Since the inception of data warehouses in the late 1980s, their use has been defined by infrastructure capabilities first, and the business’ analytics needs second. As a result, many data warehouses are unable to support new and changing analyses without expensive upgrades to the underlying hardware. The following issues have combined over time to limit the value of on-premises data warehouses:


  • Limitations on the amount and type of underlying storage
  • Lack of processing power for completing analyses in a timely manner
  • The persistence of older analytics software

However, with the arrival of powerful and scalable cloud infrastructure, data warehouse solutions can now be deployed as – or augmented by – cloud platforms. The analytics and business needs of the data warehouse are no longer encumbered or limited by the on-premises infrastructure; thus, the user’s focus can return to ways in which analytics can benefit the business, rather than worrying about supporting or expanding the underlying analytics infrastructure. This approach is embodied by new offerings such as IBM’s dashDB cloud data warehouse, which provides a managed information management and analytics powerhouse in the cloud.

Moving data warehousing to the cloud, or augmenting on-premises data warehouse appliances with cloud solutions in a hybrid model, allows organizations to easily scale to the amount of analytics horsepower they require, while reducing or eliminating both the time required to install and test new hardware, and the capital investment necessary to acquire this equipment. The result is a dramatic increase in the data warehouse’s responsiveness, creating new opportunities to improve the bottom line with enhanced analytics-driven decision making. The ability to expand the base of users benefiting from analytics as well as modifying and creating new analyses can also create unique competitive advantages.

The benefits of cloud data warehouses go far beyond scalability and time-to-solution. One of the most important benefits is the simplicity of access for end users. Leading cloud data warehouse providers enable highly secure “access from anywhere” strategies that simplify how business users connect. Today’s highly mobile workforce needs access from beyond the firewall – whether on the road, working from home, or at a customer site.

Software availability and currency are also critical benefits of best-of-breed cloud data warehouse solutions such as IBM dashDB. Since cloud services eliminate the need for internal IT staff to deploy and test new versions of data warehouse or analytics software, developers and users get the latest features that they need as soon as they are available. In addition, cloud data warehouses often enable integration with other analytics tools such as R, Watson Analytics, SPSS and others.

Cloud-based data warehousing and analytics solutions can level the playing field for businesses that don’t have resources to deploy a sophisticated data warehousing and Big Data infrastructure. This type of solution can offer enterprises of all types and sizes access to advanced analytics tools that can quickly turn raw information into real business advantage.

Schedule a consultation with Flagship to learn more about cloud-based data warehousing solutions that will make a difference for your analytics initiatives and your business.

If you liked this blog, you might also like: Never Fear, Managed Private Cloud is Here!

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