Cloud data replication is good for backups, but what else might you do with it? For forward-looking users, data replication in the cloud is also a lever for better information, increased autonomy, enhanced productivity, and bigger business opportunities down the line. By conserving an untouched valid reference copy of data, users are free to process or change the other replicated instances, according to their individual needs. That is then where the business opportunities begin.
Reporting is one of the immediate applications of data replication. In the cloud, SaaS applications may offer optimized or cost-efficient solutions for specific business tasks, but relational databases often have better data analysis and reporting tools, and more of them. In particular, relational databases are still well suited to producing meaningful information and summaries of business performance. If different groups in an organization want to build different dashboards with their own business intelligence and key performance indicators, they can use their own copy of the data to do so with their own database application. With suitable data connectors, source and target systems can be in the cloud or mixed between cloud and on-premises systems.
Some reporting requirements using data produced on site outstrip a company’s ability to produce those reports by itself. OLTP systems may generate far more data than they can reasonably process to gain business insights. Other reporting requirements that may be difficult for such systems to satisfy include product-by-product sales trends, fraud detection, and regulatory compliance. Replicating the data to the cloud and using resources there for OLAP and replication avoids stressing on-premises production or legacy systems. KPIs are computed rapidly, insights are made available fast, and enterprises can already steal a march on the competition.
IT processes can be set up and automated to replicate data to databases in the cloud for analysis by different applications there. The right data connector solution, like Skyvia, can be programmed to perform replication with data synchronization routines, to change data formats as required to ready data for specialized reporting tools. It can then pick up the output, perform additional replication and transformation as required to route the results on to other processes or to reporting tools for a final result for users. With data replication, copies can also be sent for analysis to forecast future situations and developments (predictive analysis), and to prepare suggestions for immediate action (decision analysis.)
What were products yesterday are turning into services today. Cloud computing itself is a prime example. Where companies used to buy one-time software licenses and on-premises servers, they now pay only a monthly subscription for both, or better still, they only pay for what they actually use. The same business model is spreading to other sectors as well. For example, an automobile maker offers city car hire with a smartphone app that allows rental by the minute of the next free car located closest to the customer. These new service-based solutions are driven by software in the cloud that bills according to usage data received. With a little imagination, the possibilities are limitless for turning products into ongoing service revenue streams, and data replicators and connectors make billing possible.
Cloud data replication can therefore fuel business innovation in numerous areas. By automatically making data available to those best positioned to make use of it, enterprises can know how well they have been doing, where their business is headed, and what to do next.