As businesses grow, they generate huge amounts of data. Companies have realized that leveraging their data to make data-driven decisions is critical to innovation and staying ahead of the competition. This blog post examines the main challenges a business can face when it comes to collecting and analyzing big data and the choices of deploying enterprise data warehouses to either on-premises or cloud data storage. We are going to compare both options based on factors such as security, cost, effort, and scalability, and clearly illustrate why cloud storage solutions are the preferred choice for organizations today.
data analytics challenges that enterprises face
In today’s digitalized world, we are producing a huge amount of data every minute, which makes it difficult to store, manage, utilize, and analyze. The amount of data created by large business enterprises is growing at a rate of 40 to 60% each year, which is why organizations are looking for options such as data lakes and big data analysis tools to help them manage big data. Thus, below we have listed some of the challenges in Big Data Analysis which can be easily mitigated by deploying data warehouse to a selected storage solution:
getting voluminous data into the data platform
The amount of data available today can easily overwhelm any company. That is why it is very important to make data accessibility easy and convenient for business owners and managers. This makes data automated systems essential in collecting and organizing information seamlessly and efficiently.
synchronizing data across disparate sources
As data is getting bigger and more diverse, incorporating it into one analytical platform is a challenge. Sometimes businesses are unaware that different data is being stored in more than one system, which can lead to incomplete or inaccurate analysis. Manually combining data, on the other hand, is time-consuming and can easily limit insights to information. By implementing a comprehensive and centralized system, businesses can have access to the entire data all in one place, which allows cross-comparisons and ensures data completion.
collecting real-time data
When an employee is overwhelmed by the amounts of data, he may not analyze the entire data or focus just on the measures that are the easiest to collect. Manually sifting through data can make it extremely difficult to gain real-time insights into current events, which can have a negative impact on decision-making. This can be avoided by implementing a data system that collects, organizes, and automatically alerts users of trends. Engineers can input their goals and easily create reports providing answers to their most crucial questions. Using real-time reports and alerts, decision-makers can be confident they are basing their actions on accurate and up-to-date information.
representing visual data
To be understood and impactful, data often needs to be presented visually in graphs or charts. While these tools are incredibly useful, it is difficult to build them manually. Taking the time to pull information from multiple sources and put it into a reporting tool is challenging and time-consuming. Powerful data systems enable report building at the click of a button where employees and decision-makers have access to real-time information in an appealing and educational format.
on-premises and cloud data storage: pros and cons
As companies’ data footprint is growing, the question of which storage solution would best answer their business case is constantly arising. The decision of whether they keep their data in-house using on-premises storage can greatly impact the future of their business limiting scalability and ensuring greater future costs. Moving to the cloud, on the other hand, is highly customizable and designed to mitigate any challenges or risks associated with storing and managing data. There is no wonder that in 2020 83% of the companies’ data is stored on the cloud.
on-premises data storage
On-premises data storage essentially implies that your data is being stored and analyzed locally on a server within your organization’s infrastructure. Having constant control and access to the server which is often located on-site provides great peace of mind to stakeholders. Although years ago, on-premises storage was the norm and even today some businesses still find it convenient, it is not the most cost-effective solution for every organization. Here are some of the main positives and negatives behind the on-premises storage solution that you need to consider:
PROS OF ON-PREMISES DATA STORAGE
Some organizations don’t mind the hassle of having to deal with updates, new hardware purchases, setups, and so on. They prefer having ultimate control over their data and being able to react 24/7 when any issues arise. This is especially true for companies working in highly sensitive industries such as finances or government where control and security are extremely valued.
INDEPENDENCE FROM THE INTERNET
One of the biggest advantages of on-premises data storage over the cloud is its independence from the Internet. That means that no organization should ever have to worry about unstable or lost connection and the impact that is going to have on its business. By using on-premises data storage for data integration companies have access to an internal network which ensures constant and uninterrupted access to all data.
There are specific industry and government rules and regulations that any organization’s data need to be compliant with. If all company’s data is being stored and managed in-house that becomes easy to maintain. However, when choosing the cloud storage alternative, organizations need to be careful that their provider meets said requirements.
CONS OF ON-PREMISES DATA STORAGE
REQUIRE EXTRA IT SUPPORT
On-premises storage rarely receives IT support, especially when applications are tailored to meet unique requirements. On-premises storage is also rather complicated to maintain and manage, thus requires an additional number of IT specialists or even an entire dedicated team. This can increase the costs and reduce the efficiency of the IT department, as their responsibilities associated with the on-premises servers will multiply.
REQUIRE GREATER INVESTMENT
When the on-premises storage is initially being set up, it requires a significant amount of capital for purchasing servers and additional hardware. Such an investment can be a huge disadvantage, especially for small businesses. On-premises storage also requires allocated time for installation as well as an added cost for future hardware upgrades.
INCREASE THE RISK OF DATA LOSS
Data is the backbone of any business and thus losing it can cause great harm to the organization. With on-premises storage, a malfunction in the system or a compromised system can lead to permanently lost data. While cloud-based systems keep all data backed up, on-premises storage systems have it stored on an internal server, which increases the risk of data loss. So if you are using on-premises storage it is best to add an offsite backup service that replicates the data to another site or media.
LIMIT YOUR COMPANY’S SCALABILITY
Cloud technologies provide greater flexibility as users only pay for what they see and can easily scale to meet demand by, for example, adding and scaling back licenses. Unlike cloud storage, where companies can easily upgrade their plan with a click of a button, on-premises software requires allocating manpower for the installation of the hardware and building the new systems, along with the preliminary research, order, and deployment.
cloud data STORAGE
Cloud storage is a service that allows users to securely transfer and store data on the Internet. That way data can be easily accessed at any time from any location or shared with third parties who have the granted permission. Cloud storage can be used to back up personal information such as emails and videos, or to securely transfer, store, and share businesses’ data files between different locations.
PROS OF CLOUD DATA STORAGE
20% of the organizations have concerns regarding the initial implementation cost of the cloud-based server. However, when it comes to weighing the advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud, more factors need to be considered. Once you have adapted the cloud solution, easy access to all company’s data can save time and money in project startups. Additionally, businesses shouldn’t worry about spending money on redundant features, as most cloud-computing services are highly customizable and based on the induvial use-case.
Many companies have security concerns when it comes to adopting a cloud-computing solution. A cloud host’s full-time job is to carefully monitor the security of all data, which is significantly more efficient than a conventional in-house system, where an organization must divide its efforts between a myriad of IT concerns, with security being just one of them. And while most businesses rarely consider the possibility of internal data theft, an extremely high percentage of the cases occur internally and are perpetrated by employees.
One of the factors that contribute to the success of a business is control. Unfortunately, no matter how in control an organization may be when it comes to its internal processes, there will always be completely unpredictable aspects. In today’s market, even a small amount of unproductive downtime can have a negative effect on the business. Downtime can lead to losing revenue, productivity, and brand reputation.
Most cloud storage solutions offer integrated analytics for an overview of data. Using the information stored in the cloud, users can easily implement tracking mechanisms and build custom reports to analyze information within the organization. From those insights, businesses can increase efficiencies and build action plans to meet business goals.
For the benefit of different applications or organizational processes, it is very common for various IT systems to store the same data multiple times. In such cases, integration helps to eliminate duplications and use a shared data store, reducing storage costs and synchronization efforts.
It is crucial to ensure that IT systems and applications operating on the same data have a consistent view of that data with frequent or real-time updates. Additionally, data integration can help automate organizational processes which involve manual copying of data or manual data entry. Data synchronization can also standardize how data should be treated on its way from one application to another.
CONS OF CLOUD DATA STORAGE
DEPENDING ON THE INTERNET CONNECTION
Probably the biggest drawback when discussing cloud data storage is the constant dependence on a stable and secure Internet connection. However, this is becoming much less of an issue with almost all regions in the world having access to it. Still, before choosing to move to the cloud, you need to first be certain of how reliant on the internet your business is as any downtime of your cloud could mean lost business opportunities and trust in the eyes of your current or potential clients.
Vendor lock-in is rather common especially when companies don’t choose properly the cloud vendor they decide to integrate their data to. In this scenario due to various reasons such as impracticality, risk of data loss, technology, and compliance restrictions, and much more, changing the cloud vendor is hard. This by no means implies that vendors legally can forbid that, however, they can make it particularly difficult by imposing financial or technical barriers. Those risks can be mitigated by upgrading legacy systems so they are compatible with a wider range of cloud providers so you can make a better choice of who to trust with your data.
LOSS OF CONTROL
The thought of integrating your entire company data on outside cloud storage instead of relying on your internal data warehouse can sometimes be daunting. Your in-house support team no longer has control over any unexpected issues or data threats and in any such cases, you need to have 24/7 customer support ready to address these concerns. When putting your data on the Internet, there is always the possibility of a data breach, resulting in loosing sensitive data. However, nowadays cloud service providers offer extremely high levels of security which small and medium-sized businesses cannot offer due to more limited resources.
To manage the overwhelming amount of data every organization generates daily, adapting a cloud-based data storage solution has become highly necessary. Cloud computing has grown greatly in popularity due to its ability to save time and money and improve scalability and agility. The constantly increasing risk of data loss, the need for additional IT support, as well as the limited scalability, are just some of the reasons many businesses decide to migrate to the cloud. The freedom from the hardware restraints that cloud-based storage allows is indisputable. The cloud not only ensures the flexibility and security of data but also removes the hassle of maintaining and updating systems. This allows business owners to invest their time and resources into fulfilling their core business goals.
Note: This piece is written in collaboration with Gergana Shopova, Software Consultant at Accedia with extensive experience in Data Intelligence and Microsoft Database Development.