One of the greatest challenges to making your move with big data is in understanding the technology. The biggest barrier to confidently moving your data to a new and exciting technology is that you don’t know quite what it can do, how to use it, and you can’t be sure of the benefits. It’s a big step forward, but a big step none the less, and that can be daunting. Many companies are prone to resist change because they don’t have the internal expertise to analyse and assess the situation and implement the necessary changes, and all the external companies pushing a variety of solutions at them, each claiming theirs is the best, can simply be overwhelming if you don’t have the knowledge to fully understand their offerings.
What are the risks of adopting a new data strategy?
The upfront costs can be huge, and there is no guarantee that it will deliver what you are expecting. Cultural change can always be a big issue. Will your users adopt the new system, will it actually be of benefit to your business? A lot rests on proper analysis prior to any change. Without fully assessing the business needs, a solution may well not be adequate. It’s important not to let your big data solution be a gamble. Planning and forethought are everything!
How well do you know your internal data structure?
To make the move easy and beneficial, you need to fully understand your data structure and your content. Do you know where the master data is? Is it distributed over several systems? You need to assess which properties are of value, and what is superfluous information that will simply get in the way. Can you extract the correct values you need, as they are produced, or are you looking at older, deprecated values?
Will you be able to turn back time?
You most likely don’t have a time machine, but if something goes wrong, you need to be able to quickly and easily roll back so everything is as it was before the failure. Is this possible with your system? Will a roll back mean a loss of data?
What is the impact on your existing systems and legacy infrastructure?
Changing legacy systems can be a struggle at the best of times. Many businesses simply don’t have the tools or the expertise to make these changes. Will the system need to be shut down? Will you be ale to access the information you need after the transformation? Will you be able to extract your vital information from the legacy systems? You’ll need the ability to access your data and the technology to do it with. It can be a very risky process.
Is the cloud really safe?
When you host your data in the cloud, you need to understand what this really means with regards to your data and systems. Can you control access to your cloud resources in the same manner as you can internally? Are you even willing to give up that physical control and put your data in the cloud? It’s important to know what happens if a catastrophic event occurs. Will all your data be safe?
What is the benefit – will you get a return on investment?
Any such change can be very costly, think about your targets and goals. What is important to you? Visibility? Return? Control? Are your targets realistic?
We’ve perhaps given you a lot to think about, but don’t be put off, it’s a big move, but it’s a good move. With careful planning, assessing every option and making plans for any potential event, you’ll be best prepared to make the move smoothly and effectively with the least upheaval. Good luck!