The cloud is one of the quickest and most rapidly growing deployment options for businesses around the globe. With the recent surge toward intelligent enterprises, we’re seeing a lot of businesses move to the cloud for better management of IT computing resources. Businesses focusing on analytics are looking to leverage the cloud to improve the efficiency of their analytics processes and develop new advanced capabilities, and to make sure that their organizations gets the type of business intelligence they require.
With heightened interest toward efficiency in analytics management, the hybrid cloud can very well act as the factor that differentiates organizations in the times to come. Not only is the cloud extremely important for your AI development and transformation, but it is also necessary for looking at and highlighting the business problems that you want to solve. As an Exasol partner, Ronald van Loon got to speak with higher-ups from Exasol about this matter. As part of his partnership with the organization, Ronald recent spoke to Helena Schwenk, the Market Intelligence Specialist at Exasol, and Mathias Golombek, the Chief Technology Officer for Exasol.
Cloud is a Tool to Accelerate Business Goals
The advent of and greater reliance upon analytics has meant that our business goals and objectives are changing over time. With the change in business goals, it is only sensible for us to also change the way we progress toward achieving these business goals.
The hybrid version of cloud integrates all your processes together to achieve seamless progression toward your end goals. Every organization currently wants to be future-ready, and the hybrid cloud can deliver just that through the following means:
- By saving costs that you would have otherwise incurred.
- By increasing the agility and/or pace at which you work.
- By ensuring enhanced security.
- By improving compliance.
- By improving the control of data within your organization.
- By making data portable across developments.
“With all these benefits, organizations would want to build their future applications on a hybrid cloud. Customers are on a journey toward the hybrid cloud; the rate, level of cloud adoption and the end goal will vary with vertical, company size and geographical factors playing a key part. There is no one answer when it comes to determining how and where data should be managed in these scenarios, especially as the choice depends on an organization’s view to data sovereignty, sensitivity and gravity, plus their cloud adoption maturity and the types of workloads they are looking to support. Above all, a hybrid cloud gives organizations the flexibility to extend and augment their existing on-premises data workloads while supporting different cloud data workloads and use cases,” believes Helena Schwenk from Exasol.
Navigating Challenges and Opportunities
The move to the hybrid cloud isn’t clear of all hindrances. Not only will you have to make sure that your organization is optimally positioned within the public cloud, but you will also want to stop any security breaches from impacting your progress.
Many companies around the globe are uneasy when it comes to migrating their sensitive data to the cloud. Not only do these companies have to avert and consider all security risks, they also have to work toward minimizing the downtime that can occur during the shift. However, this is a concern for public clouds.
Private or on-premise clouds, both of which are options that are part of the hybrid cloud setup, are much more secure, positioning hybrid as a great option for those concerned with data security.
If you’re new to the cloud, you might also find the early operational costs to be on the expensive side and a bit hard to manage for starters. But, once you are settled and have started progressing with the cloud, you will find the journey easier.
Some of the challenges you might face when you first jump on the cloud are:
- Organizational challenges, where your whole data structure will change.
- Culture changes, as employees will now have to go through an entirely different process for data management.
- Shifting the line of work.
- Security challenges, where you need to ensure that the security on your cloud platform is top-notch. You have sensitive data present on the cloud, and the responsibility to protect it falls on your shoulders.
You need to be aware of the costs that will be incurred during the process. Have an experienced person on your team guide you on what the costs could be. The unpredictability of costs involved in the process is one of the major reasons why companies may fail in migrating to the cloud. Beware of what costs you will incur during the process, and plan accordingly.
“Understand your data gravity, data flows and use cases before thinking about migration to the cloud. Ensure you select hybrid cloud deployment architectures that align with specific use-case requirements. Maximize the potential of modern cloud technologies including pay as you go, scalability etc.,” mentions Helena Schwenk. “Security and privacy concerns still prevail. Many cloud migration projects fail due to complexity and costs. Indeed, market data indicates that the costs associated with migration and unpredictability of costs are among the top concerns.”
“Cloud is tactical, not strategic—it’s more about agile processes. Cloud can only be a facilitator, not the solution itself,” Mathias Golombek further added.
Real Time Decisions for Real Time Actions
The AI and ML solutions presented through the cloud allow companies to extract and analyze real-time data on a real-time basis.
The processes that were once performed with delay through legacy systems are now being handled in an efficient manner through the use of the cloud.
“Sandboxing through dedicated, stateless clusters/instances might be one option, or powerful systems that can handle many applications in parallel. A multi-Cluster solution that can separate workloads, but provide single transactional view on all your data, can work here,” believes Mathias Golombek, the CTO at Exasol.
Once real time data is coming in, organizations can take decisions without any hindrances whatsoever. This will eventually improve agility and make the organization of the future better prepared for handling the complexities in the future. This agility will eventually lead to modern Business Intelligence or BI.
Mathias Golombek, the CTO, believes that the potential aspects for modern BI are:
- Tuning free for empowering agility (forget about the technology).
- Sheer performance to cope with future requirements/growth/applications/growing user base.
- Two-tier approach (data storage/data lake) and operational analytics layer (in-memory).
- Automated data integration framework (e.g. metadata driven, company wide data catalogue) for easy, agile and scalable data delivery factory.
- Unifying BI and Data Science (not replacing, but operationalization of AI in a trusted environment, leveraging AI through SQL views/reports, and applying the models on large data sets).
Be Ahead of the Curve
The hybrid cloud can truly help you remain ahead of the curve and get the competitive advantage that you require. Data and analytics help companies to remain relevant and deliver what their customers want.
24% of all respondents in a MicroStrategy survey mentioned that cloud computing is a technology that they would want to incorporate with their analytics initiatives in the future. The world is progressing toward the hybrid cloud—make sure that you are ready for it.