The path to cloud success goes through your data

Here are the three key capabilities you need to succeed in the cloud once you’re operational

The path to cloud success goes through your data
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Last week, Google showcased its enterprise cloud offerings at the Google Cloud Next conference, trying to show it could meet the needs of businesses, not only schools and small companies. The underlying pattern I saw in Google’s presentations was data.

Increasingly, I see the same focus on data among all cloud providers. It’s not Google alone that understands the need for data. Data should also be your IT organization’s measure of success in the cloud. I often look at the state of the data to determine success or failure of an enterprise that’s moving—or has moved—to the cloud.

Here are the three specific data issues you should be focused on.

The ability to seamlessly move data between on-premises and cloud systems

This means staging, prep, transport, security, and governance—the whole enchilada. Enterprises that are good at this typically have a strategic technology for integrating their data. More and more, this technology is available on demand from a public cloud.

The ability to store data, so it can be read and analyzed when needed

I often find enterprises with petabytes of data in the public cloud, but with no good methods to access or make sense of it in a manner that provides value to the business. You need the ability to get at the data for dashboards and reporting. More important, you need the ability to embed those analytics directly into business processes. Machine learning is an emerging option to better understand your data.

The ability to manage the data using a layer of abstraction

An abstraction layer removes you from the underlying complexities of the data. To have such abstraction, you need data governance, database management, data performance monitoring, and data security. And you need to manage all of these through a single pane of glass for accessing solid tools.

How do you rank? Most enterprises don’t do data well in the cloud, so they have some work ahead to make data work in the cloud. But it’s worth the effort: The ability to manage, access, and exploit your data in the public cloud is how you actually succeed in the cloud.