As per the International Data Corporation(IDC) forecast revenue, the big data and business analytics (BDA) solutions have grown rapidly in the past few years. The market made $169B in revenue in 2018 – which was $122B in 2015 and $149 in 2017. An estimated reach to $189B in this year, an increase of 12.0% (CAGR) over 2018. IDC believes that worldwide BDA revenue will be $274.3 billion by 2022, with the five years (2018-2022) Compound annual growth rate(CAGR) of 13.2%.
And, the global spending on cloud market is increasing by 16.5%(CAGR) and is expected to reach 354 billion dollars by 2022.
In this fast-growing market, there is no surprise that Big data and cloud computing platforms are being acquired and converted into bigger tech companies.
The advancement of technology has allowed companies to reap the benefits of streamlined processes and cost-efficient operations. But the one thing that has become a game-changer for businesses of all sizes is the availability of data from every source imaginable – social media, sensors, business applications, and many more.
Merging big data with cloud computing is a powerful combination that can transform your organization.
In this article, we will explore the mutual benefits of these two technologies and why big data in the cloud makes perfect sense… So, let’s start!
What is Big Data?
Big data is a field that takes a computerized approach to extract the information from or deal with the data sets that are too complex in nature, with traditional data-processing application software.
To get a better idea of how big data is, let’s review some statistics:
- Over 1 billion Google searches are made and 294 billion emails are sent every day
- Every minute, 65,972 Instagram photos are posted, 448,800 tweets are composed, and 500 hours worth of YouTube videos are uploaded.
- By 2020, the number of smartphone users could reach 6.1 billion. And taking the Internet of Things (IoT) into account, there could be 26 billion connected devices by then.
For sure, big data is really big.
Why should big data and its exponential growth matter to your business?
According to a research Accenture study reveals that 79 percent of corporate executives surveyed believe that ‘companies that do not embrace big data will lose their competitive position and may even face extinction’. Furthermore, an overwhelming 83 percent have taken on big data projects with the aim of outperforming others in their respective industries.
Big data projects can really impact the growth of an organization. But as this survey by New Vantage Partners shows, how big data helping enterprises in reducing the cost(49.2%) and driving innovation(44.3%).
Data Source: Big data initiatives and success rate – courtesy of New Vantage Partners
If you haven’t really started into it, your competitors may be leaving you behind.
Big data projects large sets of data that are too complex in nature and when you discover the ways to extract it at a much larger scale – you will be required better methods to process and analyze this data.
This is where the cloud comes in when your data goes to the cloud.
Why big data in the cloud makes perfect sense?
The benefits of moving to the cloud have been well documented. But these benefits play a big role when we talk of big data analytics.
Big data involves manipulating petabytes (and perhaps soon, exabytes and zettabytes) of data, and the cloud’s scalable environment makes it possible to deploy data-intensive applications that power business analytics. The cloud also simplifies connectivity and collaboration within an organization, which gives more employees access to relevant analytics and streamlines data sharing.
For instance, optimization of the supply chain and efficient tracking of defects – both principal concerns of a COO of a physical product company – is made easier with material data on hand. Data is also key for the CMO looking to increase customer engagement and loyalty, and for the CFO seeking new opportunities for cost reduction, revenue growth, and strategic investments.
And all of these insights can be easily presented to the CEO to inform fast, strategic decision making.
Whatever perspective you may have, big data complemented with an agile cloud platform can affect significant change in the way your organization does business and achieves your objectives.
Its infrastructure shifting towards cloud computing. According to a Forrester Research survey in 2017 revealed that big data solutions via cloud subscriptions will increase about 7.5 times faster than on-premise options.
Data Source: Big Data Solutions Forecast – courtesy of Forrester
Bringing Big data to the cloud presents huge opportunities or benefits, but there are few challenges that need to be overcome.
Let’s move to the advantages first.
Benefits of bringing big data to the cloud
Requires zero capital expenditure
The cloud has fundamentally changed IT spending as organizations know it—and in a good way.
Big data requires immense infrastructure resources – that means high on-premise capital expenditure(CAPEX) investment required. But the cloud’s infrastructure-as-a-service model has completely eliminated its biggest CAPEX costs by shifting these into the operating expenditure (OPEX) column.
So whenever you need to set up your database servers or data warehouses, you won’t need to make massive upfront investments.
Enables faster scalability
Larger versions of both structured and unstructured data require processing power, storage, and more. The cloud not only provides a readily available infrastructure but also the ability to scale this infrastructure really quickly so that you can manage large spikes in traffic or usage.
Reduces the cost of analytics
Mining big data in the cloud has made the analytics process less costly. In addition to the reduction of on-premise infrastructure, you can also reduce the costs related to system maintenance and upgrades, energy consumption, facility management, and more. You can also worry less about the technical aspects of processing big data and focus more on creating insights. Even better, the cloud’s pay-as-you-go model is more cost-efficient, with little waste of resources.
Motivates an agile and innovative culture
The ability to innovate is a mindset that should be cultivated within any enterprise. This type of culture can lead to creative ways of using big data to gain a competitive advantage, and the cloud makes it easier to spin up the necessary infrastructure to do so. When your team focuses on analyzing data instead of managing servers and databases, you can more easily and quickly unearth insights that can help you augment product lines, boost operational efficiency, improve customer service, and more.
Helps in business continuity and disaster recovery
In cases of cyber attacks, power outages or equipment failure, traditional data recovery strategies will no longer do the trick. The task of replicating a data center – with duplicate storage, servers, networking equipment, and other infrastructure – in preparation for a disaster is tedious, difficult, and expensive.
In addition, legacy systems often take very long to back up and restore. This is especially true in the era of big data when data stores are so immense and expansive.
Having the data stored in cloud infrastructure will allow your organization to recover from disasters faster, thus ensuring continued access to information and vital big data insights.
Challenges of big data in the cloud
With over many advantages of big data in the cloud, there are a few challenges. Overcoming these requires a concerted effort from IT leaders, C-suite executives, and other business stakeholders.
These large datasets often contain sensitive information such as individuals’ addresses, credit card details, social security numbers, and other personal information. Ensuring that this data is kept protected is of paramount importance. Data breaches could mean serious penalties under various regulations and a tarnished company brand, which can lead to loss of customers and revenue.
While security should not be a hindrance to migrating to the cloud, you will have less direct control over your data, which can be a big organizational change and may cause some discomfort.
To deal with this, be sure to carefully evaluate the security protocols and understand the shared responsibility model of your cloud service provider so you know what your roles and obligations are.
Compliance is another concern that you’ll have to think about when moving data to the cloud. Cloud service providers maintain a certain level of compliance with various regulations such as HIPAA, PCI, and many more. But similar to security, you no longer have full control over your data’s compliance requirements.
Even if your CSP is managing a good chunk of your compliance, you should make sure you know the answers to the following questions:
- Where is the data going to reside?
- Who is going to manage it, and who can access it?
- What local data regulations do I need to comply with?
If your company is in a highly regulated industry like healthcare or finance, these questions become much more important.
Network dependency and latency issues
The flipside of having easy connectivity to data in the cloud is that the availability of the data is highly reliant on a network connection. This dependence on the internet means that the system could be prone to service interruptions.
In addition, the issue of latency in the cloud environment could well come into play given the volume of data that’s being transferred, analyzed, and processed at any given time.
The cloud has transformed how corporations do business. Whether companies use SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, they’ve realized the gains of increased cost savings, efficiency, and agility.
But, Big data does not equal big chaos.
Yes, the amount and speed with which data is growing can be overwhelming, especially for organizations that are just getting started. But by using the cloud for big data initiatives, your enterprise can transform itself into an efficient, data-driven organization.
Have you moved to the cloud? How has it impacted the speed and quality of your data analysis, and what effect has it had on improving your business? We’d love to hear from you.