But these questions aren’t always so simple to answer. This is because, whilst a cloud based approach certainly has its benefits, mainly when it comes to scalability of infrastructure, the reality remains that many businesses — particularly those who are larger and more well-established — are still having to operate partly on-premises or in a hybrid model. With the amount of data created in just the next three years, due to surpass that created in the past 30 years, managing these vast streams of structured and unstructured data is going to be the biggest challenge, especially when it is sat across numerous platforms, in an even bigger data storm. The good news is it’s not an insurmountable challenge.
Organisations have already taken the first step to building the flexibility their operations need and have done this by recognising that data, and the way in which it is analysed and then utilised, is what will help them to not only recover but also grow in the future. Now, these organisations have to take the next step. They need to implement technologies that will support the entire data journey, regardless of where the data resides, allowing a business to derive the greatest value from all the data sets it has and those that are still to come.
Getting all your (data) chips in a row
The need for a single point of view on all analytics in order to navigate the data storm, regardless of where the data resides, is the draw for adopting an Enterprise Data Cloud (EDC). An EDC is a hybrid and multi-cloud platform that uses the full data lifecycle to help organisations extract the true value from their data. It can be defined by four key pillars:
Using the tech to build competitive advantage
Recognising the value in data, and lining up the very best technology are brilliant first steps in overcoming the challenges of a data storm. There is however more to do. Businesses have to become more agile. Leadership, working with the technology teams, have to identify the factors that produce optimal performance. Once these factors (and the data that relates to them) have been identified, they can then be monitored in real-time. This will allow organisations to become more responsive and create, for example, better customer experiences or enable them to respond to fluctuations in the market.
The more agile and responsive a business is, the more competitive advantage it can gain — all through data.
Make your data work harder, so you don’t have to
At Cloudera, we’ve personally seen this approach work across a wide variety of industries, and all around the world. Companies are using an EDC to analyse data in order to guide their decisions, gain competitive advantage, and grow. We’ve seen companies use an EDC to reassess their entire data infrastructure and modernise it, therefore dramatically reducing costs. We’ve also seen industry-specific applications, for example in healthcare, where a client was able to use an EDC in a way that meant they could onboard new use cases in hours, rather than the months it used to take — thereby saving lives.
In 2020, and beyond, it is no longer enough to reactively recover from change, businesses have to proactively prepare for it. Recognising the challenge, having a platform in place that will empower a business to gain clear and actionable insights from its data, and changing attitudes towards agility will be a cornerstone in success.