The Cloud has become the go-to platform for many day-to-day business applications, particularly where large volumes of data are concerned. And with so many of your business applications already running in the Cloud, it often makes sense to store the data itself there too – in a Cloud data warehouse.
A Cloud data warehouse can be transformative for your business, offering an array of cost, scalability and efficiency advantages over a more traditional on-premise approach.
However, many businesses are still cautious about moving their data to the Cloud, due to underlying security concerns that persist.
So should you move your data warehouse to the Cloud? And, more importantly, what factors must you consider when it comes to keeping your data secure?
Cloud data warehousing – not as new as it seems
When evaluating Cloud data warehousing, many businesses fall for the common misconception that data storage in the Cloud is a new idea, and as a result can perhaps be seen as unproven.
This certainly isn’t the case. The Cloud has undoubtedly risen to greater prominence in recent years, but the same principles that we see today can, in fact, be traced back to the 1950s.
In the 1950s/1960s the concept of ‘time sharing’ evolved, with companies dialling in remotely to conduct analysis over their own data, but on managed computers. Back then, this was because of the limited number of computers available and the fact that even large businesses often could not afford them.
This idea fell ‘out of fashion’ as computers became less expensive, but more recently the idea of a hosted computer infrastructure for data storage has returned with Cloud computing. Data storage –in a Cloud Data Warehouse – still offers the same cost saving benefits and efficiencies that time sharing did back in the ‘50s.
To find out more about the history of Cloud computing, and the evolution of Cloud data warehousing, check out our brilliant interactive timeline.
Cloud data warehousing – keeping your data secure
Security is often the first thing businesses think about when deciding whether or not to move their data to the Cloud – and rightly so.
The information stored in a data warehouse is likely to be high-value proprietary data, often including personal details of customers and employees. The kind of information that, in the wrong hands, could be extremely damaging for your business.
Cloud data warehousing is more secure now than it has ever been before with the majority of vendors offering stringent security measures and extensive data encryption.
However, it is still critical that you make sure your Cloud vendor is up-to-date with the latest data centre and industry certifications, such as HIPAA and PCI.
For more information on choosing the right Cloud vendor, check out the 9 Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff.
Cloud data warehousing – who knows best?
Security is undoubtedly the main reason businesses have shunned Cloud Data Warehousing in the past. But funnily enough, it is also the reason many businesses are now switching to the Cloud.
In the past, businesses have chosen to keep their data under close wraps, locked up in internally developed on premise data warehouse solutions. This allowed these businesses to keep greater control over their data, but greater control doesn’t necessarily mean greater security.
You might be convinced that YOU are the best people to be keeping YOUR data secure, but in reality this isn’t always the case.
For Cloud providers, their entire business and reputation hangs on keeping the data of their customers secure. And with that constant pressure applied, it is fair to assume that their security protocols are beyond rigorous.
Unless you are a very large business, you probably won’t have a team of more than a handful of people devoted to data security. Cloud providers DO, and what’s more, they are likely to be better skilled and experienced than any one company.
Cloud data warehousing – the success stories
You can read about the theoretical benefits of Cloud data warehousing all you want, but the best way to truly understand them is to see how real-life companies are using it to revolutionise their data analytics strategy.
One of the most popular Cloud data warehousing solutions is Amazon Redshift. Go to Amazon Redshift’s customer success page and you will see a whole host of big names that have opted for a Cloud data warehouse over more traditional on-premise. These include the likes of Philips, Nokia, Pintrest, Coursera and Foursquare.
This signals the improvements in security that have been made in order to warrant the trust of these large multinational businesses.
For more examples of companies employing Cloud data warehousing – and more specifically Amazon Redshift – check out our post exploring the Amazon Redshift benefits that could transform your analytics strategy.
To find out more about the benefits of cloud data warehousing, download our free bumper guide below