Combatting Human Nature to Get the Most Out of the CloudApril 28, 2020
By: Matt O’Connell, general manager, WhereScape
Human nature is the biggest inhibitor for businesses who are looking to step out of their comfort zone. Think about it – how many times did a company come together for a brainstorm only to never get started on their big idea because of the time investment required? The mental barrier of the initial pain required in order to begin a new initiative prohibits many companies from being able to reap the benefits that might come at the end, no matter how great they are.
In business, short-term tactical needs often get in the way of achieving longer-term strategic value. It’s something that I see increasingly as startups, and even established organizations, wrestle with the desire to move to the cloud and the proposition of migrating their existing data and data infrastructure to get there.
By now, the business case for adopting a cloud-based data warehousing strategy is compelling. After all, the competitive edge for any organization is built on the ability to manage data and extract its value and insight. To achieve this, organizations must use a flexible, scalable built-for-the-cloud data warehousing platform.
However, building a cloud-based data warehousing platform is easier said than done. Cost and complexity remain two of the biggest inhibitors to deploying part or all of an organizations’ IT infrastructure to the cloud. Traditionally, it’s required teams of developers (consuming massive amounts of time and with a lot of room for error), project risk and general unease of adopting a new technology. These reasons can set up a mental barrier to pursuing the longer-term payoff of making the decision to move more, or all, of your infrastructure to the cloud.
There is no need for business leaders and IT teams to be afraid. At the end of the day, it boils down to an implementation strategy to minimize costs and complexity.
For many organizations contemplating changing up their cloud infrastructure, it won’t be their first data warehousing effort. Likely, they have existing approaches in place, and moving to a new data platform can be a complex, time-consuming and expensive process. Developers have to consider everything from mapping the old infrastructure onto the new one, ensuring metadata consistency and actually transferring and validating the data in its new location. All in all, it’s a strenuous process.
The first option is to manage the entire process manually, creating bespoke code for each aspect of migration. The benefit of this comes in the sense of control: By manually managing the transition, companies can retain a strong sense of oversight into each piece of the process, individually mapping existing infrastructure to new infrastructure piece by piece.
But while hand coding will help organizations successfully migrate to the cloud, it can be slow and costly and can even introduce risk if any errors are made — after all, even the best tennis players aren’t at the top of their game 24/7. For many businesses, while they can see the value that moving to a data warehouse in the cloud will provide, they can’t see beyond the challenge of how to make that leap. The manual migration of different parts of the data infrastructure into the cloud is simply too slow a path to a hybrid environment.
Automation, on the other hand, can reduce the manual routine tasks of cloud migration, taking on formulaic migration processes to allow developers to focus on the more value-added aspects of the process. At a time when IT teams are facing enormous pressure to deliver analytical information faster than ever with squeezed resources, automation can help speed up the migration process, and hasten the time to value.
The desire to want results instantly is only human, but businesses should not let it stand in the way of increasing their competitive edge from cloud data warehousing. After the benefits are in sight, it’s critical that you don’t become waylaid by the perceived effort of making it happen. The benefits will be significant and then what you saw as obstacles will no longer apply. No matter how you get to the cloud or adjust your infrastructure, the initial transition out of your business’ comfort zone will be invaluable for putting those roadblocks to cloud migration in the rearview mirror. The amount of value you will be able to extract from your data will be insurmountable.
About the Author
Matt O’Connell is general manager at WhereScape, the leading provider in data infrastructure automation software. Prior to his time at WhereScape, he also worked for companies such as Microsoft, BMC Software and Oracle.