Authored by: Remus Lim, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Cloudera
Business models like Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are gaining strong momentum across Asia, driving cloud investment to record heights. GlobalData reports expect the cloud computing market in APAC to hit $191.8 billion by 2024, witnessing a CAGR of 7.7% between 2019 and 2024.
Businesses need to excel in their use of data and analytics to unlock their full potential in the cloud after successfully migrating to cloud environments. And what keeps a business’s data ecosystem and analytics running smoothly is an enterprise data strategy.
A recent report and survey by Vanson Bourne and Cloudera further drives this point home, revealing that businesses with an enterprise data strategy have shown more resilience since the start of the pandemic. 64% of senior decision-makers (SDMs) surveyed believed that their businesses have managed to cope well due to having an enterprise strategy in place for more than a year. Just migrating to the cloud and having the necessary infrastructure is no longer enough to ensure success.
Lack of a data strategy holds businesses’ data potential back
Many organisations new to the cloud become enraptured by the exciting features of cloud environments and sometimes lose sight of their initial business priorities. They often start off with a cloud-first approach, and forget that cloud is just the means to an end, and the ultimate goal should not be to simply move their capabilities and processes onto the cloud.
Without an enterprise data strategy, these companies often find themselves locked into specific ecosystems due to their vendor’s policies and proprietary systems. Unaware of craftily-designed policies and closed-source software on these systems, organisations end up having their data locked behind a walled garden. This causes limited interoperability with other data architectures, and also severely limits data mobility and integration, resulting in data silos.
Tracking data while it is migrating or copying across multiple cloud environments now becomes a herculean task, preventing businesses from taking full advantage of the scalability and flexibility offered by the cloud. More importantly, it makes it difficult for companies to keep pace with today’s rapidly evolving data security and governance requirements, limiting organisational agility even further.
Overall, these complications make it difficult for businesses to manage, access, secure and derive insights from data. While it costs the business dearly in the short run to break out of these silos, the lack of agility costs organisations even more in the long run.
And even businesses that have established enterprise data strategies can have more room for improvement, especially those that have less mature enterprise data strategies in place. Only a third of IT decision-makers (27%) and SDMs (31%) surveyed by Vason Bourne revealed that their enterprise data strategies are effective since having established them less than a year ago.
So how can companies implement an effective enterprise data strategy to unlock their data’s full potential?
A well-planned enterprise data strategy drives success with cloud
Before migrating to the cloud, companies should adopt a data-first approach and embrace an enterprise data strategy that aligns closely with business goals. The data strategy should consider both business and IT needs while balancing security, convenience and cost. A holistic enterprise data strategy enables businesses to support business objectives and mitigate risks by focusing on data storage, management, and protection.
It enforces a consistent set of security and data governance policies across all environments, while providing a clear data lineage as well as an audit trail crucial for ensuring data integrity and compliance.
Most importantly, this enterprise data strategy must define an action plan for identifying, integrating and harnessing a best-of-breed suite of technologies in a platform that helps employees make the most out of their data. Companies should also prioritise open-source technologies when designing these architectures to avoid vendor lock-in and ensure that data can easily flow between different systems and locations.
Go beyond migration: Unleash the full potential of data with a data strategy
While cloud migration is a great first step towards digital transformation, businesses must never forget that cloud is a delivery model - it is a well-planned, well-executed data strategy that should drive a company’s cloud strategy. Organisations no longer need to choose between cost and performance - combining a holistic data strategy with a hybrid data platform allows organisations to be data-first and deliver even more value from its data. Highly controllable, easily scalable and cost-effective, hybrid cloud enables employees across the organisation to share workloads across bare-metal, private, and public cloud environments, enabling the rapid discovery of meaningful business insights from data.
The industry is barely scratching the surface of what can be achieved with data in newer spaces like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML). Today, leading businesses are those that leverage hybrid cloud innovatively - from fighting financial crime better with automation to providing customers with AI-generated, hyperpersonalised product offerings.
The possibilities with multi and hybrid cloud are endless - and having a robust and holistic enterprise data strategy and cloud strategy is key to leveraging these disruptive technologies and staying ahead of the curve.