Making the move to modern analytics by transitioning data to cloud platforms is becoming a necessity for organizations of all sizes and industries. But for those just beginning their modern analytics journey, navigating the cloud platform marketplace can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to gain a better understanding of what options are available, what they offer, and how they can best suit your company’s needs.
The Cloud Analytics Landscape
To better understand the current landscape of cloud platform options, let’s take a closer look at the Big Three market leaders: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). These three companies provide the bulk of analytics-related cloud services, and they lead a cloud infrastructure market worth more than $100 billion, with Amazon capturing a 33% share.
Each of the three leaders have varying capabilities and offer different strengths and expertise. Here is a brief overview of their current offerings:
Amazon Web Services
- Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service) leads the market in data lake technology and data archival strategy
- One of the newer offerings, Amazon QuickSight is a modern data visualization toolset comparable to Tableau and Power BI
- Amazon Redshift continues to capture market share given its easy setup and configuration, as well as its rapidly improving speed and service features
- Azure SQL Data Warehouse has been re-branded to Azure Synapse Analytics to breathe new life and differentiation into the product
- Azure Data Factory runtime is working to provide a full feature set of SQL server integration services (SSIS) with Azure-SSIS Integration Runtime
- Microsoft Power Platform is on the rise, enabling a greater level of effective data management within the enterprise
Google Cloud Platform
- Google’s BigQuery delivers differentiation with the public data sets feature, offering hundreds of open-source data that can be used to accelerate analytics (e.g. county data, health care data)
- Google’s AI/ML capabilities lead the pack in a significant way, and it’s anticipated they will continue to be the leader in application programming interfaces (APIs) available to support complex analytics requirements (e.g. computer vision and neural networks)
- A more recent acquisition for GCP, Looker is anticipated to take market share from Power BI and Tableau and worth monitoring over the next several years
Comparing Cloud Platforms
An effective measure to determine which of these cloud analytics platforms can best meet your needs is to conduct a thorough, side-by-side evaluation to see how the vendors stack up. To help with this evaluation, Sense Corp has developed a chart for comparison that measures each in terms of maturity, services, administration, integration, AI/ML capabilities, and cost.
As you create a comparison chart, don’t forget to identify the most important criteria for your organization and align them to the platforms that best to meet your needs. While the Big Three dominate the conversation and offer various features and functionality, don’t limit your point of view. Examine all available platforms, technology limitations, and your organization’s unique criteria. Other considerations may include:
- Public sector platforms: If you are a public sector organization, what are your requirements for government cloud utilization?
- Data residency: Do you have specific residency requirements? In-state data required?
- Hybrid configurations: Would you consider a combination of private cloud/virtual private cloud (VPN/VPC) networking and connectivity?
- Specific security regulations/compliance: Do you need to meet requirements for HIPAA, PCI, PII, PHI, CGIS, GDPR, etc.?
- Data process automation: Should you apply more traditional coding or a configuration approach?
- Skills translation: Do you have the right personnel in place with the right skills?
- Open source flexibility: Can your organization benefit from open-source data analytics?
- Vendor lock-in: Is the cost of switching vendors preventing you from making a move that could save money in the long run?
- Credentials and authentication: How critical is identity and access management (IAM) and single sign-on (SSO) capabilities?
Taking the First Step
Even with a thorough comparison and review of your organization’s guidelines, it can be hard to determine which cloud analytics platform will serve you best. If you need guidance or expert recommendations, our team of experts can help you develop and deploy a modern cloud analytics plan that will work best for your company. When you’re ready, just contact us, and we’ll get you on your way.
If you aren’t ready to get started but would like to learn more about how modern analytics can benefit your organization, download our eBook, Modern Analytics: Reaching Beyond the Clouds.
Sense Corp is a leading professional services firm transforming organizations for the digital era. We help clients solve their toughest challenges by bridging the gap between what is and what’s possible.