Moving to the cloud? Don’t forget your data strategy

Assad Jacoby is AVP of cloud alliances at Sisense. With vast experience in planning and executing business strategies to maximise customer success with some of the world’s major enterprises and organisations, Assaf leads a large 50+ team of specialists to provide the best-in-class cloud services and platforms to Sisense’s enterprise customers and born to the cloud startups.

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated migration to the cloud. More organisations than ever before are looking towards cloud-based applications. According to Deloitte, more than 90% of global enterprises will rely on hybrid cloud by 2022. Furthermore, 68% of CIOs ranked “migrating to the public cloud and/or expanding private cloud” as the top IT spending driver in 2020, up 20 points from a similar survey only six months earlier.

The cloud provides huge benefits, especially for a remote and distributed workforce, and the means to scale and future-proof businesses in an environment of massive change. Moving to the cloud isn’t an option anymore, it’s essential. In fact, recent figures show the UK is now the third biggest investor in cloud computing (£10 billion), coming just behind China (£10.5 billion) & USA (£124.6 billion).

But despite these trends, cloud also introduces a whole new set of challenges and opportunities from a data strategy perspective.

So what’s next for enterprises looking to make the most of their organisation’s data in this cloud-first landscape?

Data, disruption and adaptation

The cloud has proven itself as a far better collaborative platform than on-premise solutions, especially as COVID amplified disruptions in the way we live and work. For instance, more remote work has increased the use of collaboration tools like Slack or Zoom that run on cloud providers like AWS and Oracle.

However  as more services have gone online, accumulating more data, access to that data has become even more important to ensure that organisations effectively operate and serve their customers. The cloud enables businesses to work faster, and do more, with more data. Moving to the cloud has become a way of staying ahead of the competition, and for many businesses, a means of survival – but all this accessible data does require a different approach.

Cloud migration and unlocking more from your data

The most impactful driver of migration to the cloud is the way cloud technology unlocks the value organisations get from their data. The huge capacity, power and flexibility of cloud services enables you to gather, manage and analyse huge amounts, and types of data that were previously difficult or impossible to access, thereby delivering better insights to drive decision-making.

The increasing volume of data derives from an ever-growing array of sources. There’s structured data found in databases such as spreadsheets and SQL databases. There’s also unstructured data, like text, email, images, audio, video, sensors, and more.

It’s estimated that by 2025,  80% of data will be unstructured. Until the rise of the cloud, this data was often too heavy, complex, and varied to store and analyse. Now, the cloud can handle it. It offers enormous opportunities to add value to businesses by enabling them to get intelligence from this huge, often untapped mass of data.

AWS, for example, provides users with high-performance cloud data systems and comprehensive cloud data management and analytics services. They enable organisations to modernise their data architectures and create new business value. Combined with the power of a growing number of data/analytics platforms available today, organisations can manage and analyse the vast array of data generated and stored across all of AWS’ suite of cloud services and deliver insights that benefit every user and every team.

Using embedded analytics in the cloud

Just because more data is available via the cloud, does not mean that everyone across an organisation is constantly extracting value from it. In fact, analytic adoption is still relatively low – especially for lines of business outside of IT – and this data overload brought on by the cloud may only intimidate and deter them from attempting to get started. Too much data means too many possible insights and it can be hard to know where to begin.

But breaking down this analytic adoption barrier is critical for organisations looking to become truly data-driven. That’s why the most innovative organisations are starting to take advantage of embedded analytics that provides insights to business users where they are already spending their time (traditionally, they would need to leave their workflow and analyse a dashboard to attempt a data-driven decision). Now, embedded analytics technology can infuse actionable insights directly in the collaboration apps people are already using without disrupting any workflow.

A user might type in a question to Slack, for example, and the embedded analytics (fueled by ML/AI) can deliver the answer immediately within the Slack interface. In this case, extracting value from all that business data becomes easy, without disrupting the usual workflow., providing immediate insights that can drive impactful business decisions – and better yet, all cloud-based.

Moving to the cloud is a compelling proposition with game-changing potential, which is why so many enterprises are making the shift. But all that accessible data brought on by the cloud will not guarantee your enterprise will automatically become data-driven on its own. Combining the cloud with data strategies that encourage analytic adoption across the organisation, such as leveraging embedded analytics, is what will truly set your organisation for success.

About Sisense

Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organizations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customizable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, five years in a row. Visit us at www.sisense.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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