Cloud Computing Enables Powerful, New Data Use Cases

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    Cloud integration is generally viewed as a pain point, but maybe it’s time to look at how the cloud can support new and exciting integration use cases.

    That’s the view that Don Rippert, IBM’s general manager of Cloud Strategy, promoted at IBM’s Insight 2014 conference. When we look at managing data in the cloud, it’s easy to focus on the problems or the applications, but Rippert focused on cloud computing’s utility for data integration, access and replication, reports a recent Dataversity article

    “Arguably the most essential aspect of the Cloud is its ability to provide an integration of nearly limitless numbers of data sources involving structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data,” Dataversity’s Jelani Harper writes. “Such integration spans geographic location and includes both on-premise and Cloud sources, and is frequently typified by a speed of access that comes in real time or close to real time.”

    Obviously, that’s not something that would be cheap or easy or maybe even possible with traditional data management tools, she adds.

    The article includes three sample use cases that show off cloud computing’s mad data integration skills. Oddly enough, two involve boat racing. It’s a surprisingly useful way to illustrate how much of a game changer the cloud could be for data management and integration. In both yacht and speedboat racing, you’re dealing with data sent from different boats, at geographically different locations, and then disseminating that information to racers, judges and viewers.

    “By utilizing the Cloud as a means to funnel upwards of a hundred disparate data sources at once for analytics, advanced analytics company DataSkill was able to partner with visualization specialist Virtual Eye to not only present an attractive broadcast package to audiences, but also significantly improve the performance and awareness of competitors,” Harper writes.

    Cloud Computing

    She goes on to explain what the cloud can bring to data replication, as well as how it improves access, which is sort of a no-brainer.

    It’s pretty easy to see how cloud computing could change data management in a significant way, especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality. Certainly, the IoT is one of the key drivers listed for adopting a cloud-based integration solution, according to this SnapLogic InfoGraphic on cloud integration drivers and requirements.

    A good chunk of companies still see integration as a problem: Out of 100 U.S. companies surveyed, 43 percent cited it as a barrier to cloud application adoption. It’s worth noting, though, that a significant number see the benefits of cloud-based integration: 59 percent said speed and time to value are the primary business drivers for a cloud-based integration service. 

    Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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