There is little question that the public cloud business is picking up, as suggested in the article in CIO Magazine, “Why Private Clouds Will Suffer a Long, Slow Death.” This is a pretty dramatic title, but fact is that public cloud platforms such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google seem to be growing at a pretty impressive clip.
Yet even the article title, if you read it closely, says the transition from private to public cloud dependence will be long and slow. So how fast should your organization move on its journey to the public cloud?
Moving to the Cloud: Swift or Slow?
There are a number of organizations that have already put the majority of its business applications in the public cloud. For example, well over 80% of the software applications that Informatica runs its business on are cloud applications at this point. But not every organization is ready or able to move that quickly. For the vast majority of larger corporations with a great deal of gravity around on-premise applications and data, it will be a long process. Recently, I spoke to a bank that had over 100 data warehouses and used thousands of applications to run its business. Organizations of that size and complexity will not be moving to the cloud overnight.
So, what should your organization’s public cloud strategy be? That depends on a number of factors, including the size and scope of your data. Depending on your organization’s needs, your cloud strategy can be to:
– Buy new applications in the cloud where there is no on-premise application of equivalent functionality available.
– Hold the current on-premise applications constant and add any new applications in the cloud.
– Institute a “cloud-first policy” where you would primarily use cloud applications unless you can justify a deviation from that policy.
– Institute a “cloud-only” policy. This is an extreme step, and I have not seen many F500 companies doing this.
– Or a combination of any of the above
Once you have determined your cloud strategy, you can start to scope out the size of the data management challenge you will be dealing with. Different organizations are going to have different public cloud journeys and different speeds of implementing them.
No matter what your strategy is, you will most likely be dealing with a hybrid environment for several years as you split your applications between on-premise and cloud options. If you are planning your data integration and data management strategy for this hybrid world, here are some safe assumptions:
– For most large organizations, particularly those with a history of on-premise applications and data, the journey to the public cloud is going to be a long process of change. In the interim, you will be dealing with a highly hybrid environment from a data management point of view.
– Cloud applications will continue to proliferate and grow rapidly. These will need to have data synched and managed with other applications, both on-premise and in the cloud.
– We will continue to see strong growth in cloud analytics from cloud data warehouses, such as AWS Redshift, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and Snowflake. These analytics platforms are going to include an increasing amount of machine learning/deep learning, predictive, and AI analytics capabilities.