There is a lot of talk about companies trying to better leverage their data using more flexible solutions to scale their business operations to meet growing or fluctuating demands. According to market research company Gartner, public cloud spending growth is expected to climb sharply to $411 billion by 2020.

Businesses are shifting from an inflexible structure to a more agile and dynamic architecture which responds quickly to changing business requirements. Cloud computing is an attractive option for businesses today that are thinking about moving from the headache of on premise equipment with acres of server racks, switches, routers and computers.

For decades, companies have run applications or programs on software downloaded on a premise computer or server. Nowadays, cloud computing allows these same companies to host and access these their applications outside the four walls of their business.

As cloud computing proliferates, leading providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and IBM are investing capital to building sustainable infrastructures that support the technology. Analyst firm IDC estimated market demand for big data storage hardware, services and software to generate a CAGR of nearly 12% through 2020, when revenues are pegged to hit $210 billion.

Migrating to the cloud is a direction a lot of companies are considering to cut costs and boost operational performance. But what is the reality of moving from the existing IT infrastructure toward a cloud-based architecture?

When using a cloud platform, there are some challenges such as ensuring data stays protected, maintaining licensing and compliance, transferring access controls, preventing downtime and availability issues, and minimizing transfer costs. There is not a one-shoe –fit-all approach, as each business is different and so the journey to migrating to the cloud requires strategic thinking.

Business decision-makers need more visibility into cloud budgets which transcend IT teams to build the business case for the move. Whether a business is shifting its entire data center to a public cloud or implementing a hybrid data warehousing model, business leaders need to address the key challenges involved in revamping the IT infrastructure and the wider implications on the business as a whole.

Data flowing across private and public computing environments on mobile devices open up security concerns for businesses. Consolidating data from various streams and systems is a comprehensive task. A business needs to continue on as usual, which means totally scrapping the old system is not a feasible option. In a hybrid cloud architecture, data needs to be integrated and managed for a growing number of data systems, ranging from cloud to mainframe.

Author Bio:
Michael Schuckman, Director of Big Data and Analytics for Micro Strategies, is responsible for the strategy, sales and services related to Micro Strategies Big Data and Analytics portfolio.  Micro Strategies’ Big Data and Analytics practice focuses on targeted, high value solutions that rapidly demonstrate an ROI.

About Micro Strategies
Leveraging extensive business process and IT expertise, Micro Strategies utilizes technology to deliver business results. Its consultative and customer-centric approach allows the tailoring of end-to-end solutions from infrastructure to line-of-business software for organizations across a range of industries. For more information, go to

Micro Strategies
Michael Schuckman

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