Savvy managed service providers (MSPs) need to be paying more attention to where data is being processed and analyzed because the pendulum is definitely swinging once again.

The bulk of enterprise IT organizations today are in the midst of some effort to either deploy a cloud data warehouse or, more ambitiously, create a massive data lake that can be accessed by multiple applications. A survey of more than 500 IT and business leaders from organizations with more than 1,000 employees conducted by Yellowbrick Data, a provider of a data warehouse platforms, finds at this point only 18 percent of respondents still have all the data warehouses running in an on-premises IT environment.

In contrast, nearly half (47 percent) said that all their data warehouses were deployed on a public cloud, while just over a third (35 percent) are running a mixed environment. Organizations that are not using cloud data warehouses are not doing so for the usual reasons: security (57 percent), unpredictable costs (38 percent), performance concerns (37 percent), and government regulations (32 percent).

Among the respondents that are running data warehouses in the cloud or in a mixed environment, however, the survey suggests much more is occurring outside of simply lifting and shifting warehouses into the cloud. While more than half (54 percent) identified conventional cloud data warehouses as a key trend for 2021, an almost equal number (53 percent) said hybrid or multicloud warehouses are also an important trend even though only 18 percent have a warehouse in an on-premises IT environment.

Why the disconnect?

The reasons for the disconnect is only 37 percent have a single, centralized data warehouse. Another 37 percent have multiple warehouses and marts that are not connected. In comparison, just over a quarter (26 percent) have multiple warehouses and marts that are connected. In total, just under two-thirds (63 percent) in some form or another have multiple warehouses or marts.

From an MSP perspective, more interesting still is just under a third (28 percent) said they are considering the data warehousing implications of edge computing for use cases involving either an Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, or factory-floor application. Nearly half (48 percent) also noted they are investing real-time analytics to drive various business processes.

Organizations are quickly discovering that digital business processes require them to process and analyze data at the point where it is being created and consumed. Legacy batch-oriented applications that process data in a data center or cloud platform that has to be accessed over a wide area network are not capable of supporting latency-sensitive processes that need to run at the network edge.

Overall, the survey finds more than three quarters of respondents (76 percent) are making additional investments in analytics infrastructure platforms in 2021. In fact, after warehouse modernization (53 percent), the second highest budget priority is real time analytics (49 percent).

MSP opportunities in data across IT environments

Most organizations today are struggling to varying degrees with their cloud warehouse implementations. The survey identifies pain points that include security (56 percent), queries that are too slow (46 percent), metadata and governance issues (36 percent), and just too hard to manage and scale (24 percent).  A full 97 percent said they also need better analytics performance. As cloud warehouses and marts become more distributed, these issues are only going to become more problematic.

Therein, of course, lies the next big opportunity for MSPs. As data becomes that much more complicated to manage, the chances an internal IT team will be able to manage it across an extended enterprise on their own are zero to nil. MSPs that have the skills required to manage data across a highly distributed IT environment will not only be highly sought after, they will also be among the most profitable.

Photo: patpitchaya / Shutterstock

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Nice read!

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  2. Avatar

    good reminder that the ease of infrastructure sprawl, when you can easily spin up another server

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  3. Avatar
    Jonathan Pauley June 29, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Good information to keep in mind.

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  4. Avatar

    Good info, looking forward to discuss data management with some of our customers

    Reply

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