Why data in the cloud changes everything

Companies are learning how to take advantage of having their data in the cloud

Why data in the cloud changes everything

In my conversations this week as a moderator at the Structure Data conference, it was clear that some companies are stretching the boundaries of using data in the cloud.

But what patterns are emerging in the use of data in the cloud?

First, we've only starting to see the value of data. Now that we're breaking down silos, we can view our data in more meaningful ways.

At Netflix, that translates to the ability to recommend video content in real time, as well as spot trends and service markets better. You could argue this was Netflix's formula for success and why its competitors failed to provide the same level of service.

I suspect that such a realization will dawn at less-innovative companies as additional case studies are published. More likely, it'll start as the competition begins to use this technology against them -- though it's too late by then.

Second, public clouds are merely platforms to run the data. They don't possess any magical capabilities. Indeed, moving data to public clouds is hard, but once there, you get better efficiencies and, more important, better scalability.

This means that once you're in the cloud, your data is much easier to deal with. While this is good news for new companies and new systems, most enterprises will find that moving to the cloud takes months of serious planning. If your current state has the data is in siloed systems and your planned state is to consolidate your data in the cloud, you're in for a lot of work. But I believe it is worth the effort.

Although there's no magic, there is an amazing amount of potential in cloud-based data that will make or break companies. Make it, don't be broken by it.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.