How to Avoid Cloud-Washing: Understanding Hybrid Cloud Analytics
By Sharryn Napier, Vice President And Regional Director For Qlik, Australia And New Zealand
Australian businesses are moving towards a hybrid cloud future. According to a research by International Data Corporation (IDC), over 50 percent of Australian organisations have adopted what they consider to be a hybrid cloud strategy, while close to 80 percent of all respondents have some aspirations for a hybrid cloud environment. It is therefore unsurprising to see the term “Hybrid Cloud Analytics” appearing more frequently in the contemporary Business Intelligence (BI) market. However, it’s a term that is being overused and misunderstood as those in the industry seek to align with the latest trend. We see the future value of hybrid cloud analytics as empowering the end users to embrace a customized cloud strategy of their own, rather than using one that has been dictated to them by a supplier.
A hybrid cloud environment is defined by the customer. What do I mean by that? I mean that a hybrid cloud solution should not dictate where or which cloud the customer must use with their on-premise installation. Although this point should seem obvious, some large vendors in the space are ignoring this critical point, as they dictate choices based on their (lack of) capabilities.
Why a hybrid approach to analytics just makes sense
Today, companies across the board require a choice when it comes to deploying new technologies - whether on-premise or in a private cloud leveraging the infrastructure of their choice. In fact, they have the option to choose where they want analytics to operate.
However, the truth is that an either-or choice does not truly represent where the vast majority of customers are today in their IT investments, and where they plan to be over time. Most businesses have both data and applications that run onsite, behind a firewall, as well as data and applications that both originate and run in the cloud. The world is not black and white; it has many shades of grey. That’s why a true hybrid approach is required to help support both where customers are today, as well as help them migrate more of their workloads offsite over time as they so choose. A hybrid cloud approach to analytics is the key to enabling a customer’s cloud strategy versus dictating it. This is why the trend is pointing toward hybrid cloud analytics.
Hybrid cloud analytics provides full centralised control of all data, wherever it resides
With hybrid cloud comes hybrid data – found onsite, via private or public cloud with orchestration between the platforms. True hybrid analytics is about more than the ability to publish an analytical application (or sheet for some) from an onsite installation to a cloud offering could be valuable.
In fact, where the data resides in a true hybrid cloud analytics platform should not matter to the user who could access it from any device based on their role and security permissions. A properly governed solution allows users to define rules around where data and/or the analysis on that data can be stored or run – providing the ability to create enforcement rules on where things can and will reside based on the sensitivity and security of that dataset. It should be easy to manage user entitlements and licensing between the platforms. A hybrid cloud analytics solution must allow for bi-directional migration to/ from one infrastructure environment to another and should be managed as one, seamless environment across infrastructure boundaries via a single console.
This is where the future of true hybrid cloud analytics is headed because these are the considerations IT leaders are taking to safeguard their data while gaining the flexibility and scalability for more self-service use of data in the cloud.