How to manage business data in the cloud
MJ Scholtz, Data Engineer at PBT Group
In my previous blog, I discussed the four steps companies should consider taking when moving their data to the cloud. From planning and choosing the environment to migrating the data and applications to testing and validating them, all are integral to ensuring a successful transition. In this blog, the spotlight turns to how best to manage business data in the cloud.
In theory, once the organisation has completed its cloud migration tasks, managing the data in the cloud can be a simple and rewarding task. There are many good cloud-based technologies out there that will help companies manage their daily ETL and analytics tasks. This can be done effectively through the use of one of the many next generation iPaaS (integration platform as a service) solutions available on the market today.
Many of these cloud-based technologies also offer pay-as-you-use scalable payment solutions. These not only save operational costs, for example, by allowing the business to pay only for the amount of data records that it processes, but also provides an ad-hoc ‘automatic’ upscaling ability for those times where extra processing power is required. For instance, over month-end. With the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend around the corner, retailers can significantly benefit from such cloud-based environments.
Partner of choice
When selecting a technology partner, it is once again my recommendation for the business to consult with a data specialist team first. This will help the company get a full analytical view of its requirements. This will also enable the company to make a more informed decision on what tools and technology stacks will provide the most value for its business.
There is a vast array of products on the market currently that can help an organisation manage its data in the cloud. From my experience, here are a few key points that I tend to look for in a cloud-based data management tool:
Each organisation is unique. This means there are unique challenges and unique ways to get around any specific issues. It is therefore important that the solution should accommodate the necessary ‘customisations’ to the dataflows.
Source control is one of the most important factors that can help ensure continuous delivery throughout a project life cycle. It allows for a close collaboration between the dev teams and IT operations through the means of iterative development and version control.
Easy integration with databases and other business applications
This can be one of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks during a project. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that the selected product is able to connect to all required data sources and necessary business applications easily and natively. Secondly, the product must be able to expand or customise these connections as the business grows and new technologies are onboarded.
Managing cloud-based business data does not have to be a complex undertaking. By keeping these simple elements in mind, an organisation can unlock value to harness new business opportunities.