Migrating Data Warehousing And Analytics to the Cloud – The Business Case Is Critical

Building The Business Case to the Cloud. 

As more cloud migration decisions are driven by business management, establishing a sound cloud business case is absolutely required for both short term and long-term success. My company, Teleran, works with organizations moving BI and analytical applications, and data warehouses to the cloud. Whether it is a large Fortune 500 bank or a mid-size health-care provider, there is one critical step in making sound business and technical decisions in cloud migrations that companies sometimes skip – at their own peril.

It is not just about saving money. In fact, in some cases it may be costlier to operate in the cloud, but worth it. Is your company seeking to reallocate IT staff to more profit-generating activities, or gain faster time to market? Are you looking to increase agility in creating better analytics or integrating additional data to speed up marketing campaign adjustments, or adjust product pricing to address fast moving market conditions? These are just some examples of business benefits our customers have identified in moving their data warehouses to the cloud. To ensure success, they have built cases that establish a clear business context and objectives for identifying what applications and data to move to the cloud, how best to do it and when.

Analyzing and Profiling Your Analytics and Data Usage

Profiling and analyzing your candidate applications and data sets is critical to determining if these applications are suited to delivering the cloud business benefits you have outlined. Identifying and analyzing which users and functional areas are accessing what data, how frequently and with what application is critical to confirming and prioritizing what applications and data to target, and what effort and cost will it take to migrate and operate productively for the business users once in the cloud.

By profiling and analyzing your usage, you can quickly determine that some data warehouses and analytical applications are just fine where they are, on premise. They may be legacy applications that bring value to the organization, but, are not critical to update or adapt. Others can reap significant rewards by migrating to the cloud to take advantage of more modern and agile analytical applications or being able to allocate staff to creating more effective analytics.

Profiling your data warehouse and analytics gives you the metrics to determine both the cost and benefits for each application, user group and data warehouse or datamart you are targeting to move to the cloud. Analyzing existing usage can also identify “legacy” issues that if not addressed prior or during migration, can slow the process, generate more costs, reduce business user productivity, and miss the business benefits promised. Here’s a basic one. Is all the data in the data warehouse actually used and valued by the business? Why migrate it if it is no longer of value. (According to IDC, the average enterprise manages 347.5 TB of data, yet only 28% of that data today represents any value to the day-to-day business.) Are BI applications and reports used frequently or almost never? Are certain analytical applications highly inefficient and will drive up cloud consumption costs without delivering additional value? These are all issues that have impact on how to prioritize, migrate and deliver value to the business with cloud migrations. To learn more about Teleran’s migration analytics for Azure migrations go here.

The Lift and Shift Myth

When it comes to analytics and data warehousing, don’t believe what you hear about lift and shift. The costs can be very high. According to Gartner, through 2023, more than 50 percent of data migration projects will exceed budget and/or result in some form of business disruption due to flawed execution. Without effective understanding of your analytics and data warehouses in a business context, it’s nearly impossible to build a realistic business case, avoid technical surprises, and set the right business expectations for success moving forward.


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