Mergers and acquisitions have become quite the norm in the age of uncertainties as it opens up new opportunities like diversification, and control over new markets and technologies. Lately, Cloud and Business Intelligence or analytics have come up as a major force behind merger and acquisition (M&A) activities. In a short time, it has seen about five M&A deals: Salesforce's Tableau acquisition, Google's Looker acquisition, Logi Analytics’ Zoomdata acquisition, Sisense's merger with Periscope Data, and ClearStory Data acquisition by Alteryx. So, why is Cloud and Business Intelligence (BI) integration making the buzz?
Data continues to get generated at an unprecedented rate as more businesses undergo digital transformation to respond better to the rapidly-changing industry demands. Cloud-and-BI-specific M&As reinforce the fact that big players are getting future-ready through Cloud analytics and multi-Cloud analytics strategy. The swift rise in the movement of the analytics workload to Cloud necessitates Cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google to discover ways of devising better data management and governance to provide real value to customers.
Cloud meets Business Intelligence
Cloud computing and Business Intelligence are made for each other. Focal point of Business Intelligence is all about facilitating the right information to the right people at the right time, and Cloud computing enables agile way of accessing BI applications with no worries of infrastructure management and maintenance. By enabling access on multiple devices and web browsers, Cloud removes traditional software barriers such as the requirement to have a thick client.
How will Cloud-BI-related M&As impact BI World?
Large organizations invest in expensive BI software and highly skilled IT talent to set up and maintain an effective BI application. Small and mid-sized companies settle for the tools that fit their budget. Cloud services, along with the advantage of scalability and reliability, permit companies to pay only for the resources used, and eradicates software upgrade overhead, which the Cloud service provider handles.
Considering the above, clearly, these M&As related to BI and Cloud integration will have high magnitude of impact on small and medium-sized businesses. Outsourcing of BI infrastructure would bring them resources that only larger enterprises had access to previously. This will also enable businesses to spend time and money on efforts that matter (data analytics), rather than on infrastructure maintenance.
Additionally, these M&As will inspire many small/mid-sized organizations to shift their BI delivery from on premise to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). As small organizations do not have large on premise legacy databases, they can more easily connect their data sources with Cloud-based BI software. This will pave the way for small and mid-sized businesses to run faster and win in the BI adoption race.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evolving as a game-changing driver of Business Intelligence and analytics; however, as per leading analysts the journey is expected to take time (about 3 to 5 years). These M&As bring in the good news that things are accelerating, and industries are getting ready faster than expected. They show that the big tech players recognize the shift to automation and are getting in early to purchase the capability that will propel their products into the future.
Almost all BI product companies are working on enabling ML/AI technologies. Gartner says, by 2020, natural-language generation and artiﬁcial intelligence will be a standard feature of 90% of modern business intelligence platforms1. These M&As and Cloud integration would pay the way for this. More importantly, these M&As would enable Cloud providers to derive direct revenue from data analytics services.
In a nutshell, the integration of Cloud and BI will be a game changer for the Business Intelligence space.
1 - Gartner, Inc., “Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms,” by Cindi Howson, Rita L. Sallam, James Laurence Richardson, Joao Tapadinhas, Carlie J. Idoine, Alys Woodward, 26 February 2018.