An end-user research study conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) uncovered data that shows more than half of enterprises consider cloud-based analytics important to their businesses.

The firm's report, "Analytics in the Cloud", found that 32 percent of respondents indicated they had adopted cloud-based strategies for analytics — and that those strategies were considered important to their business. An additional 24 percent of respondents said they had adopted cloud-based analytics strategies that were essential to their businesses.

"This places a majority (56 percent) of the EMA panel into an extensive cloud-based strategy category or classification," wrote John Myers, managing research director for business intelligence and data warehousing at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), in the report.

That doesn't mean that enterprises are content with only having a single project on the go. The report indicated that 40 percent of respondents had more than five projects on the go that were associated their cloud-based analytics strategies.

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Basically, when it comes to cloud-based analytics, budgets are expanding and line of business is bringing the checkbook, Myers noted. More than 56 percent of respondents said their budgets fell between $1 million and $25 million annually for 2014. More than a quarter of those respondents also indicated that the dollar figure represented an increase of 10 to 15 percent over 2013 budgets.

A few other highlights from the study:

  • Organizations prefer annual or multi-year agreements with their cloud services providers.
  • More than half of organizations are receiving funding for the projects from sources outside of the IT department. Line of business contributors were likely to contribute between 21 and 23 percent of the cloud-based analytics and business intelligence budget.
  • Decreasing the time to delivery of analytical and business intelligence is the primary business driver for adopting cloud-based analytics.

Still, there are challenges. Of the respondents, 54.5 percent said security was the single most critical component to cloud-based analytics implementations, followed by reliability, performance and costs.