IT Innovators: Meeting the Big Data Demand in the Cloud

IT Innovators: Meeting the Big Data Demand in the Cloud

Everywhere you turn these days, there’s more and more data; starting with say, your smartwatch as it monitors your daily activity and heart rate, data that is probably processed in a hybrid cloud. It certainly doesn’t end there. You just can’t get away from data and as it turns out, many organizations don’t want to.  For a large number of enterprises, that’s the big draw of the hybrid cloud: that it can be used for big data processing.

And in truth, the hybrid cloud can be used to store all sorts of business data. As Tech Target points out, “A company could use hybrid cloud storage, for example, to retain its accumulated business, sales, test and other data, and then run analytical queries in the public cloud, which can scale to support demanding distributed computing tasks.” And this is one reason why cloud-based business analytics—the service model whereby business data analytics are provided through public, private, and hybrid cloud-based deployment models—is gaining widespread adoption.

Ventana Research’s benchmark research on data and analytics in the cloud shows just that. According to its findings, almost half (48%) of those organizations who participated in the study are using cloud-based analytics today, with another 19 percent planning to begin using it within 12 months. 31 percent said they will use it, but don’t know when. More often than not, what those companies are using cloud-based analytics for is forecasting, as well as customer- and sale-related information.

Despite this high adoption rate, there are some challenges any organization wanting to leverage cloud-based data and analytics will have to face. One of those challenges is just finding the right skillsets.

Often times, IT professionals have to learn new skills before they can even become productive working with big data in the cloud. Part of the problem is that the tools and processes used for data and analytics in the cloud have advanced rapidly; more so than users’ abilities to work with that data. And that has left many IT professionals feeling less than confident in their ability to fully leverage data in the cloud.

Another challenge is the security of that data. That may be one reason why the Ventana Research benchmark also found that 66 percent of organizations are using a private cloud to deploy analytics; because a private cloud is perceived to be, by its very nature, much more secure than a public cloud. Thirty percent of respondents said they were using a hybrid cloud to deploy analytics.

What’s clear going forward is that having a strong cloud-based analytics skillset is going to be critical to getting the most out of your data in the cloud. This will become even more vital as the importance of cloud data and analytics continues to grow. The question is what can you do to prepare yourself?

The first step is always education. Familiarize yourself with the skills you will need to master cloud-based data analytics and learn the best practices of those who currently and successfully use data and analytics in the cloud. Here are a few resources to get you started:

If you happen to have any other cloud-based data analytics resources you’d like to share with your peers, drop me a line at [email protected]. In the meantime, check back here each week for more information on the hybrid cloud and other important IT-related topics.

This blog is sponsored by Microsoft.

Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.


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