Today, global commerce is without boundaries and geography agnostic. Time zones are no longer a barrier and language is a universal one of technology, innovation and progress. And as businesses have evolved, so too have their assets. What were once physical assets and machinery are now information. Today, organizations are handling data the size of which the world has never seen before, with hundreds of terabytes and thousands of users running millions of queries per day.

Little surprise then that how this information is stored and used has become a major focus. That’s according to a Teradata report from Vanson Bourne, who surveyed 700 global organizations with an average revenue of nearly $10 billion about their ambitions, fears and investments in cloud analytics. It found that more than ever before, cloud analytics is playing a major role in boardrooms the world over. But the approach with regard to how it should be used is far from unanimous.

The Cloud Crossroads

Cloud analytics – where data analysis is performed on a public or private cloud – is not new to the vernacular. For some time now, it has been a resource for businesses with many using private or part-public networks, and, to some degree, it’s working. One of the headlines from the Vanson Bourne study was that businesses that are using it are largely enjoying the experience with 92% feeling they are somewhat or very successful with their use of the public cloud. In fact, 83% of businesses in the study agree that public cloud is the best place to run analytics.

But, as with any technology, advances in speed and capability can quickly make something that is cutting-edge today, old news tomorrow. According to the report, there is a disparity between where global companies are – and where they want to be – when it comes to running analytics in the cloud. Technology leaders are at a crossroads: they believe that the cloud is the best place to run enterprise-scale analytics, but almost all of them also agree that the march toward the cloud is moving slower than it should.
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Barriers of Cloud Uptake

In the next five years, by the year 2023, most organizations want to run all of their analytics in the cloud. But, an overwhelming 91% say that analytics should be moving to the public cloud at an even faster rate. So, what’s stopping it from happening? Well, according to the report, it’s a combination of factors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in an age when data is so valuable, security was the number one concern (50%). This was followed by the perception of immature and low-performing available technology (49%).

As we step into GDPR, regulatory compliance (35%) was also cited as a concern, but there are others too. Concerns such as lack of trust (32%) to technology integration and lack of in-house skills featured in the report, as did legacy system integration (30%) and greater prioritisation of other applications (24%). A few of the respondents even cited that cloud analytics was an insufficient business priority (23%).

The report also highlighted that the performance gap for analytics at scale in the cloud gets even larger for the biggest companies. According to the survey, 63% of companies with revenues more than $10 billion view immature and low-performing available technology as a major barrier, compared to 41% of companies with revenues of $250-500 million.

High Expectations

So, why are companies so concerned with reaching a point of public cloud analytics so quickly? Much like the aforementioned barriers, there is more than one answer. The number one benefit businesses expect to reap is faster deployment – the need to deliver more quickly – and more than half cited this. Security also ranks highly again, with 46% expecting this to improve.

Across the board, businesses expect the move to cloud analytics to deliver improvements in: performance (44%), insight into data (44%), access by users (43%), and cheaper maintenance (41%). But it isn’t only what cloud analytics can improve, but also what it can potentially enable. Easier access to analytics technologies (35%), direct access to cloud data stories (33%), and better interaction with other cloud services (30%) were all cited.

Detail Is in the Data

Given the boom in business intelligence (BI) in recent years, it’s not hard to see why companies see their future of analytics in the cloud. Some organizations are maturing when it comes to their use of analytics. The report found businesses using BI, data discovery and data mining are moving quickly into advanced analytics. One out of three respondents are using complex deep learning and machine learning to power artificial intelligence (AI) today. That number jumps to 68% of respondents when including the companies that plan to adopt AI technologies in the next 12 months.

But time will tell. What is apparent is that cloud analytics is where business is moving, and developments in the coming months and years will quickly inform if an organisation will be able to run all their analytics from the cloud by 2023. Yet, technology has a track record of shattering barriers and recalibrating expectations while there are innovative, bold companies consistently challenging the status quo. Given the desire to embrace cloud analytics, we might all get there sooner than we think.
 
We at Teradata provide the fastest path to secure, scalable analytics in the cloud, and we are ready to help our customers get moving on their own timeline. With us, companies can deploy anywhere and move any time, starting small and scaling fast.
 
To find out more, read the full report “The State of Analytics in the Cloud” and visit us on www.teradata.com.

Martyn Etherington

Martyn Etherington is chief marketing officer for Teradata, reporting to Oliver Ratzesberger. Responsible for all aspects of Teradata’s corporate marketing strategy globally, as well as brand and digital programs, Martyn focuses on the creation, delivery and follow-through of the company’s strategic marketing goals, strengthening its brand and enriching its customers’ experience.

Martyn has a distinguished track record of driving top-line results, growing market share, improving customer experience and enhancing brands. Before joining Teradata, Martyn was chief marketing officer at Cisco Jasper, a global market leader for IoT connectivity management. Prior to this role, Martyn served as executive vice president, chief marketing officer and chief of staff for Mitel where he was responsible for driving global marketing.

Martyn has been recognized by the Economist as one of the Top 25 Social Business Leaders, by Forbes as one of the Top 50 marketers, BtoB Magazine as one of the World's Best Marketers, and The Internationalist as one of the top international marketers.

Based in San Diego, California, Martyn earned a National Diploma in Computer Science from Northbrook College, United Kingdom, and served as the chair of the School of Business Advisory Board at Portland State University.

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