Cloud Computing and Big Data have been the hope and challenge for many companies. Companies believe that the cloud holds all the answers to their data problems. The idea is to utilize and maximize the unlimited scalability of the public cloud for corporate needs resulting to more cost-efficient and more elastic solutions.
Like most technological solutions, this is easier said than done. There are still a lot of critical technical and strategic issues that must be addressed before companies should even think about migrating databases to the public cloud.
The first issue is integration. When an entire company is running on a specific system and it decides to collect millions of data, this would also involve designing a new system that would systematically collect those data, accurately translate it, and sync it with the existing system.
Smaller companies or companies who are just starting to set up their system may have an easier time but only slightly. There are the bandwidth limitation issues and set-up cost.
The second one is even more critical – security. Private clouds, for obvious reasons, generally provide better security models. This is not to say there are no ways to protect your data in the public cloud but it certainly becomes more vulnerable.
The third one is the most critical, at least for business owners. That issue is relevance.
To this day, many cloud computing companies still market the technology. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s an impressive one and a true game changer. However, any kind of technology is useless unless it serves the purpose of businesses.
Cloud computing companies often say their product is for data-centric business. No business is data-centric, not in the minds of business owners, at least.
Businesses are all money-centric. They may call it ROI, revenue, earnings or they may even claim that they are all about customer satisfaction. One thing is for sure, none of them will continue to operate unless they are earning enough.
Big data and cloud computing, public or private, are two great concepts but these two must work to support what businesses are all about. How does moving to a public cloud, or a private cloud for that matter, help a business? What kind of data will be expected? How will the system covert this data to insights that can boost customer satisfaction, help customer acquisition, and increase sales? How will these technologies help me spot, pursue, and close business opportunities?
This is not to say big data and public clouds don’t go hand in hand or that these two don’t deserve the attention they are getting. It’s just to say that it is an architectural situation, there should always be a big plan.