Business Intelligence: IBM Case Analysis



Effective data management is essential for organizational success. Companies generate and gather numerous types of data every day, and the information is vital in running the businesses. Previously, businesses relied on the traditional relational database management systems, which are on-site systems in a company, for the storage and management of data. Cloud computing has led to the transformation of data management processes; the technology allows corporations to store up information virtually over the Internet. Cloud computing offers several advantages to companies with Big Data including scalability, security, and ability to run information on different servers simultaneously among others. This paper will analyze Bitley IBM case study that explains the migration of Bitly to IBM’s cloud environment.

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Data Problems

Bitly is a successful company that offers link management services to organizations around the world. The quick growth of the business over the last few years has seen the increase in the number of people using the platform every day, hence the need to improve the service delivery process to consumers (IBM, 2016). Bitly faces a technical data management problem that is evident in some ways.

First of all, Bitly has a single point of presence (POP) due to the co-location of the data centre. Co-location refers to a type of data centre that rents out physical server storage spaces for technological companies, and offers connections to telecommunication providers. On the other hand, a POP is a specific node where different telecommunications devices, namely routers, servers, and networks, interconnect in a co-location. By having a single POP, it is impossible for Bitly users to use different communication techniques like SMS, computer, and social media at the same time. Therefore, it is imperative for Bitly to find a cost-effective option that will facilitate multiple POP at all times. 

Data storage flexibility and scalability is another data management problem at Bitly. Technological infrastructure is a big investment decision for Bitly, the management purchases hardware and servers that are critical for data management (IBM, 2016). Due to the of the firm over the last few years, the management has been forced to purchase more technology to handle the increasing workload. Note that these purchases have a lifespan of 3 to 4 years, and replacement after the short period is costly for Bitly.

Besides, Bitly lacks the flexibility to manage data. Before buying new equipment, the management has to ensure that the technology is compatible with the existing hardware and software at the firm. Consequently, Bitly undertakes time-consuming trade-ins before the management can implement technical changes. The valuable time could be spent in pursuing more profitable ventures, which could lead to performance improvement. Bitly needs to have a data storage system that will allow the company flexibility to buy the best quality and cost-effective hardware without any regard to compatibility problems.

Need for Business Intelligence Solutions

To solve the above data management problems, the company needs to use business intelligence solutions for some reasons. Foremost, BI solutions are time-saving. There are three key characteristics of a sound business intelligence system including data extraction, transformation, and analysis of information. In this case, the BI will allow Bitly to quickly extract and process all the relevant data regarding the current challenges facing the company, and provide the management with this information. Consequently, the firm will determine the best alternative to correct these problems.

The development of business intelligence solution will lead to cost saving for Bitly. Business intelligence systems infrastructure enables businesses to analyze data without the need to acquire expensive infrastructure. With the presence of the online analytical processing (OLAP), which allows data collection from multiple sources, the information gathering costs significantly decline. Moreover, the adoption of business intelligence solutions eliminates the need for Bitly to hire extra staff to assists with the data collection and manipulation process in the search for the answer to the problems.

Besides, the business intelligence solutions are instrumental in developing a comprehensive solution to the data management problems at Bitly. The intelligence systems gather massive magnitude of historical data to show the trend in the movement of various variables within an organization. In the case of Bitly, the management can collect information on the data management problems from the inception of the company to date, and how this affects customer satisfaction. With the availability of this refined information, it will be easier for the management to craft a sound and realistic solutions to the challenges.

Case Assessment

I agree with the analysis of this case, IBM was the best company to meet Bitly’s needs at the time. From the case, it is evident that there was an urgent need for Bitly to reorganize and migrate towards cloud computing. Like other companies, Bitly began to experience significant data management problems after the fast growth rate that led to a general increase in demand for the organization’s products and more customers. Using the co-location services to manage the data centre became expensive and inefficient to foster company’s continuing growth. Although there were numerous offers from different corporations to help Bitly to make the necessary changes, IBM was the best option for the company. This is because IBM is a global company with a reliable cloud environment, and their partnership program was an added advantage for Bitly. Moreover, IBM’s cloud innovation met Bitly’s specifications of scalability, low risk, multiple POP’s, and global presence. As a result, Bitly moved all its IT operations from co-located to a cloud-based model, which met the organization’s expectations, within the set time limits through IBM’s unconditional support.

Prove of the Solution

Besides, Bitly’s decision to use IBM’s cloud services was the best solution for the organization. Bitly began to experience the benefits of the cloud infrastructure immediately including scalability, flexibility, and cost savings. For the first time, Bitly began to adjust the amount of data in the server depending on the organizational needs. The management spent less time worrying about various administrative tasks as IBM provides the essential infrastructure to enable the company to meet consumer needs. Moreover, Bitly had access to 46 POP’s from 1 POP before the shift. Bitly greatly benefitted from IBM’s global status; the firm began reaching billions of people every minute, approximately 70% Bitly’s traffic is international. The success of the IBM and Bitly’s partnerships is evident from the statistics which show the presence of 25 billion data links and storage of 1 billion users data in Bitly’s cloud account at IBM.

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SWOT Analysis

Additionally, it is vital to undertake a comprehensive SWOT Analysis of the cloud-stored information. There are several strengths of the data; one is sharing of the computer resources among all the employees at Bitly. Two, is the cost saving feature, storing data in the cloud eliminates the server maintenance and update expenses, and these costs are passed on to the service provider.  Three, it is possible to access cloud information from any part of the world. The last strength is a reduction on the reliance on outside consultants to update servers or resolve compatibility problems.

Furthermore, the cloud data has several opportunities. These include the growth of the cloud environment; fast technological growth is set to improve data analysis process for the information. The data is more flexible, and will allow companies to use the data to undertake more processes in the future. Moreover, the anticipated changes in the regulatory framework in the area of cloud computing will help to regulate the services and improve the security of information shortly.

However, there are several weaknesses and threats facing the information in the case. The weaknesses are changes in the global economy, which affect the regulations of cloud computing data. Companies cannot affect the attitude, or information of the users to get the desired outcome, and cloud computing is more suited to small companies without complicated data. The threats are security problems; it is difficult for companies to ensure that the cloud service provider adopts the best security measures. Besides, there are legal questions whether a court of law can get access to cloud information and use it in cases.

Security Solutions at IBM

Another important issue to consider is the security features that IBM uses to guarantee the safety of user information. IBM has a strong reputation for excellent security services in the market, and the security team is continuously improving these features every day. The company uses various strategies to enhance the security of the cloud information including user authentication feature, firewalls, physical protection of servers, and security groups (IBM, 2017). For IBM to continue improving the security features, it is vital for the company to carry out further research and development in the area of cloud computing to identify threats and solutions to inhibit the security challenges.

Missing Information

The case study provides comprehensive information about the migration of Bitlly from a traditional data center to a cloud data management model provided by IBM. There is an elaborate description of the challenges facing the organization before the move, migration process, and benefits of the move. Moreover, the case also incorporates statistics to back-up the information. All the information necessary for the case is adequately provided.

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The discussion above shows the importance of cloud computing in today’s business environment. Many businesses are encountering the same problems like Bitly, which greatly inhibit their success in the highly competitive environment. The use of traditionally based models for data management poses the significant challenges of inflexibility, security problems, lack of scalability, and high costs. Through the adoption cloud-based models, organizations find a lasting solution to these issues, and at the same time develop a competitive edge over their competitors.  However, it is crucial for companies to be aware of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of cloud computing information before implementing this strategy. For firms that decide to migrate from traditional to a cloud-based model, they should identify a reliable service provider in the market. IBM is one of the best and largest cloud environment service operating in the market; it offers extensive cloud-computing services to the people. What is unique with IBM is the use of the partnership approach, which allows the firm to collaborate with the customers to create innovative and timely data management solutions.

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  1. IBM. (2016). Bitly. Retrieved December Monday, 2017, from
  2. IBM. (2017). SaaS Security in the Cloud | IBM. Retrieved December Monday, 2017, from
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