Why data quality is essential to cloud migration [Q&A]

Cloud

Migrating to the cloud is an increasingly popular option for businesses, but to be successful the data involved needs to be in good shape.

We spoke to Kevin Kline, principal program manager at SentryOne, to find out why the quality of data is so essential to successful migration and what businesses need to do to ensure their migration succeeds.

BN: Why is it so important to review your data before migration?

KK: It's important to consider validity and quality of data at all times. This need goes all the way back to the early programming concept of 'garbage in, garbage out.' For a migration to cloud, this is doubly important, because you have a golden opportunity to reset and ensure the data is clean, correct, and secure.

BN: Are there occasions when old information is simply not worth migrating?

KK: There certainly are cases that might allow someone to reduce the footprint of the data before a migration. This will be highly dependent on the requirements of the business and industry. For instance, sales records from 10 years ago might not be relevant for a certain retail establishment. At the same time, financial documents, contracts, or health records from 10 years ago may be highly valuable or subject to regulations that require compliance. Any potential opportunity to leave data behind in a cloud migration should be reviewed case by case.

BN: How much of the process is it possible to automate?

KK: We live in the age of DataOps. Given the right tools and parameters, 100 percent of the migration could be automated. I would only recommend this if your data platform and engineering processes surrounding DataOps and DevOps are extremely mature. If they are, then you've already discovered the benefit of eliminating human error from manual processes, and you should be able to fully automate the necessary steps of a cloud migration.

BN: How important is it to try to 'future proof' your data as part of the migration process?

KK: The term 'future proof' could refer to a whole heap of checks and balances. It could be argued that completely effective planning for the future is not possible. Still, migrating to the cloud is a great time to consider potential future needs or risks and compensate appropriately at the destination platform.

BN: What is the impact of new privacy legislation on migrating data?

KK: New privacy legislation such as GDPR and others in the works have great impact on migration planning. This the perfect time to tighten up privacy and security policies and procedures. A fact that a lot of data and security professionals still struggle with is that public cloud is usually held to a much higher standard for privacy and security than most corporations. There is a high probability that the migration in and of itself will place you into a better position to protect sensitive data for your clients.

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