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Big Data: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, The Cloud And Other 2018 Trends Posted on Jan 11 - 2018

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In his latest book, “Thank You For Being Late,” Thomas Friedman highlighted 2007 as one of the most pivotal years in technology: 2007 saw the birth of Hadoop, the iPhone and Amazon’s Kindle for instance.  My bet is that 2018 will start a new era for the technology space, very much like 2007 did.  I see two reasons for this: the cloud will change the game because it has become a measurable strategy for Microsoft, Google and Amazon.  Big Data will be less about technology.  It will be more about management practices and processes.  And data engineers will be forced to rethink their world as the enterprise mindset for analytics excellence shifts.

However, there is ‘a catch’ embedded in each of these predictions.  Let me try to convince you of my beliefs and let me know if I don’t.

The Cloud Fallacy

You’ve heard it before: the Cloud is huge.  Microsoft, Amazon and Google have built multi-billion dollar businesses because enterprise CIOs are betting big on it.  Just a few years ago, enterprises confessed they were ‘dabbling’ in it.  This year, they are ‘all in”.  I recently invited to attend the banking technology conference where executives of a large multinational bank spelled out the change when they told me: “The Cloud and nothing else”.

I wrote last year about how the Cloud model was disrupting the economics and the deployment requirements of on-premises vendors.   I explained that many data management vendors would struggle to adapt to the Cloud and support their prospects’ evolving needs.  I called it the “Cloud fallacy”.

This year, I want to bring your attention to the risk of the “Cloud Lock-In”. We’ve seen this movie before: in the old enterprise data management days, vendors that had started out selling database products, progressively moved up the stack, acquired or built applications to keep people engaged with their data warehouse and ultimately ‘locked’ customers into their suites.  While CIOs liked the fact that they had one vendor to go to in case of issues (the “one throat to choke” theory), they also suffered from the fact they had one vendor to go for licensing.  What was convenient at first, created less flexibility and leverage for CIOs.

If you missed this “lock-in” trend, look at Oracle’s acquisitions over the past decade and you’ll see what I mean…

Why this matters: as you start embarking on the “all cloud” journey, beware of the “lock-in”.  Not every cloud is created equal.  Amazon’s cloud has different options than that of Microsoft or Google.  Each integrates differently with the rest of your environment.  Most integrate best with their own stack.  You will want to architect your technical environment in a flexible manner. View More


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