Data Analytics

Actian Datacast: The Future is Hybrid

Emma McGrattan

September 30, 2019

future is hybrid

This is the fourth and final installment of an in-depth blog series examining the findings of the recent Actian Datacast 2019: Hybrid Data Trends Snapshot. The survey (which polled 303 IT professionals with influence or decision-making ability at companies of 250+ employees) identified four key trends that were illustrated in the Datacast Infographic.

Our weekly blog series has explored each of these trends in greater detail. You can find the complete blog series by visiting Data @ Work, the official Actian blog.

Hybrid Environments

In the prior three blogs from this series, we looked at i) maximizing the value of available data, ii) leveraging the right data for the right decision-making, and iii) identified key challenges to the adoption of cloud data warehouse solutions. This week, we’ll look at the growing movement toward hybrid data environments.

There’s no doubt that companies that leverage more of the data, and more of the data sources that they generate, for analytics and insights achieve superior business outcomes and outpace competitors. A Hybrid, multi-cloud approach enables enterprises to structure their data architecture to fit how their business works.

The public cloud provides elasticity and scale, employing multiple cloud platforms provides resilience and choice, and on-premises deployment provides for control and privacy for sensitive data. Legacy data warehouses and first-generation cloud data warehouses have enabled only one platform choice – their own.

And even having multiple clouds available without an on-premises option, is not enough.

According to the Actian Datacast, 87% of IT Decision-Makers (ITDMs) Agree that When it Comes to Their Data Analytics, They Want a Hybrid Solution with Both Cloud and On-Premises Deployment.

Whether they’re still running analytics on appliances like Netezza or Teradata, or if they are wholly in one of the public clouds, every enterprise is starting from somewhere as they consider the needs of the future.

Hybrid and multi-cloud is the only arrangement that gives enterprises the flexibility they need to “play their data where it lies”, and to leverage the elasticity, scale and connectedness of the cloud.

Most ITDMs would prefer a hybrid environment over their current solutions, but what exactly does that look like?

When it comes to their ideal approach for computing and data analytics, over two in five ITDMs (44%) want on-premises and multiple clouds, one-quarter (26%) want on-premises and single cloud, over one in ten (14%) want multiple clouds only, one in ten (9%) want on-premises only and less than one in ten (7%) want single cloud only.

While There Are Many Options Available, the Priority for ITDMs is Clear: 95% Say Having Freedom of Choice to Obtain Best-in-Class Data Analytics Solutions is Very Important to Them.

Over four out of five ITDMs (83%) specify that they do not want to get locked into a single cloud platform. It’s clear that single-platform, on-premises solutions are in the rearview and hybrid solutions are the way of the future.

83% of IT Decision-Makers Said They Don’t Want to Be Locked-in to a Single Cloud

Hybrid environments are clearly gaining popularity, but what are some of the potential obstacles ITDMs should be aware of? The three biggest challenges that ITDMs told us apply to transitioning to hybrid solutions are cost (42%), management of competing priorities and/or visions (41%), and the inability to get users to adopt new technologies and capabilities quickly (41%).

These obstacles are by no means insurmountable, but IT teams need to be able to argue for the better outcomes that hybrid provides, combined with a confident view of the economic implications.

Data Governance and Compliance Needs

The power to play your data wherever it lies is critical to unleashing enterprise-wide analytics, but increasingly IT teams are making choices because of regulatory and compliance requirements.

Governments around the world are becoming more active and more prescriptive in establishing laws that determine how businesses may use and possess personal data. GDPR in Europe has compelled massive change in enterprise data architectures and protocols.

In the US, a number of states already have their own individual data legislation, and there is an ever-growing number of rules that businesses have to bear in mind. Compliance for global enterprises has never been more complicated. It is critical that modern data warehouse solutions make globally-compliant data management easier, not harder.

Hybrid deployment is a fundamental requirement of such systems.

Hybrid architecture (both in data warehouses and application databases) will allow a compliance-minded enterprise to locate their data wherever compliance requirements demand, without sacrificing analytics performance or cost considerations.

Emma McGrattan headshot

About Emma McGrattan

As SVP of Engineering at Actian, Emma leads research and development for the Actian Vector, Actian Vector in Hadoop, Actian X and Ingres teams. A recognized authority in DBMS and Big Data technologies, Emma is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences. Emma has recently celebrated over 25 years in Ingres and Actian Engineering. Educated in Ireland, Emma holds a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering degree from Dublin City University.