Enterprise data strategy: the right way to the cloud

Clive Humby stated, as far back as 2006, “data is the new oil.” The quote really took off following this 2017 report from The Economist. As a former chemical process engineer, oil immediately makes me think of refining it. Today’s analytics platform for the complete data lifecycle does the same for data as the refinery distillation columns does for crude oil: distilling value. To take this analogy a step further, just as a catalyst speeds up certain refining processes, public cloud speeds up the ability to gain valuable insight from data.

It’s no surprise businesses look to public cloud. Compared to traditional on-premises data centers, it offers tremendous advantages. Public cloud:

  • Removes many of the barriers associated with on-premises environments
  • Eliminates many of the hardware and labor costs associated with traditional infrastructures
  • Enables complete flexibility, agility, and scalability

The Information’s report on organizations’ sky-high cloud bills makes companies more cautious. If cloud can get expensive quickly, it breaks its promise of cost reduction. What about its other promises? Thankfully, they hold true, provided organizations use cloud the right way, leading with an enterprise data strategy.

Lead with an Enterprise Data Strategy

In organizations with a remit to move to the cloud, it’s easy to lose sight of the motivation. The answer all too often seems to be “cloud-first; what was the question again?” The strategic objective for moving to the cloud however is focused on driving more insight from data. Data is a strategic asset and one that demands its own strategy, namely an Enterprise Data Strategy. Cloud is ultimately a delivery model – a flexible, agile, and scalable one – but a delivery model nonetheless. Without an Enterprise Data Strategy, a cloud strategy alone would hamper managing, accessing, securing, governing, and deriving insight from data. This is exactly what early cloud adopters have experienced: the move to public cloud created new data and analytics silos that were harder to manage and more costly to operate.

A well-planned Enterprise Data Strategy helps companies get the most of their data, making it known, discoverable, available, trusted, and compliant. It supports business objectives like increasing revenues, improving customer experience, and driving profitability by giving business units and users access to relevant data so they can quickly gain the insight they need. Most importantly, it helps organizations control costs and reduce risks, enforcing consistent security and governance across all enterprise data assets.

Control and flexibility with an Enterprise Data Cloud

A recent Harvard Business Review survey highlighted that most organizations manage data across a wide range of clouds and data centers, making hybrid and multi-cloud a reality. The Enterprise Data Strategy then naturally outlines the modern data architecture needed to leverage data in this heterogeneous landscape. A cloud-native hybrid data architecture known as an Enterprise Data Cloud provides consistent data services and functionality that enables businesses to share data, metadata, and workloads across data centers and public clouds. Combined in a single platform, the Enterprise Data Cloud delivers:

  • Analytics that span the complete data lifecycle, from the edge to AI
  • Flexibility to deploy workloads to any cloud and data center
  • Consistent data security, governance, and insight
  • Openness through use of open source technology and open frameworks

Keep calm and retain control

An Enterprise Data Cloud, like Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) gives organizations the flexibility and agility to deploy their data and analytics as guided by their Enterprise Data Strategy in the best way possible. The definition of “best” differs between and, even within, organizations. In fact, “best” may mean different things to different analytics users as the business needs change over the course of months, weeks, or days. It may refer to the most economical way to deploy data and analytics, the most performant one, the most resilient one… the list goes on.

CDP provides the flexibility to deploy workloads where needed while allowing for data and associated security and governance policies to move as business requirements change. This resilience lets organizations take full advantage of cloud as it was always intended: as the flexible, agile, and scalable catalyst to distill valuable insight from data.

Planning the approach for moving data and workloads to the cloud as part of an Enterprise Data Strategy is critical to success. To learn key considerations and best practices for building a realistic cloud migration strategy, read Forrester’s report: Top 10 Ways to Master Performance for Your Cloud Migration.

Wim Stoop
Director Product Marketing
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