It is difficult to imagine at least one industry that is not affected by cloud technologies. More precisely, one in which there would be no offers for cloud services. Today, any business, from a flower stand to a rocket manufacturer, can be served by a certain set of cloud services. In a relatively short time, the cloud has become a critical resource for companies around the world.
Data is all around us, but without an appropriate solution to analyze it, it is practically useless. A cloud service provider can help you do this by integrating into your business a cloud system that stores, collects, and processes data in the cloud, and then provides information to support your company across departments. Let’s go over the key details of cloud analytics that business owners should know.
Before we get into the details, we need to get some basic definitions out of the way. So, what is cloud analytics in cloud computing, and how it can help modern business?
The technology development trend is actively pushing businesses to migrate to the cloud.
A significant increase in the amount of data makes the system more complex and clumsy. Then there is a need to increase the number of IT specialists, which consumes more electricity and increases the cost of maintenance. Process flexibility is reduced, and there is much less business scalability while storing company data on in-house servers.
But with the use of cloud solutions, all these issues are quickly resolved. This provides a secure and reliable virtual environment for data storage and analytics.
Cloud-based analytics is more popular than ever in 2022. When we talk about cloud analytics we mean software for analyzing a large set of data, which is, as a rule, provided on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis. This is a combination of technological, infrastructure, analytical solutions, and methods that help clients extract the necessary information from collected data in a very short period of time, in fact, in real-time.
In the cloud computing model, data analysis takes place in the cloud rather than locally. While local analytics or a regular spreadsheet may be enough for small businesses, cloud analytics solutions allow companies to process large amounts of data using all computing services, including servers, storage, databases, networks, software, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
Although cloud analytics solutions are mostly SaaS-based, some can also be provided through the platform as a service (PaaS) model. Users themselves create custom solutions to run on the cloud infrastructure. They are tailored for specific tasks, business infrastructures, and other requirements. During this time, the provider maintains middleware, operating systems, virtualization capabilities, servers, storage, and networking components.
With cloud-based analytics, system maintenance costs are significantly reduced and productivity is increased. This is since all calculations do not take place on your own or rented equipment, but in the cloud. And because of remote centralization, every employee has access to reliable data via the Internet.
Modern data processing centers, or, as they are also called, data centers, are server rooms designed to create and host a high-performance IT infrastructure. It allows companies to process large amounts of data, helping to reach new productivity levels while finding improved and more accurate results. It offers a win-win for most businesses, making data processing affordable and accessible.
There are main stages involved in cloud analytics processes:
We already live in a world where there are more devices connected to the IoT (Internet of Things) than people. Many industries are using IoT to understand consumer needs in real-time, increase agility, improve the quality of machines and systems, streamline operations, and find innovative ways to work as part of their digital transformation efforts.
For example, streaming data from the Internet of Medical Things, such as wearables that track exercise, sleep, and various vital signs.
IoT applications are used to solve many real-world problems: traffic congestion, interaction with city services, economic development, citizen participation in the life of the city, and public safety and security.
One more example: distributed network resources such as solar and wind power are integrated through the Internet of Things. And behavioral data, such as from smart homes, improve convenience and security and helps develop customized services.
All of the above is structured and unstructured data, different in volume and speed, that enterprises collect every day. To benefit from big data in IoT, you need to analyze it, and it is convenient to work with it in the cloud: you do not need huge server rooms to store and process data. Key methods include filtering, normalization, standardization, transformation, aggregation, correlation, and temporal analysis.
You can find dedicated software for all business needs. Basic tools can perform primitive functions, while AI and machine learning solutions will handle the most complex work to help the business. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using cloud analytics.
This is the main benefit. With cloud analytics, the process becomes faster and produces effective results in the shortest possible time. That’s why organizations can get valuable information, which improves the quality of decisions.
When the IT department does its own data control, it’s hard for them to make quick, informed decisions. With cloud analytics IT professionals can focus on the logic, leaving aside all infrastructure concerns. This allows you to achieve your goals thanks to timely information: attract new customers, increase revenue, and also bring your business to a new level faster.
While costs may vary from company to company, cloud solutions can be more cost-effective compared to other IT infrastructures. This is because, with cloud computing, you only pay for what you use. Consequently, providers supply tools that help businesses save on IT infrastructure costs.
Cost savings are usually achieved through the following methods:
Migrating to cloud infrastructure requires an initial investment. But with the right spending management strategy, good ROI can be achieved.
At a fundamental level, cloud analytics is more flexible than local computing. There is no need to integrate additional physical resources if you need to scale up. In fact, in many cloud computing schemes, you can access more resources in real-time when the need arises and then cut back to save.
For example, if you run an e-shop and you know there will be more activity on Black Friday. Instead of maintaining servers all year round, the cloud service will solve this issue when it is needed.
Many people think that data available in the cloud is insecure. Business owners are interested in how secure files, programs, and data are in the cloud—what will prevent hackers from taking and accessing this data?
Service providers guarantee security. The combination of the best security tools: from a system of data encryption at rest and transmission to the implementation of several security settings, can provide a very reliable infrastructure. Even if there is a data leak, it takes several minutes to detect.
But users of cloud services should also be extremely careful and follow all security rules, especially when controlling access to data and managing security keys. Using consistent security across both your internal and cloud infrastructure is the best way to ensure security.
Remote work is now the norm. This has become especially popular during the pandemic. Businesses that want to stay competitive are hiring skilled workers from all over the world, whether in the same city as the company or on the other side of the planet.
The cloud is an internet service. This means that all resources in the cloud are available over the internet. The user needs to sign in to the account and access the resources in the cloud. Employees don’t need to work onsite to access the resources they need to do a job.
Gone are the days when colleagues needed to email files back and forth to exchange information. Everyone now uses cloud storage, which updates files in real-time as they are edited. The simplest example of cloud collaboration software is Google Docs, which can be edited by multiple people.
Cloud analytics combines all company data sources to get a more complete picture of business processes. All employees, regardless of their physical location, time of the day, and mood, can easily access and share data with employees around the world.
Today, everyone understands how important it is to protect yourself from data loss. Therefore, many people backup files, photos, etc. in the cloud. The same goes for business.
All organizations need to be aware that data loss will occur at some point. If all their important documents and files are stored in only one place, one disaster could destroy the entire organization.
Cloud storage allows companies to save huge amounts of data away from the office and across multiple locations. If an accident happens, they can simply turn on their recovery protocol to get back to square one. And to prevent data loss and application downtime, cloud providers ensure that data is replicated across multiple sites. This prevents losses from disaster or any other unexpected errors.
Another advantage is that you do not have to sit and wait for updates to be installed. Cloud applications do this automatically and without the intervention of IT staff. This saves time and money. In general, the tools are very easy to use; workers can use cloud analytics tools without prior training.
Usually, this benefit of the cloud is completely overlooked. But in modern realities, when animals are dying out and future generations are threatened by global warming, in fact, cloud technologies, unlike installed, maintained, and then disposed of machines, cause much less harm to the environment. You simply rent or buy a place in the cloud, and do not maintain a server room, thus significantly saving on electricity.
Cloud infrastructure is the new normal. Technology has come a long way, new options and solutions have emerged that cannot be ignored. Depending on the characteristics and needs of the business, you have to choose one of the types of cloud models for the analytical platform. This will be a good start for making important strategic business decisions.
There are three main types of clouds: private, public, and hybrid clouds. Each type has its advantages and is suitable for certain tasks. Let’s get to know them.
A public cloud is virtual resources and services combined into one infrastructure and provided to customers as a service (IaaS). With the standard cloud computing model, resources, including virtual machines, applications, and data storage, are made available to remote users.
One analogy of the public cloud is the currently popular format of coworking offices, where the client is provided with a prepared and comfortable workspace for rent. But it, however, has to be shared with neighbors, whom you can’t choose. Examples of public clouds are well known to everyone. This is a website, e-shop, or SaaS for email processing, bank accounts, etc.
The public cloud guarantees rapid deployment and the ability to scale, plus it does not require huge costs. Sometimes service providers may charge a fee, but it’s still cheaper than deploying your own hardware and software infrastructure.
A private cloud, unlike a public one, is not provided to all users, but only to those who are inside the private network. The cloud becomes private when the underlying IT infrastructure is dedicated to a single client with completely isolated access.
Like the public cloud, private cloud analytics provides both scalability and self-service, but it resides in the data center of a separate organization or hosting service. This provides a high level of privacy and security. But installing and maintaining networks and applications will be more expensive than public cloud services.
When choosing a hybrid cloud, part of the infrastructure is hosted in the provider’s public cloud and part in the private cloud. They work together. The hybrid cloud infrastructure consists of virtual networks, servers, virtualization software, and other elements of the cloud infrastructure.
Data exchange between cloud environments with this combination becomes easier. A business that chooses a hybrid cloud analytics system uses a public cloud for public data, and a secure private cloud for sensitive data.
With a hybrid cloud, a company has access to all the benefits of cloud analytics, including scalability, security, and low cost.
In this article, we examined in detail what cloud analytics is and the many benefits it brings to a business. Public cloud, private, or hybrid, it doesn’t matter. Data volumes are increasing at a breakneck pace, so companies are increasingly moving to cloud infrastructure, and if your company is not familiar with this, then consider NIX United as your reliable partner. Contact us to learn more about cloud analytics.
Alina is a business development manager with a wide range of managerial experience in different areas. And now, for more than five years, she has been helping businesses realize challenging projects on the edge of up-to-date technology with NIX.
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