Many business owners who have their thumb on the pulse of new technologies have likely heard of cloud and hosted BI business intelligence software. Companies use either business intelligence tool to further their business’s performance.
Which one is preferable, and what exactly makes them different?
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to choose the best BI tool for your business intelligence needs.
Cloud BI involves business applications that are hosted on a virtual network, like the internet. Cloud BI is usually used to let businesses access BI data like dashboards and business analytics. Customer Relationship Management applications are one popular type of application one would find in a Cloud BI setup.
Cloud BI is certainly becoming popular with businesses around the globe. It is a good BI platform for the businesses, but it actually has quite a few downsides, which we’ll cover in more depth later on in this guide.
Hosted (not to be confused with on-premise) BI is business intelligence software or applications that are delivered on a managed server, either hosted on a Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider such as Amazon Web Services or Azure. Hosted BI is installed on a Cloud server, but specific and dedicated for a single use (not shared by many customers).
Once hosted, typically the BI tool is accessible via a web-browser, just like a Cloud BI solution. Hosted and managed BI software is preferred by many businesses because of its security, privacy, and dedicated approach versus a shared Cloud BI environment.
There are some notable distinctions between hosted and on-premise BI. With hosted BI, the company doesn’t have to invest in or maintain all of their servers and networks in order to run the software, as the hosted service provider (i.e. vendor) is in charge of those responsibilities. This makes a perfect business intelligence solution for this matter.
With on-premise BI application, the company controls the entire tech stack and overall infrastructure. In this case, hosted BI is much easier to deal with and little less costly in the long-run, but generally more secure, private, and more access to the server than a Cloud BI setup.
Cloud BI and hosted BI have some similarities. Typically, both forms of BI have lower costs of operations. The company does not have to maintain the cost of installing, deploying, and administering servers and backups. The business can focus on their core business without having to worry about running IT infrastructure.
However, it’s a myth that all Cloud BI software or all cloud offerings are cheaper than running such software in-house. Still, if you are not equipped to manage servers and applications, you can most likely save money by leveraging a cloud or hosted option.
Both solutions offer faster implementation time. A lot of the prep time goes into getting servers deployed and installed, internal change management processes, and procurement processes with other solutions. These issues can be eliminated in either case with cloud and hosted BI.
Hosted BI offers more customization options. In many cases with Cloud BI, one is leveraging a shared infrastructure. Depending on how the cloud software is built, one might have some limitations in what can be customized. With a hosted BI, the business has their own managed instance that they can have more control over, including server access customizations if necessary.
Hosted BI also allows for more control over upgrades and versions. One can also take advantage of the option of ending hosted BI service with more ease. With Cloud BI, once the implementation is complete, everything in your business is in the cloud– and if you stop paying, you lose access to that information.
With hosted, you have some more options such as switching vendors, on-premise switching, etc. And with a BI tool like DashboardFox that offers perpetual licensing, you will still own usage of the software and can decide to host it anywhere, including on-premise if needed.
So what exactly is DashboardFox?
DashboardFox is an on-premise BI solution for businesses who don’t want to deal with the risks of cloud BI. We also offer managed hosting for businesses that don’t want the burden of maintaining their own server.
One benefit of the DashboardFox model, even when we host the software for a business, you still own the software licenses to DashboardFox. So in the future if you do decide to take over the server management part, or bring the software on-premise, all the software and data is yours.
With DashboardFox, you have the best of both worlds. By default, our platform is on-premise delivered, so you can install the platform on your own servers or just let our team manage it for you in our Azure cloud. Each DashboardFox customer also has their own dedicated database, so there’s never an issue of cross-mingled information.
The platform itself is also highly customizable. Customers will have their own special URL, also with their business logo, colors, and any other customizations needed.
We also understand the value of excellent customer support. DashboardFox offers faster support than many of our competitors– if we’re managing the server, then we have access to all the server logs in real-time. If you run into any issues, we can take the lead on figuring it out without waiting on your business’s team to send us the appropriate server logs.
Want to learn more about how DashboardFox can help you with all of your business intelligence needs? Take a look at our features and price points for more information! From there, we can also offer you a live demo to test them yourself and see if we are the right tool for you.