Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

The Business Intelligence A Cloud Paradox

Simultaneously one of the best use-cases for cloud as well as the worst. What’s IT to do?

Simultaneously one of the best use-cases for cloud as well as the worst. What’s IT to do?

David Linthicum, SOA and cloud pundit and all-around interesting technology guy, recently pointed out a short post on business intelligence (BI) vendors joining forces with the cloud to offer cloud-based BI services.

Four open-source and proprietary vendors on Wednesday announced a new partnership resulting in a cloud-based BI (business intelligence) stack.

Jaspersoft and Talend will respectively lend their open-source BI and data-integration technologies to the integrated offering, which also employs Vertica's analytic database and RightScale's management software for cloud-based application deployments.

Thought #1: That’s a perfect use case for cloud! Business intelligence processing is (a) compute intensive and (b) interval based (periodic processing; BI processing and reports are generally scheduled occurrences). It is a rare organization that builds OLAP cubes and runs ETL processes and generates reports all the time. But when they do, look out, they can bring a server (or three) to their knees.

Thought #2: That’s a horrible use case for cloud! The data, though it may be anonymized to remove personally identifiable information/account data, is still sensitive. It’s not any one field or combination of fields that are sensitive, it’s the whole data set. That combination of data is used to make business decisions, analyze business performance, and provides a great view of an organization’s current operating and financial status. That kind of data is not something you want shared outside the organization.


WHY IS THE DATA SO IMPORTANT?


Some of the data used for business intelligence and data mining operations is not all that interesting. But some of it contains the very data from which businesses can and do make very critical business-oriented decisions. Some of the data being analyzed consists of sales and demographics: past, present, and future. Some of that data can be interpreted as information about the financial health of an organization which, for some companies, is not something that should be handed off to a third-party without some fairly stringent assurances regarding the security of that data both from prying eyes and theft.

The last time I took a hard look at BI solutions I managed to convince the powers that be to ship me a copy of the subscription database. To a publishing company the subscription database, and all the data that describes those subscribers, is a goldmine. Even though I then worked for the same organization and the testing was being conducted in an isolated environment the data was stripped, masked, and as anonymized as possible lest it “leak” out into the real world. It was that important to the organization that the data be safe that most of the juicy bits were effectively gone by the time I got my hands on it.

This is not an uncommon scenario. The data often churned through by business intelligence systems is extremely sensitive and crucial to the day-to-day decisions made regarding the business. This is not just sales data, it’s the keys to the kingdom, effectively. For a competitor to get their hands on that data would be disastrous. Thus, it is hard to believe any organization would trust a third-party provider with that data.

Not sure about that? Remember that BI systems and reports are supposed to enable business decision makers to answer questions like:

  • What product is selling well and at what price point in area X?
  • What are buyers in demographic Y currently spending their dollars on?
  • Who buys products like Z?

Imagine a fierce competitor getting their hands on that data, and what they could do with it. Consider the impact on the organization if competing businesses can answer those questions for both themselves and your organization? “Not good” would be an understatement.

But the fact is that such systems are the perfect use-case for cloud given their periodic and highly compute intensive demands on the data center.


A SOLUTION: PRIVATE CLOUD


warning-private-cloud If ever there was a good use-case scenario for a private, internal cloud BI systems are it. The ability to consume additional resources, on-demand across the data center in a distributed way would certainly decrease the overall operating and capital expenses often associated with business intelligence initiatives and the data – the very important, sensitive data – would remain safely locked up within the confines a data center over which the organization has complete (one hopes) control.

Now, given the mix of vendors involved in the aforementioned venture that kicked off this quandary, it appears to be the case that this will be an offering more along the lines of Salesforce.com. Salesforce has, of course, done well with ensuring the security of its sensitive data and providing the isolation required by many customers to trust essentially outsourcing such a business-critical function (SFA). Seriously – when have you heard of a breach in Salesforce security leading to data leakage? Exactly. So it is not beyond imagining that a BI-related venture based on a similar shared platform/isolated data (multi-tenant) model might entice some away from investing in expensive hardware and software to support BI efforts internally.

The difference between the data housed in Salesforce and data shoved into BI systems, however, is enough to continue to be cautious about pushing such responsibility off to the cloud. This really isn’t about the security of the cloud, it’s about the value – and risk – of the data to the organization, and whether the potential savings would offset the risk. Many organizations are likely to say “no, no it doesn’t.” Thus it is a good idea to consider the potential benefits of building out an internal cloud instead. With a quarter of IT executives recently surveyed initiating private cloud implementations in 2009 anyway, it makes sense to look to BI as a possible early contender for deployment in an internal cloud-based architecture.

 

Follow me on Twitter View Lori's profile on SlideShare friendfeedicon_facebook AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

Related blogs & articles:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...