Trusting the Cloud for Data Analytics and More

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Adam Burnham

It’s always amazing to see how far enterprises have come along in their thinking about the cloud – even in just the past few years. The cloud started off as a vision, inspired debate on whether to move to it or not, became an accepted part of everyday business life and is now being turned to for the most critical, high-value operations an enterprise has.

As an article in IT Business Edge points out, a recent Verizon survey found that “87 percent of enterprises are running mission-critical apps in the cloud, up from 60 percent two years ago.” And these businesses are running what they consider to be mission-critical in the cloud – which means these companies are trusting the lifeblood of their business to the cloud.

The article also points out that “…the trend is particularly pronounced among start-ups, many of which are eschewing internal infrastructure for an all-cloud approach that drives high degrees of flexibility, if not entire transformations of existing business models.”

These examples make a pretty strong statement of why the cloud is no longer a “should we utilize…” but a “how will we best implement…” discussion in boardrooms across the globe.

In addition, a piece in Forbes looked at one of the most critical business operations today – collecting and analyzing big data – and how the cloud is perfect for making big data analytics quick, efficient and successful. The article states that “…68 percent of respondents saying they intend to investigate, analyze or actively plan to deploy cloud analytics solutions over the coming year. In addition, 74 percent said they expect to adopt a hybrid or cloud-only approach to analytics over the next three years.”

As more and more companies collect customer, market and performance data, they need a way to analyze that information in near real-time so problems can be identified, new opportunities discovered and customers better marketed to. The cloud simply makes it easier and less costly for companies to collect, analyze and act upon their data.

Clearly the cloud is trusted by large and small companies alike – and should be trusted by you as well.

But that doesn't mean that you can just jump at any cloud solution you find and expect it to be able to handle your critical data, information, apps and processes. You need to ensure that your cloud provider has a few key qualities in order to be confident that they can handle what is most critical to your organization – be it data analytics or social media.

Here’s some advice on things to look for as you choose a cloud provider:

  • Uptime – what is your provider’s history of uptime? Have they experienced any major outages? Why and for how long? Talk to current customers and make sure they have no horror stories to share.
  • Growth – can you provider handle future growth? If your company takes off, can your provider handle it? Will they have the bandwidth and storage to keep you up and running at all times?
  • Technology – what is their plan for improving their own technology? How often do they upgrade and take advantage of the latest advances? Are those advantages passed on to clients?
  • Security – is their cloud secure? If you’re looking to conduct data analytics in the cloud, you need to be sure that your provider is protected and continues to invest in regular security upgrades.
  • Customer Service – are they available 24/7/365? How easy is it to get support? Are the customer support agents experts, employees, or an outsourced firm? It may not seem to matter – but it will if you have a problem in the middle of the night.

We’d love to hear from you and see how our cloud and data center solutions can handle your most critical business processes. Contact us anytime at info@markleygroup.com.