Rapid migration, simplified management, scalability and lower TCO are all promises of Big Data in the Cloud. To gain the benefits of Big Data, your business needs to disrupt and transform the foundations of your data, data platforms and data analytics. Successful Big Data transformation is predicated on a clear understanding of your data maturity, relevance and agility, with the goal of continuously improving and adapting all aspects of your system to newer and better capabilities.
This means evaluating your data, data hygiene, data systems, data structure and networks along with your data governance structures and policies. Many businesses underestimate the amount of preparation needed to detail if, when and how data should be moved as well as the supporting processes in a Cloud First environment.
Workload evaluation, from data storage (containers, lakes) to data processes/workflows, data development and reporting/analytics, is the foundation of the data modernization plan. Businesses must undertake an in-depth analysis and evaluation of the existing data applications and workloads to determine best cloud approach: private, public or hybrid.
A timely and accurate assessment of these factors against effort, time and impact will assist in prioritizing and decision-making of what should be moved and when, what should not and the impact on ROI and TCO. Your approach is mitigated by capacity and data relevance.
On one hand, there is typically no business case to justify moving bad or non-usable data, while on the other hand with the infinite scalability of the cloud you can dump massive amounts of data into low-cost storage repositories and data lakes even if you have no current business case for using that data. The approach will likely be somewhere in between.
There are eight critical considerations in moving Big Data into the Cloud:
- Development of a Coherent Data Strategy
- Maturity of Data Solutions to Integrate and Migrate from On-Premise to Cloud
- Cloud Data Management Tools
- Cloud Data Storage Options
- Data Integrity, Prior to, During and Post Migration
- Data Accessibility, Reporting and Archival Strategies
- Rate of Data Transfer and Scalability
- Privacy, Security and Compliance Issues
These all factor into the design and development of your Cloud roadmap. In doing so, your business should include options and processes to mitigate risk, enforce consistency and control costs. Strong data governance in the Cloud is imperative, not optional.
At ACTS Solutions, we work with enterprise customers every day in lots of different industries, including in retail and in financial services. What we tell them, is that regardless of the Cloud you are moving to and regardless of the Cloud Hyperscaler you are using, your Cloud journey depends on data and your ability to capitalize on it.