Traditionally, establishing an enterprise data warehouse for analytics was a slow process. You needed to make hardware and software decisions that you had to live with for a long time—and you couldn’t make a potential costly mistake. Because of the investment and commitment, you had no margin for error, let alone failure. As a result, the process was filled with lots of meetings, assumptions, and anxiety to mitigate the risk of the unknowns when creating a major data store. For better or worse, you were committed to the decision you made.
 
Now, however, there’s a trend to move toward operational expense (OpEx) and away from capital expenditures (CapEx). Although there are definite benefits to OpEx, it’s not so much the type of money that’s at issue; it’s more the opportunity that OpEx gives to avoid commitment. With an OpEx-based fiscal approach, you can simply stop the expenditure if the organization decides that it’s no longer in their best interest.
Avoiding CapEx frees up funds to pursue other corporate initiatives, thereby increasing flexibility and choice.
Cloud service subscriptions, as OpEx, greatly reduce the financial risk to an organization. If an approach isn’t working for you, you can stop doing it without taking a large financial hit. Avoiding CapEx also frees up funds to pursue other corporate initiatives, thereby increasing flexibility and choice.
 
That change of approach also works from an operational risk standpoint. You can try multiple possible paths to achieve your goals—trimming each unsuccessful approach, as needed, without regard to a long-term commitment. This type of operation greatly increases the speed-to-business value. And all this can be done with more focus on the business need, and less on the upkeep of physical hardware.
 
The cloud also fosters an environment for innovation in IT. There is an oft-overlooked risk: the risk of a missed opportunity. Too often the IT department isn’t seen as a partner in new business, so much as a hurdle to overcome due to the amount of time it takes for IT to operate in a traditional manner. With cloud computing, IT can respond orders of magnitude faster than ever and, in many cases, they can lead the business in identifying and pursuing new opportunities.
 
These are just a few ways that using the cloud can reduce risk in your organization. At Teradata, we are business-led and technology-enabled and can advise you on moving to the cloud while reducing these risks. With a successful track record in data analytics, at the scale enterprises need today, we are uniquely qualified to provide expertise for your migration. Feel free to follow the conversation at #CloudExperts and reach out to your account executive to learn more about how to refine your cloud thinking.
Ron Luebke
Ron supports international architecture and key needs for Teradata’s cloud initiative. With 25 years’ experience (including 15+ years using Teradata) in enterprise data management and strategy, Ron has diverse experience with Fortune 200 leaders in the agriculture, finance, telecommunications, health care, government and consumer goods sectors. He is involved in conceiving, creating and bringing to fruition innovations; combining thinking big with laboring through the pains of materializing ideas.
 
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