long-time BI players – have entered into cloud computing including Teradata, IBM, Cloud9 Analytics, Cloudscale, In2Clouds, Vertica and others (more about this later). Yet Lucidera, an analytics-as-a-service pioneer, ceased operations in June of 2009 due to financial and funding challenges.
From the user community, the signals are even more uncertain and confusing. A Google search for “cloud analytics case study” brings up only one hit in the first 10 listings that is a true case study of user adoption. The remaining nine hits point to courses, vendor sites and blogs.
Despite the uncertainty, instinct tells me that there is something here. I’ve been around IT for a long time (since 1968) and seen many fads and silver bullets come and go. I know that analytics is certainly not a fad. And I’m confident that cloud computing is here to stay. It makes sense that the two converge. So let’s take a closer look and try to answer some of the questions that surround cloud analytics: What is the technology? What are the applications? What is the upside? What is the downside? Who are the vendors? And realizing that only fools, charlatans and predictive modelers forecast the future: What happens next?
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