Cloud Analytics helps IT, but how?
How does cloud analytics help in the overall scope of Information Technology? That’s a great question. As the cloud continues to gain traction in the business and technology world as a new option for data storage, questions like these and others arise. However, before we delve into the question of how cloud analytics helps IT, let’s take a few minutes to define cloud analytics.
Cloud analytics is a service model in which elements of the data analytics process are provided through a public or private cloud. Typically, cloud analytics applications and services are offered under a subscription-based or pay-per-use model.
There are six key elements of analytics:
1. Data Sources
2. Data Models
3. Processing applications
4. Computing Power
5. Analytic Models
6. Sharing or storage of results
If one or more of these elements is implemented in the cloud, that qualifies as Cloud Analytics.
So, how do these help IT? Well, if we look at cloud computing in general, we can start to see how the analytics aspect can have a positive impact on IT.
In the article ‘How Cloud Computing Works,’ we gain some insight into this. One of the major benefits of cloud computing in general is that it is a web-based service that hosts all the programs a user would need for his or her job. This includes all the elements of analytics. Rather than investing in separate programs for each function, the cloud offers one place for all to be hosted. Not only is this a more streamlined model, but with the option of subscription based services, a business can opt for the pay-per-use model insuring that they are not paying for more than what is needed. So instead of investing in software for the function of processing analytics and then investing in additional software for the storing or sharing of results, the cloud offers each of these analytic functions in one location.
These more flexible and streamlined models offered by the cloud have had a significant impact on the call center and the IT professionals who manage call center data. Prior to the cloud, all call center applications had separate software that was required to run the specific application. This could be a huge headache for IT professionals managing, upgrading and expanding when needed. The cloud simplifies all of these functions by offering a single platform for every aspect of call center services. When a specific application needs to be upgraded, that process is easily managed on the cloud platform, while before, an upgrade required the implementation of new software which lead to down time to convert, training to get agents up to speed and the process of trouble-shooting. The simplicity and flexibility of the cloud has eased the demands on IT departments.
Dustin Smith, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Tableau Software, predicts that “……Cloud analytics solutions that allow for digging into both usage and billing data will give IT leaders the power to quickly spot potentially costly services and prevent budget overruns. And they’ll be able to do it from mobile devices, in the middle of meetings.
As more services are moved to the cloud, including analytics, the less burden is placed on IT. Essentially, IT becomes more of an operational factor than a major capital expenditure.