Cloud computing is growing in popularity across countries. Yet, it is the U.S. that leads the way with $206.1 billion in estimated market revenue as of May 2022. The reason for this growth is often the desire of companies for more flexibility and scalability when it comes to data storage and processing.
With more and more companies transitioning to the cloud or a hybrid arrangement, business leaders may be curious about what cloud-based data management actually entails. If you are one of them, keep on reading.
In today’s post, we’re going to discuss the development of a cloud data management strategy, why it may be a good idea, and the challenges that one may expect when opting for this approach.
What Makes Cloud Data Management Appealing
Enterprise cloud data management is basically when you choose to implement cloud-based platforms and tools that help manage your digital infrastructure. So, when developing data warehouses or lakes and building pipelines, you opt for deploying it all in the cloud instead of on-premises.
As we have seen above, companies are increasingly relying on cloud computing and migrating their IT systems to the cloud. Naturally, you may be asking yourself why that is. So, let’s take a quick look at the benefits an enterprise can observe from cloud data management.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Data Management
There are multiple advantages we can discuss when it comes to data management in the cloud. However, there are three concrete pros that often cause businesses to seriously consider this approach.
With cloud-based solutions, companies can benefit from better scalability than with on-premises deployment. You see, in the cloud, more storage or computing power can be added whenever needed. Similarly, capabilities can be reduced if you no longer require them. This can be highly attractive to organizations that value flexibility.
Another major benefit of pursuing a cloud-based data management infrastructure are the automated updates that come with it. With this strategy, the cloud vendor will take care of implementing any necessary updates into the cloud system so that you can focus on other tasks.
Lastly, since cloud tools are more flexible and don’t require you to purchase and maintain your own hardware, the company’s bottom line will be positively affected. As cloud data management is typically associated with lower costs, it’s no surprise organizations are increasingly considering it.
How to Create an Effective Cloud Data Management Strategy
Now that you’re familiar with the advantages of the cloud, you are probably curious to find out what it takes to develop a good cloud data management strategy. So, let’s discuss the concrete steps you may want to take on this journey. After all, it’s best to be prepared and know what to expect.
1. Identify Objectives
Just like in traditional data management, with the cloud, everything begins with identifying your goals and objectives. If you’re only at the beginning of your journey, it’s time to figure out what data sources you usually work with or might rely on in the future. Plus, you should outline how the digital information flows through your company, and determine the goals you want to accomplish.
On the other hand, if you already have a solid data strategy in place and simply want to migrate existing systems and workflows onto the cloud, think about the objectives you want to reach by doing so. Basically, how will you know that transitioning to the cloud was worth it?
2. Choose the Right Tools
Next, you need to take a look at different cloud providers to determine which one, or multiple, are best suited for your company. The most popular vendors at the moment are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform. They have similar functionalities and offerings, but it’s still a good idea to learn more about each one before making a commitment.
Of course, if you’re outsourcing and working with an experienced software development partner, they’ll be able to guide you and advise on the most suitable solution for the unique use case of your business.
Additionally, at this point, it’s good to think about data-related platforms you may be missing. Would your organization benefit from a data warehouse? Or, have you been meaning to implement a data lake so that any digital information that flows through your company can be stored for later use? If so, this is the time to make the decision on whether you’ll pursue the development of these solutions or not.
3. Develop Thorough Data Processes
Now that you know your objectives and have identified the technology that will help achieve them, it’s time to actually implement the chosen software, build the data pipelines, and get access to informative analytics.
Here, you want to remember that to develop strong data processes you need to think about all elements of digital information management — collection, preparation, storage, and analysis. So, don’t forget to answer the following questions and implement software to help with all the related areas:
- What are your main data sources?
- How will digital information be collected?
- Do you need structured, unstructured data, or both?
- How will you carry out the cleansing and transformation of raw data?
- Where will the digital information be stored?
- How will you ensure security?
- How will data insights be communicated?
4. Establish Data Governance
Once your cloud software is in place, you’ve got to establish data governance policies. Essentially, this means outlining standards and procedures that should be followed by everyone in the company to prevent data corruption, loss, and security breaches.
5. Train Your Team
Finally, to truly benefit from your newly developed cloud data management strategy, you’ve got to train your employees and make sure they know the new procedures.
How can they utilize the new solutions? Which types of analytics can they run and how? Who should they turn to for help if there are any issues? All of these questions should be answered throughout training so that everyone knows how to work with the new strategy and ensure its success.
Key Challenges of Cloud Data Management Strategies
We’ve now covered the main steps of cloud data management and you may be eager to get started. Not so fast. Before you begin, let’s quickly go over some of the challenges you may face when relying on cloud computing. Of course, they shouldn’t deter you, but it’s always best to be prepared.
One of the primary reasons some organizations are hesitant about cloud computing is the challenge of ensuring security. With the cloud, digital information is stored on remote servers and accessed through the Internet. This makes it more susceptible to cyber attacks and breaches.
Of course, this isn’t exactly a new field, and major cloud vendors tend to have established security practices in place. Nonetheless, you should also think about how you will ensure data safety on your end.
Stemming from the data security challenge we’ve outlined above, those who rely on the cloud may also face new difficulties with regulatory compliance. While established cloud providers offer compliance reports from third-party auditors and other relevant documentation, it’s always your responsibility to go through these files and check if they are sufficient.
In short, just remember that it’s always up to you to adhere to the latest regulations that pertain to your business. So, don’t overlook this crucial aspect of your cloud data management strategy.
Lastly, although we did say that lower costs are a typical advantage of cloud-based strategies, it all depends on your unique business situation. You see, costs are generally lower thanks to the ability to only pay for what you need and easily scale back if needed.
However, you need to account for the fact that if your company keeps growing and data flows become more and more complex, or you require a lot of additional storage, costs will mount. So, this isn’t so much a challenge as something that you need to keep in mind when pursuing cloud data management.
Begin Your Transition to the Cloud
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into a good cloud data management strategy. Of course, there are quite a few benefits to following the cloud approach, but don’t go into it without first considering the additional challenges you may face.
At Velvetech, we understand that it can be time-consuming and complicated to determine which technologies are most suitable for your business. So, we’re always happy to help guide companies on their IT transformation journeys.
Our team is highly skilled in delivering successful data management services and is always available to discuss a new project. Thus, don’t hesitate to reach out, and we’ll get back to you promptly.