Moving Data And Analytics to the Cloud – 3 Key Steps To Build Your Business Case
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 data and analytical applications 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.
Don’t Fall Into The “Lift And Shift” Trap
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.
Here are three key steps to building your data and analytics cloud migration business case.
1. Establish Clear Business Objectives
Migrating your data and analytics to the cloud 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?
- Do you need to more rapidly adjust product pricing to address today’s fast moving market conditions?
These are just some examples of business benefits our customers have identified in moving their data and analytics to the cloud. To ensure success, they have built business cases that establish clear business objectives for identifying what applications and data to move to the cloud, how best to do it and when.
2. Analyze Your Analytics and Data Usage Framed by Clear Business Objectives
Profiling and analyzing your candidate analytical applications and data sets is critical to determining if these applications are suited to delivering the cloud business benefits you have defined. Identifying and analyzing which users and functional areas are accessing what data, how frequently and with what applications 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 sets 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.
3. Measure Your Costs and Benefits
Profiling your data and analytics gives you the metrics to determine both the cost and benefits for each application, user group and data 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 your business intelligence 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.
Because of complexity and legacy inefficiencies, just lifting and shifting your current data and analytics to the cloud will not deliver the benefits most companies are seeking from their migration and modernization efforts. To ensure your data and analytic deliver more value to the business, it’s critical to establish the business case based on clear business objectives and a thorough analysis of your data and analytics usage.
Chris is VP Marketing and a co-founder of Teleran. He has over 30 years’ experience in helping companies manage, leverage and protect their business-critical information. Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.