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TDWI Checklist Report | Using and Choosing a Cloud Solution for Data Warehousing

July 27, 2015

Cloud computing is a hot topic and more organizations are using the cloud for data warehousing. The cloud environment offers a pay-as-you-go, on-demand, and elastic scalability model that can provide significant benefits for both the business and IT.

Compared to an on-premises IT environment, cloud computing reduces up-front project costs and enables organizations to scale their applications as required while paying only for the resources they use. The cloud is, therefore, an ideal environment for data warehousing projects given the large data volumes and unpredictable nature of the analytic workloads involved.

Determining the data warehousing projects best suited to cloud-based computing is not easy, especially given the significant changes taking place in data warehousing. Companies are now beginning to take advantage of new data sources, advances in business analytics, and enhanced database technologies, and this can require significant changes and upgrades to the data warehouse architecture.

Organizations are also anxious that without proper management, the cloud could simply become a way of bypassing IT bottlenecks and budget constraints, which could lead to data warehousing projects being deployed in the cloud that are not well suited to that environment. Data proliferation, data security, poor quality data, and inconsistent analytics results are also concerns if there is no gatekeeper managing access to the cloud environment.

It is essential, therefore, that IT and business groups work together to identify, develop, and manage those projects that can gain the most from the business and technological advantages the cloud offers for data warehousing and analytical processing.

Another challenge facing organizations moving to the cloud is choosing the right platform for deploying and supporting data warehousing as a service. A wide range of products and services are offered by both traditional and start-up vendors. Selecting the right vendor is difficult and careful evaluation is required before committing to a particular vendor and service.

For organizations with existing data warehousing and business intelligence systems, one potential barrier to successful cloud adoption is the complexity of integrating the cloud and on-premises systems so that data can be efficiently and rapidly moved into and out of the cloud. For these companies, the ability to seamlessly integrate cloud services into their existing data warehouse environment is an important and critical requirement.

To address these concerns and help readers succeed in their cloud data warehousing projects, this checklist identifies the benefits the cloud offers, offers potential use cases, and presents key criteria for using and choosing a cloud solution for data warehousing.

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