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Perspectives

Is data still a first-class citizen in the cloud?

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

Worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics are likely to grow from $150.8 billion in 2017 to $210 billion in 2020. That's a compound annual growth rate of 11.9 percent, with most of this growth occurring within public cloud providers.

December 4, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics are likely to grow from $150.8 billion in 2017 to $210 billion in 2020. That's a compound annual growth rate of 11.9 percent, with most of this growth occurring within public cloud providers.

However, with the focus on cloud-based machine learning, security, and serverless technology, does data get the attention it needs as enterprises migrate to the cloud? Many of those charged with data management say that data needs a bit more attention than it’s getting these days.

There are a few reasons why they may feel this way:

First, the features and functions of public cloud computing focus on other cloud services besides data management. Machine learning, serverless computing, and containers are front and center in the cloud races. When data gets mentioned, it’s typically in the context of cloud-based database services for net-new databases rather than in the migration of existing data.

Second, in many cases, enterprises want to leverage database analogs when they migrate to the public cloud that are pretty much the same as databases that run in the cloud. This means that they typically don’t take advantage of cloud-native features since a traditional database that runs in the cloud is not purpose-built for the cloud, and thus it usually lacks the ability to leverage native features such as security, governance, and ops management.

The result of the above is that many enterprises consider data migrating to the cloud as just table stakes for having workloads that run in the cloud. While the data does get some attention during migration, typically it’s just an apples-to-apples migration. Little to no attention is paid to database services, or to enhancing the data and the database in order to modernize data management as a whole.

At the same time, the workloads themselves are getting cloud-native features, including refactoring for cloud-native services. However, the data is somewhat neglected, and perhaps thought of as a utility.

Here’s a fact: Data is the most important aspect of leveraging cloud computing. Consider the options available to enhance the database. Integration with machine learning and analytics can make the database much more useful, as well as make it a better performer with cloud-native hooks that allow the database to better scale and recover from operational issues.

Today, all things considered, data is a second-rate player. If this is the case in your situation, take steps to change it.

1https://www.idc.com/url.do?url=/includes/pdf_download.jsp?containerId=prUS42371417&position=5

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