Both well-known and and start-up software vendors have been announcing a number of hosted business intelligence (BI) solutions. According to this report on Database Journal, cloud-based solutions were initially targeted at the smaller company or organization. The first SaaS (Software as a Service) applications were aimed at retailers who did not want or could not afford to purchase an in house (on premises) application; an example would be Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM).
"The cloud currently hosts four main types of services, SaaS, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Data as a Service (DaaS). As stated above SaaS applications have been around since the inception of the Cloud however PaaS, DaaS and IaaS are only recent additions to the Cloud area brought into focus by the recent offerings in the IaaS area, which a number of my associates in the administration areas of larger companies' IT Departments are using as development and test areas. PaaS is the most recent addition, which allows developers to deploy their own custom developed applications to the cloud. This broad spectrum of services allows the customer a lot of choice, especially in the area of data warehousing, which can be deployed in various forms throughout the any of the above "as a Service" types dependant on your requirements."