According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, there has been increasing interest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business intelligence over the past years, with twice as many organizations using this deployment approach as one year ago - 15% in 2009 compared to 7% in 2008. An article by InfoWorld’s Chris Kanaracus points out similar growth data from research firm IDC, which predicts the SaaS BI market will grow 22 percent each year through 2013 thanks to increased product sophistication, strained IT budgets, and other factors.
So why is interest in SaaS BI increasing? Where on-premise BI applications fall down is at the often massive upfront and ongoing development costs, especially for bigger organizations. Reach is also an important factor - BI tools can get to typically under-served users, such as front-office workers, a lot faster with SaaS deployment.
For example, a large retailer may have massive amounts of data related to sales, inventory levels, and many other things. In-house IT staff may not have the skills and experience needed to implement an on-premise BI solution with their existing system, while an off-the-shelf SaaS BI solution can potentially meet most of an organization’s needs without the development expense and support headaches.
A host of SaaS BI vendors are taking advantage of that interest, with solutions like Bime starting to make their mark.