The popularity of cloud solutions for enterprise asset management functions has exploded in recent years, with applications available to handle many different functions. According to a recent forecast from Gartner, spending on services on public clouds alone is forecast to grow by 21.7% in 2022, to a total of $482.1 billion.
Much of this growth has been in software-as-a-service(SaaS) offerings. An increasing number of organizations are finding SaaS solutions attractive. Among the benefits of SaaS solutions are quick implementations with lower operating costs. Cloud-based data governance solutions can bring an organization all the benefits of traditional data governance, while providing several capabilities the traditional systems lack. These capabilities include large reference libraries, low-cost storage, robust analytics, an automatic audit trail, and reduced support costs.
The terms data governance and data management are often used interchangeably, but they are very different things. Data management practices define how your data is organized and controlled. The goal is usually to ensure that data is accessible and reliable when it is needed. From the broadest perspective, data management covers the entire lifecycle of your data, from the time it’s created to the day it’s retired. Data management can be viewed as the logistics of data; covering how it’s created, how it’s handled, how it moves, and when it is retired.
Data governance, on the other hand, describes your organization’s strategy. Data management tells you what data should be created, how it can be accessed and updated, etc. Data governance describes what constitutes acceptable data and highlights the scenarios in which it can be used. Data governance should be enterprise-wide to ensure that everyone in the organization is approaching the data strategy in the same way with the same tools. One of the benefits of cloud-based data governance solutions is how they provide this, ensuring that all data is accessed and created using the same standards.
Your data governance gives your master data shape by providing definitions of terms, data retention policies, and user roles, which define who can access data and what they can do with it.
At first glance, cloud-based solutions may not seem to be a good fit for data governance. There are, for example, continued concerns about data security in cloud-based ecosystems. However, cloud-based data governance solutions are becoming increasingly secure, and they offer benefits over traditional solutions, including decreased cost, increased security, and greater control of data quality.
This may be one of the most discussed benefits of cloud-based data governance. Catastrophic data loss can have wide-ranging consequences for your entire organization, as it can essentially put your entire business offline. This can have negative effects including lost productivity, reduced revenue, and damage to your company’s reputation.
Cloud-based data governance solutions drastically speed up the recovery process. It is almost impossible to prepare for every single scenario that might lead to catastrophic data loss. Natural disasters, power outages, and even employee sabotage can easily wreak havoc that takes weeks to recover from. A cloud-based data governance solution ensures that any data loss event will present minimal consequences, as you can access your master data to get back and up running again almost immediately.
One of the great strengths of cloud-based solutions is that everyone in your organization is accessing the same data, presented in the same format, and it is effectively stored and maintained in the cloud. This makes it much easier to maintain data consistency and avoid human error. Ideally, your cloud-based data governance solution will have safeguards against users inputting incorrect data. In the rare cases that incorrect data is entered, the cloud-based solution makes it easy to find out exactly what the changes are and who authorized them. This is in part simply because of the nature of the cloud. Accessing the data requires accessing the cloud, and this invariably leaves a detailed record, including the user’s ID, the files they accessed, and the time and date.
Data security is an oft-heard concern when discussing any sort of cloud-based solution. It seems like common sense that data stored in the cloud is less secure than data stored in an onsite server. In reality, though, this is only the case if the data is stored in a server such that it can’t be accessed remotely. Because the data governance enterprise requires employees to be able to access data as required, on-prem data storage already inherently has security issues.
The fact is that cloud storage typically offers better security than on-prem storage for two reasons. One is that they can leverage economies of scale. They’re not just protecting your data, but that of all of their clients. This usually means they can spend more on security than an individual company would.
The second reason is that they usually have better physical security. We don’t often think of data theft involving some shady guys and unmarked van, but it’s been known to happen. Cloud-based storage facilities often have daunting physical security systems compared to the average business. Their model is based on offering both access and security.
Lowered costs are frequently touted as one of the biggest selling points of cloud-based solutions. A data governance solution that is based in the cloud is usually less expensive than a traditional solution. With a cloud-based solution, you only pay for the storage and features you actually use.
Using a traditional data governance solution often requires your organization to make significant investments in hardware. You must also pay to maintain that hardware and have a dedicated physical space to house it. You may also need to hire more staff, meaning the expenses rise again.
Cloud-based data governance solutions avoid all those costs. Rather than making capital investments, these solutions can be treated as operating expenses. In general, cloud-based solutions offer superior pricing because you can match your storage capabilities to you real, on-the-ground (or in-the-cloud) usage.
Extreme scalability is another widely touted benefit of cloud-based systems. A traditional system can only be scaled up so far before you need to purchase more hardware, increase staffing, etc. Cloud-based solutions generally do not have these limitations. You can increase or lower demands solely in accordance with the needs of your organization. In fact, some cloud hosts may offer you a discount as you use more resources. You’ll still pay more for the increased capabilities, but not as much as you would if you had to buy equipment and hire more people. The flexibility and scalability of cloud-based data storage ensures that you have an affordable solution to maintain access to exactly the data you need to make predictions, nail audits, and drive decision-making.
Cloud-based data governance solutions have a lot to offer in terms of lower costs and speed of implementation. Leveraging a cloud-based solution can also give you greater control of who has access to the data and what changes they’re authorized to make.
Data governance is an integral part of a successful master data management strategy. Prometheus Master Data-as-a-Service (MDaaS) is designed for the needs of asset-intensive organizations. The MDaaS platform is an integrated, end-to-end data quality, governance, and migration solution.