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Cloud Analytics

Disrupting a $25Billion Industry

Cloud Data Analytics on Ulitzer

Cloud analytics is hot. Gartner's top two strategic technologies for the enterprise in 2010 are cloud computing and advanced analytics. In their words "Technologies you can't afford to ignore".

Venture capitalist Ann Winblad, in a recent video, points out that the coming era of realtime cloud analytics will have a revolutionary impact on the enterprise, creating a radically new "innovation palette" for businesses of all kinds.

Business analytics is, of course, a major established sector of the IT industry, but it's one that's ripe for disruption. Twenty years of SQL/OLAP analytics have created a $25 Billion market, but the impact of SQL/OLAP analytics on the enterprise has been far less impressive than many had hoped.

Only a relatively small fraction (5%-10%) of those grappling with information overload from explosively growing enterprise data sources actually use SQL/OLAP analytics. Instead, the vast majority are bypassing relational databases, SQL, and in many cases bypassing the IT department altogether. What are they using? Excel, a product that despite some shortcomings, has become the world's #1 business tool for analytics with over 40 Million power users, and up to 400 Million users in total.

With business, web, financial and government data all growing exponentially, enterprise users urgently require a completely new generation of analytics products and services that go far beyond SQL/OLAP in addressing today's challenges, and that can impact all areas of the enterprise. And they're willing to pay for powerful new solutions in this area! Analytics is now the highest priority for new IT spending within the enterprise.

In the next article I'll provide a "Cloud Analytics Checklist" to help clarify the requirements for next-generation post-SQL/OLAP enterprise analytics.

More Stories By Bill McColl

Bill McColl left Oxford University to found Cloudscale. At Oxford he was Professor of Computer Science, Head of the Parallel Computing Research Center, and Chairman of the Computer Science Faculty. Along with Les Valiant of Harvard, he developed the BSP approach to parallel programming. He has led research, product, and business teams, in a number of areas: massively parallel algorithms and architectures, parallel programming languages and tools, datacenter virtualization, realtime stream processing, big data analytics, and cloud computing. He lives in Palo Alto, CA.

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