Survey: 83% of enterprises want cloud analytics, opening a niche for startups

The global public cloud market is on track to reach US$186.4b this year (Image BlackJack3D / iStockPhoto)
Companies want to run their analytics in cloud, but are slow to do so. (BlackJack3D / iStockPhoto)

Companies see big things coming from cloud analytics, but are slow to grasp them, a survey found.

Cloud analytics is any data analytics or business intelligence program undertaken with a cloud service provider. And a majority of the largest companies in the world (83%) agree that the cloud is the best place to run analytics, according to a new survey on behalf of Teradata.

By 2023, most organizations want to run all of their analytics in the cloud. Still, 91% say that analytics should be moving to the public cloud at a faster rate.

Where's the disconnect? According to the survey, some of the biggest barriers to moving analytics to the cloud are security (50%), immature and low-performing available technology (49%), regulatory compliance (35%) and lack of trust (32%).

Other concerns center on technology integration and talent: 30% are struggling to connect legacy systems with cloud applications, while 29% cited lack of in-house skill as a barrier.

Startups jump into the fray

Still, many companies, particularly startups, are jumping onto the cloud analytics train.

Healthmine CEO Bryce Williams sees a bright future in providing data analysis to the healthcare industry. The company uses a cloud platform to gather and analyze health data about employees to determine who has a health condition and who might be prone to one. Healthmine works with large companies and health insurers.

“Our goal is to access as much information as we can and work up ways to manage the condition,” Williams said.

Similarly, startup Upper Hand is giving sports business management companies a lift. Its cloud-based mobile platform offers numerous functions from handling online payments to scheduling. It also offers detailed financial intelligence and reporting, sends surveys and collects data, and more, making it easier to run a sports organization.

Upper Hand CEO Kevin MacCauley combined his business experience and love of sports to create the company.

“We are rewriting how people do business in sports,” he told FierceCEO. He noted that coaches who use the platform are saving an average of 200 minutes per week on administrative, marketing and financial tasks. 

Financial rewards for Upper Hand itself are also in the offing: MacCauley said in the last year, its user base has grown by more than 125%, revenue is up 165% and payments made through the platform have increased 14-fold.

Cloud software has also found its way to the floral industry. Komet Sales offers a platform for flower growers, importers and wholesalers that allows them to open additional sales channels, such as online sales, and to improve efficiency across their businesses.

“It’s a perishable product so time is always against you and that makes logistics tricky,” said CEO Alejandro Pérez.

About 80% of Komet Sales' customers are in the U.S., with the rest located around the world. Pérez is working to double the startup's subscriber base to 9,600 over the next year. 

For enterprises, a problem of scale

Such startups are finding a niche because larger enterprises aren't able to quickly develop analytics platforms that can scale with their needs.

"The results are clear: the market is marching toward cloud analytics, but so many of today's cloud-only analytic engines lack the power or speed to handle enterprise-scale analytic workloads," said Martyn Etherington, chief marketing officer at Teradata, in a statement.

The survey found that large organizations are maturing when it comes to their use of analytics, with one out of three using complex deep learning and machine learning to power artificial intelligence (AI).

These companies are also experienced in using the cloud, with one-third currently adopting public cloud across the whole organization.

“Unfortunately, the combinationmoving to and using analytics in the cloudis happening at a slower rate than other business applications and workloads,” Etherington said.

Research by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), Informatica and Deloitte also states: "As business needs become more complex and data storage options become more flexible, organizations increasingly want to turn to the cloud. And when it comes to cloud strategies and how they fit within analytics deployments, these organizations are also maturing in their approach."

The study noted in its executive summary:

  • 82% of respondents state that analytics are very important to their business strategy.
  • Cloud is a key part of the analytics strategy of 70% of respondents, and 22% state that it is important as part of their analytics adoption.
  • The top business drivers to cloud are enhancing business processes (24%), providing better overall customer experience (22%), and enabling better collaboration (19%).
  • Developing organizations rate collaboration as the highest business driver at 23%, whereas within robust environments, it moves to third place with 17%.
  • Security and compliance (40%) and integration and migration (35%) are the top obstacles to implementing cloud.
  • As organizations mature within their cloud-based implementations, security and compliance concerns lessen from 44% of respondents to 38%, highlighting the fact that fear of these issues lessens as organizations increase their cloud strategy.

The need for cloud strategies to address information complexities and provide broader delivery options are some of the key drivers for organizations when considering expanding to the cloud. Overall, organizations require a way to access diverse and complex data sets and transform the stored data into valuable insight for business, the survey said.