4 Advantages of Having a Data Warehouse on Cloud

Cloud has become a disruptive solution for storing data and maintaining a data warehouse which brings about a bunch of advantages to enterprises.

The significance of establishing and maintaining a data warehouse is undoubtable to any business. The main purpose of a data warehouse is to provide aggregated data in a suitable structure and format for inner use, especially for decision making. Data needed for a data warehouse can be extracted directly from the original internal database, which includes sales data, marketing data, financial data and also external data from other sources. Such massive data requires much effort in managing. The larger company scale, the larger burden on finding a solution for storing and maintaining a data warehouse effectively is. 

In recent years, cloud services have become indispensable. Some even claim that in the future, we will all be moving to the cloud. Metaphorically; however, the statement is not entirely wrong. According to RightScale 2019 report on cloud, 84% of surveyed enterprises used cloud strategically, IT workloads on cloud accounted for about 79%, and spending on cloud was significant and had been growing quickly over the time [1]. Correspondingly, cloud has become a disruptive solution for storing data and maintaining a data warehouse which brings about a bunch of advantages to enterprises.

 

Changing from CAPEX to OPEX and the potential of Enormous Cost-saving

Cloud services are normally based on demand-basis with pay-as-you-go pricing policy. Therefore, one of the most significant advantages of using cloud for storing data is the benefit in budgeting and financial management. Companies no longer need to spend large upfront investments in hardware and overpay for data capacity they might not use (CAPEX). Instead of buying, owning and maintaining physical data centers and servers, they can access technology services such as computing power, storage and databases on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider (OPEX). As a result, the company can increase its visibility in IT expenses and predict the incoming cost based on expanding need of the business. Compared to huge expenses on offices and physical equipment, the variable expenses on using cloud is much lower and easier to control. In other words, the cloud frees enterprises from managing infrastructure and data centers so they can focus on what matters most to their business. Additionally, data warehouse built on cloud can be changed agilely in scale as enterprise grow in running business. It takes little effort to scale things up and down with cloud.

Accessibility 

Cloud allows enterprise insiders to quickly access to the data warehouse from multiple devices at real time. Enterprises normally own a system of several technology devices and equipment which might lead to hundreds or thousands of access per second. Therefore, the data system requires speed and to ensure the company’s ability to function effectively and innovate fast. Online data storage eliminates the restriction of data accessing by location. Enhancing mobility provides for better communication and bring about advantages to office work in general for the majority of enterprises, especially globalized workplace where employees change their place of working from time to time. In addition, cloud computing and other IoT technology on storage could automatically update any changes right on the spot, so any resource access from the cloud will be in real time as they’re needed. Cloud services give companies instant access to a broad range of data from different locations, different devices in just a few clicks, reduce latency and enhance productivity.  

Availability

Availability refers to the ability to constantly support, which means all data is ready to use at any time. Cloud service provider must have a defense system to avoid distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Besides, cloud can also eliminate the risk of losing data as an unfortunate situation. The data on cloud is backed up and stored in different servers. Companies can even create an isolated zone for particular data or for exclusive use which will not affect or be affected by other zones, which reduces the chance of losing data. No matter what size the company is, data warehouse collapses will cost a lot of damage to the company. With cloud backed-up, even when an accident happens, the data is still available. 

Security

Contrary to the normal concern that cloud might pose a threat to data security, it is suggested by experts years ago that that cloud providers had done a better job with security than on-premises systems. “IT should be taking advantage of that cloud security focus, not ignoring it.”, said cloud expert David Linthicum [2]. Sean Roche, associate deputy director of the CIA’s Digital Innovation Directorate, shared in an interview:the cloud on its weakest day is more secure than a client service solution” [3]. In recent years, cloud service providers have invested a lot in access control system, identity verifying and managing, breach prevention and constantly worked on new IT technology to release hundreds of security and compliance related features and service enhancements every year. 

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As 2020 unfolds, with rapid change in the digital world and fast adaption to new technology, more and more enterprises are choosing cloud to accompany them in managing a data warehouse. Organization of every types, size and industry are also using the cloud for a wide variety of other use cases, such as emails, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer-facing web applications and so on. The advantages of cloud, therefore, are undeniable and varies depending on the practice of each and every enterprise. 

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Reference: 

[1] RightScale, “2019 State of the Cloud Report”, 2019 

[2] David Linthicum, “The public cloud is more secure than your data center”, 2015 

[3] Sean Roche, Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit, Washington, D.C, 2018 

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