Analytics on the cloud – options, opportunities, and challenges

 

Businesses moving their applications to the cloud has been in trend even before the pandemic hit us. And like any other IT function, data analytics, too, is migrating to the cloud rapidly. Gartner’s Top 10 Trends in Data and Analytics mentioned that “By 2022, public cloud services will be essential for 90% of data and analytics innovation.” 

If you’re still skeptical about whether to move your analytics to cloud, here is some vital information to help you make an informed decision.

Benefits of moving Analytics to Cloud

Quick insights

Today, even businesses that struggle with data analytics can immensely benefit from migrating analytics to the cloud. The cloud can solve operational issues like slow and time-consuming physical processes to access data that are dependent on handholding from the IT department. With the cloud, data is more easily accessible. Strategies are more scalable, flexible, agile, and responsive. Teams working together can better collaborate when information flows smoothly among departments without any silos. With intuitive dashboards, decision-makers have real-time access to data that they can read and make decisions in no time without having a dedicated data analyst. With the integration of various data tools and software, the data analyst can conduct data analysis efficiently. 

Scalability

Cloud migration helps make analytics initiatives scalable. It’s easier to add compute resources or storage space as data grows and systems evolve. The pay-per-use model of the cloud means businesses can pay only for the resources they need to use and scale up or scale down as per their business requirements. This means any company can still scale up affordably without investing unnecessarily in creating infrastructure on their own but still access resources as required for their businesses. Since the cloud reduces the total cost of ownership and improves access, scalability becomes easier for businesses. 

Maintenance is easy

It’s a no-brainer that managing and maintaining on-premise infrastructure can be difficult and costly. This effort can be reduced substantially by modernizing system strategies and moving to the cloud as the cloud vendor undertakes all system-related tasks. Apart from this, the downtime of an outdated on-premise system can also cause a significant loss in revenue while keeping the IT department on its toes for constant support and maintenance. Such issues can be easily eliminated by moving to the cloud. 

Better data-driven decision making

The cloud makes it convenient for the data to be accessible right when needed where needed. Business users can get the data they need to drive carefully considered actions on their mobiles even at remote locations. Especially in the context of the hybrid workplace taking shape in the post-pandemic, this is a significant advantage. This means business leaders can make crucial business decisions in real-time by leveraging all the relevant data. Cloud-based analytics help businesses use data to solve more problems, identify and follow trends faster, and make better data-driven decisions with greater impact. 

Top challenges of moving analytics to the cloud 

Cloud management

Although the cloud helps save money (since there’s no cost for buying or maintaining on-premise storage systems), there can be instances when the expenses get out of control. This often happens as data volumes grow in an uncontrolled manner. Keeping strong data governance policies to ensure only the right data gets moved to the cloud is key. Similarly, data management is key to ensuring that only the most accurate, current, relevant, and unique data moves to the cloud. 

 

Enterprises often pay an upfront fee while moving their analytics from on-premise to Cloud. This forces them to get locked in a long-term period that might not suit them. The key is to find a suitable provider who understands the business’s needs and offers a tailor-made solution to meet the current analytics requirement for the business. 

Securing the data

Data safety in the cloud remains a persistent concern among many IT heads, no matter how much cloud service providers emphasize the security of their infrastructures. The concern is even more for analytics data as it serves as a competitive differentiator. CIOs also have concerns about the risk of exposing sensitive customer information. Controlling access to cloud application data is another security concern. And hence it’s crucial to choose a vendor who offers strong governance around controlling and accessing data. 

Need to hire new skills 

Like any other new technology, moving analytics to the cloud means hiring new resources with the skill and capability to manage a full-stack technology instead of a specialist supporting a particular technology stack, which is the case in a traditional analytics system. Without the right skills, it will become difficult to define and execute a cloud migration strategy or maintain the ongoing cloud-based analytics processes.

 

Losing control

Traditionally the role of the CIO has been to protect data assets. Moving data and analytics to the cloud challenges the status quo for some that fear losing control. Apart from the fear of losing control, IT teams also need to attempt to move analytics to Cloud without interrupting existing processes. However, it needn’t be that way always. The right technology partner can define a good strategy. This will help businesses re-tool applications and systems and re-architect them to suit the cloud environment. 

Wrapping Up

Moving analytics to Cloud may seem to be intimidating for many. But finding the right provider can be a game-changer. To leverage the benefits of cloud-based analytics, businesses need to look for a provider that helps create the right technology strategy, offers flexibility, and builds a transparent system regarding the access and control of Cloud data. If you’re at the juncture of considering moving your analytics to the cloud, Ellicium is here to ease the process for you. Get in touch today to learn more about its offerings.