Cloud data migration is an inevitable part of every organization’s digital transformation journey. While a big data migration project can seem like an intimidating process, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with the right preparation and implementation strategy, your organization can use your cloud migration as an opportunity to streamline internal processes, improve data security, reduce costs and gain insights.
To help you avoid some common pitfalls in your cloud data migration, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about moving data to the cloud. This post covers everything from why you should migrate to the cloud to what types of data you should migrate and how to do it securely. Let’s get started!
What is Cloud Data Migration?
Cloud data migration is the process of migrating data from on-premises systems to cloud-based systems. When migrating data to the cloud, it’s important to keep in mind that not all data is created equal. There are different types of data that each have unique needs when it comes to migration. While some data types can be migrated easily, others require a more careful approach that takes special considerations into account.
Why Tackle a Cloud Data Migration?
Cloud data migration is often a key step on the journey towards becoming a data-driven organization. Cloud data migration provides organizations with the opportunity to re-evaluate how they use data and make improvements to their data management processes. As part of your digital transformation journey, cloud migration allows you to transform data into a strategic asset by creating a centralized access point for all your organization’s data. This means data can be more easily retrieved, managed, and integrated across the enterprise. Moving data to the cloud not only provides access to more scalable computing resources than you may have on-premises, it also gives you admittance to a wide range of software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps that you can use to collaborate, process data, and collect insights. This access to a variety of business applications through a single user interface allows organizations to seamlessly integrate various functions and workflows within the organization.
How to Know Which Data to Include in Your Cloud Data Migration?
The best way to decide which data to migrate to the cloud is to start with your business objectives. Once you know what you want to achieve with your cloud data migration, you can start deciding which data to move. There are a few common objectives that most organizations have when it comes to data. These include:
- increasing employee productivity,
- improving customer experience, and
- boosting operational efficiency.
You should also consider moving data that is used frequently and is accessed by various departments. If a data source is critical to business operations, it should be migrated. This includes data such as employee data, customer data, and device data.
Migrating Device and Sensor Data to the Cloud
Moving device and sensor data to the cloud makes it easier to collect and analyze this type of data. This data can be collected from a wide variety of sources, including IoT devices and sensors. Moving device and sensor data to the cloud will allow you to store this data in a central location. Moving device and sensor data to the cloud will also make it easier to integrate this data with other systems such as data analytics tools and CRM systems like Salesforce. Doing so will help you generate more insightful business insights and make more strategic decisions.
Migrating Customer Data to the Cloud
Moving customer data to the cloud will give you access to a wide variety of customer data analytics tools. This will allow you to better understand your customer base and make strategic business decisions based on customer insights. Moving customer data to the cloud will give you access to data management tools that allow you to collect, organize, and analyze information such as customer data, purchase history, and account information. This will help you make more strategic business decisions, provide better customer service, and identify new business opportunities. Moving customer data to the cloud can also help you comply with data privacy regulations, including the GDPR.
Migrating Business-Critical Data to the Cloud
When deciding which data to migrate to the cloud, you should consider moving data that is most relevant to your business. Moving business-critical data to the cloud will give you access to more computing resources than what you may have on-premises and will allow you to scale up your data processing when needed. Moving business-critical data to the cloud will also deliver access a wide range of data analytics tools such as Tableau, Thoughtspot or Looker that will help you generate more helpful business insights.
Migrating Employee Data to the Cloud
Moving employee data to the cloud will give you access to cloud-based HR tools that can help you manage key business functions such as hiring, onboarding, and payroll. Moving data such as employee contact information, payroll data, internal and external communications, and customer information to the cloud can improve collaboration across departments by enabling real-time access to information. This access can be particularly beneficial for customer-facing teams such as sales and customer service.
Migrating Sensitive Data to the Cloud Securely
Employee data, device and sensor data, customer data and business critical data can all comprise sensitive information that is either regulated like personally identifiable information (PII) or simply extremely valuable to the company like intellectual property or payroll information. When moving that data away from company owned on-premises systems and data centers, controlling access and ensuring security throughout the journey is required. There are several places along the cloud data migration path that a cloud data security tool like tokenization can be implemented – from the on-prem warehouse to the cloud, as soon as it leaves the on-prem warehouse but before its handed off to an ETL, or as it enters the cloud data warehouse. The right process will often depend on how sensitive your data is and how regulated your industry is.
Cloud Data Migration Ecosystem
Part of moving data to the cloud is choosing the right tools for the migration itself (ETL), where to store and share the data (Cloud Data Warehouses), and how to analyze the data (Business Intelligence tools). Today's modern data ecosystem solutions are gathered and reviewed for you here. Your goal should be to build a modern data ecosystem tool stack that integrates easily and works together to deliver the data sharing and analytic goals of your cloud data migration project.
If your organization has been using traditional systems, a cloud data migration may seem like an overwhelming process. To make it easier, first start by identifying the data types you want to migrate to the cloud. Moving customer data to the cloud, for example, will give you access to better customer analytics tools. Moving employee data to the cloud, on the other hand, will allow you to manage key business functions such as hiring, onboarding, and payroll. Knowing which data to move to the cloud is the first step towards successfully migrating to the cloud. Once you know what to migrate, and the security measures your data requires, you can start the process of planning and implementing your cloud data migration.