5 reasons to move your BI environment to the cloud

26 April 2021
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More and more organizations are considering a move or partial move from an on-premise set-up to a cloud environment. But what's so special about the cloud? Should you migrate or not? In this blogpost we discuss 5 must-consider reasons to move your BI environment to the cloud.

Cloud computing has gained significant popularity in the past few years. Enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services has continued to ramp up aggressively in 2020, growing by 35% to reach almost $130 billion and it’s expected to grow further (Synergy Research Group). The progress in internet of things (IoT), edge computing, 5G, use of real-time analytics and machine learning (ML) is only expected to boost the utility of cloud technology among organizations further.

Let’s see what all the fuzz is about and whether moving your BI to the cloud is relevant to your business?

1. Pay-as-you-go pricing model

The pricing structure in cloud computing is completely different as compared to a traditional on-premise system. Cloud computing typically uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model which means you only get charged based on usage. No expensive hardware or licenses should be bought up-front which lowers the initial investment cost. This pricing model makes advanced technology accessible for all type of businesses. 

To compare overall costs on long term, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) should be taken into account. This is defined as the purchase price of an asset plus the costs of operation. Moving your BI environment to the cloud will not necessarily decrease your Total cost of ownership (TCO), but a shift in costs will be noticeable.

2. Drive innovation

The cloud allows us to say goodby and use cases. The cloud offers 100+ applications that make it easy to experiment with a lot of new resources. Constant access to the latest versions of resources in the cloud means you always benefits from technology innovation. 

The availability of resources in combination with the flexible pricing model allows users to experiment and build iteratively. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the flexibility of the platform drives innovation in a business environment. Cloud ensures that the productivity of knowledge workers such as BI analysts, data scientists etc. increases.

3. Scale your infrastructure accordingly

Flexibility in a platform is not limited to expanding applications, it should also be easily scalable to meet future requirements. Scalability in cloud computing refers to the ability to increase or decrease IT resources( CPU, disk, memory etc.) as needed to meet changing demands. Your data warehouse should be able to evolve with the unexpected changing delivery of data, but you don’t want to provide the (un)necessary infrastructure today. 

In the cloud these evolutions in terms of data volume and data variety shouldn’t be a concern. Resources can be added easily and up- and down-scaling is only one click away. Some cloud providers also offer serverless components that scale automatically based on the demanded load (for example Azure SQL serverless databases). In that case it is very important to set-up cost monitoring on a proper manner to avoid surprises in terms of costs.

4. Enable a shift to ICT as a business partner

Working within a cloud environment frees up time from the IT department. Since the cloud manages most of the environment for you, there is a shift in the daily tasks of the IT department. Recurring tasks such as maintaining servers or updating software are managed by the cloud providers. The IT department will spend less time on maintenance and will have more time focusing on strategic initiatives and being a service provider for the business users.

Working within a cloud environment frees up time from the IT department, enabling them to focus on strategic initiatives.

Infrastructure roles such as network administrator or database administrator, will have to deal with added layers of automation. Workers with this valuable experience often refocus on managing cloud environments like MS Azure or AWS.

5. Disaster recovery keeps data safe

One of the greatest obstacles of cloud adoption still are security concerns. The public cloud shares resources between different customers and use virtualization heavily, and this does create additional security vulnerabilities. For businesses it doesn’t feel safe to store your personal data on servers that are not physically at your organization because you are giving up control of your data. However physical servers can also be vulnerable to cyberthieves. 

Data stored at cloud providers is more likely to be safe than the information you have stored on your computer hard drive (depending on the quality of your security settings of course). The security measures undertaken by the known cloud providers are in general more advanced and robust. Data stored in the cloud is stored on secure, encrypted servers and systems, which minimizes the overall risks.

Also, the robust backup and disaster recovery services is one of the main reasons for businesses to move to the cloud. When working in the cloud, there is no need for extra inhouse disaster recovery. Cloud resources have built-in recovery solutions which brings the risk for data-losses towards a minimum.

Conclusion

Moving your BI environment to the cloud is a beneficial step for almost every organization. Cloud is an important part of future BI and offers several advantages in terms of cost efficiency, flexibility, scalability and reliability.

Cloud is an important part of future BI and offers several advantages in terms of cost efficiency, flexibility, scalability and reliability.

It enables a competitive advantage that can sustain the organization for the technological future. When implemented correctly, cloud computing capabilities offer big opportunities to drive business innovation.

How can we help?

As an experienced Microsoft & AWS partner, Datashift helps companies develop new data platforms in the cloud. We also help build your business case to migrate existing architecture towards a cloud environment. Don't hesitate to reach out for more info!