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Guiding Principles to a Successful Data Analytics Cloud Migration
Mon, 7th Aug 2023

The mass migration to the cloud is undeniable. According to Gartner, “by 2026, 75% of organizations will adopt a digital transformation model predicated on cloud as the fundamental underlying platform.” However, for many businesses, this journey can seem daunting and riddled with hazards. While the potential benefits are clear – unlimited scalability, reduced costs, increased agility – the path to obtaining these benefits is often murky.

Building a cloud strategy isn’t easy. According to Actian’s customer and market research, the top obstacles technology and business leaders face when moving to the cloud are data privacy concerns (40%), integration challenges (39%) and lack of cloud computing training (38%).

How can business and technology leaders steer clear of such perils on their journey to the cloud? A thoughtful and comprehensive strategy is essential to a smooth and successful transition to the cloud. With the right approach, companies can accelerate their cloud migration, sidestep common pitfalls, and deliver measurable business value faster.

Below are key guiding principles to ensure your business develops an effective cloud-ready game plan:

Prioritize a specific use case for the first step to the cloud

Rather than trying to boil the ocean, stay laser-focused on a specific, high-impact analytics use case. This allows you to put clear boundaries on the move, articulate desired outputs, and depict what success looks like. By focusing on one analytics use case instead of multiple, businesses can effectively ensure their success and more easily shift their strategy when they hit any bumps along the way. This first use case can then subsequently be used as the first building block of the cloud migration before moving to the next step, which often relies on data that’s already been moved.

Architect for scale

The cloud’s elasticity is a double-edged sword. While the cloud is limitless in its scalability, businesses are not. It’s critical to plan for the future of how you want to scale and how the cloud can be integrated and utilized for those plans, all while understanding what is possible within your current limitations. A 2x2 matrix (a systematic approach where the team plots decision criteria options) that identifies low-effort, high-value areas can help evaluate use cases and plot out what lies ahead.

Embrace the hybrid, multi-cloud model

Not all data can or should move to the cloud. Businesses need to take into consideration concerns like GDPR and privacy in their cloud migration roadmap. A hybrid cloud provides the ideal balance, allowing for flexibility and management of compliance or sensitive data. Additionally, the multi-cloud architectures create resiliency, address regulatory requirements, and help avoid the risk of vendor lock-in.

Get granular on costs

Uncontrolled cloud costs can be reduced through careful cost evaluations. Every company should evaluate product performance and features carefully to drive the best cost model for the business. Detailed workload planning, warehouse scheduling, and auto-scaling capabilities are all simple features that are table stakes in a cloud-first data architecture.

Plug skills gaps

According to an Actian survey, 50% of organizations lack the deep cloud expertise and skills necessary to migrate swiftly and successfully to the cloud. Data platforms with high automation, co-management arrangements, and built-in platform management via service contracts can help ease this talent crunch.

Measure more than costs

Success in your cloud data journey doesn’t just mean achieving lower costs. This metric, too often, only shows one side of the picture. Instead, ask yourself: is your cloud solution solving the problems you set out to solve? Each customer measures success differently. Whatever the metric - whether it’s speed, data monetization or customer experience - make sure you define everything that means success early and track all of it regularly.

Developing a data-centric cloud roadmap upfront, anchored by clear business goals, puts organizations on the fast track to cloud success. The rewards for charting the right course are too great not to invest the time and strategic thinking upfront.