According to a report sponsored by SAS entitled “A Silver Lining from Every Cloud”, most decision makers in businesses in the UK and Ireland face challenges with data presence in multiple clouds (aka multicloud).
The report focuses on the challenges faced by enterprises when depending on multiple public and private cloud platforms to store their business data and run applications. The most common complaints are poor accuracy, high costs, and slow speeds. In other words, multicloud does not make things better.
The report surveyed more than 200 decision makers in data, analytics, and cloud services from enterprises with more than 3,000 employees. I have a hunch that the responses would be comparable to other markets in Europe, the US and Asia.
Note: Remember that bias can exist when the company sponsoring a report is selling a solution to the problems listed in the report.
resort to trickery
The report indicates that, on average, organizations operate on three private clouds. Almost half (42%) rely on two or more public cloud providers. They are hosts for business applications, analytics, and business data.
Organizations reported issues such as multiple answers to the same question based on cloud data location (64%), high costs (64%), and latency in getting insights from data (60%). Not good.
Those who mine the data have found tricks to get around the limitations. A popular trick is to pull regular snapshots of data into a common database. Additionally, 70% use different analytics platforms on each cloud and need to consolidate responses, often resulting in erroneous data and wasted time. People have to learn what they can and can’t trust, and then build microsystems around the dysfunctional data to do their job.
The result of all this trickery is a set of data platforms that need to be better integrated. All these problems, inconveniences and workarounds are probably due to the lack of a plan before migrating data to cloud platforms. Most of this should have been expected, given that we were dealing with a lack of good planning for years.
It’s not rocket science
The solution to these problems is not abandonment of a complex cloud deployment. Indeed, given the advantages that multicloud can bring (cost savings and ability to take advantage of the best solutions), it is often the right choice. What causes problems for companies is the lack of a real plan for where and how they will store, secure, access, manage and use all company data, wherever it resides. It’s not enough to push inventory data to a single cloud platform and expect efficiencies.
We only consider the complexity of the data here; other issues also exist, including accessing application functions or services and securing all systems on all platforms. Data is usually where companies see problems first, but other issues will also need to be addressed.
A solid plan tells a complete data access story and includes data virtualization services that can make complex data deployments more usable by business users and applications. It also enables data security and compliance by using a software layer that can reduce complexity through abstraction and automation. Simple data storage is only a tiny part of the solution you need to consider.
Businesses are likely to continue to struggle with complex and inefficient use of data, including security, governance, and compliance. This will drive necessary changes after the fact, including a reassessment of data integration, data security, and data connectivity solutions. Unfortunately, it will be like changing the tires of a truck driving down the road. The process will be disruptive, risky and cost twice as much. We need to be much more proactive in technology planning now.
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