Dave Wells, TDWI : "Business Intelligence has changed substantially over the past decade, shifting from an emerging practice to a mainstream business competency, and from very high-cost to affordable for small and mid-sized businesses. BI has matured, but maturity does not imply that BI is static and unchanging. Expect continued change in BI, and consider how these influences should shape your BI plans and directions.
"Trend #1: Cloud Computing
"In The Big Switch, Nicholas Carr says that it all begins with fiber optic cable. By some estimates, enough cable was laid during the dot-com boom to circle the earth 11,000 times. With this new, fast, and powerful communications capability, grid computing becomes possible. It is now practical to link together hundreds or thousands of computers. Add virtualization to the grid and the capacity and capability expands.
"Computers of different kinds—running Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac, or other OSes—are able to work as if they are one machine. Communication and coordination between machines of different types is no longer a barrier. The capability of any machine to masquerade as any other type enables what is known today as cloud computing. Furthermore, cloud makes computing as a service possible: Infrastrcture-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).
"All of this—abundant and cheap bandwidth, grid and virtualization, cloud computing, services, and appliances —positions computing power to become a utility and a commodity. The implications of cloud computing are many and far-reaching. For computing in general, and for BI in particular, the cloud brings changes in roles, responsibilities, expectations, capabilities, costs, and value."
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