How to Ensure Data Integrity During Cloud Migrations

The cloud is the best place to host your data and systems, and high-quality data is essential to successfully migrate everything to the cloud. Fortunately, there are several things you can to do prepare and ensure your data integrity during cloud migrations.

Implement the procedures listed below to ensure that only high-quality data gets transferred to the cloud, and it stays high quality throughout the process and afterward.

Let’s get started.

Quick Takeaways

  • Migrating data to the cloud is a multi-step process fraught with risk to data quality.
  • Lack of data integrity can result in a less-than-successful cloud migration.
  • To ensure data integrity during the cloud migration process, make sure to choose a reliable cloud provider and train your employees for the shift.
  • It’s also important to validate your data before, during, and after the migration – and keep an audit trail in case something goes wrong.

Understanding the Cloud Migration Process

More and more organizations of all types and sizes are migrating their data to the cloud to take advantage of the unlimited storage space, efficiency, and agility available. It’s no surprise that Cisco reports global cloud data center traffic increased 27% from 2016 to 2021 and represents 95% of total data center traffic. If your organization hasn’t migrated to the cloud yet, chances are you will soon. 

Enterprise cloud computing statistics.

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Cloud migration involves moving data, applications, and systems from on-premises servers or traditional data centers to similar data centers in the cloud. The data migration process requires substantial planning and preparation as well as thorough evaluation and testing along the way. 

The full migration process involves ten essential steps that start long before the first byte of data is transferred. The steps, in order, include:

  1. Assess the scope of the project
  2. Set a budget
  3. Develop a timeline for the migration
  4. Select the data to be migrated
  5. Back up the selected data
  6. Clean the data to remove duplicates and ensure validity
  7. Create a data structure for the new cloud-based database
  8. Test the migration by migrating a small selection of test data
  9. Migrate the full data set to the new cloud provider
  10. Audit the database to ensure the integrity of the data
The cloud data migration process

Recognizing Risks to Data Quality

The good news is that more and more companies are migrating their data to the cloud. The bad news, according to Gartner, is that 83% of data migrations fail, go over budget, or don’t meet their schedules. One of the big challenges in keeping a data migration on track is ensuring the integrity of the data to be migrated. 

High data quality is important in the cloud and poor data integrity can cause any cloud migration to go off the rails. Many factors can threaten data integrity, including:

  • Low-quality existing data
  • Merging data from two or more sources
  • Human error
  • Transfer errors
  • Configuration errors
  • Malicious external actors
  • Insider threats
  • Compromised hardware

You must recognize these risks and take precautions to minimize them happening. 

8 Ways to Ensure Data Integrity During Cloud Migration

If your organization is contemplating a migration to the cloud, how can you ensure the integrity of your data? Here are eight things you can do to protect the integrity of your data when migrating. 

1. Select a Reliable Cloud Provider

You need a provider that is reliable and reliably secure. Equally important, you need a provider that is compliant with all applicable data integrity regulations and processes. Look at the provider’s history and its approach to data integrity. You want a provider that meets your high standards for data integrity. 

2. Train Your Employees

Your entire organization will be either involved with or affected by your cloud data migration. Make sure they’re ready for what’s coming and trained in new procedures – especially those related to data integrity. They need to know how to use the new cloud platform and how to ensure continued data integrity going forward.

3. Validate Your Data Before the Migration

You don’t want to migrate any bad data. That means validating your existing data before the migration takes place. Check for duplicates, look for missing fields, and check the accuracy of your data. Make sure you validate all the data you’ll be migrating, wherever it’s located within your organization. 

4. Check Data Integrity Throughout the Process

Perform spot checks for data integrity throughout the entire migration process. Errors can be introduced in the migration process, and you want to identify any small errors before they take hold and become big ones. 

5. Perform Post-Migration Data Validation

Once the migration is complete, validate the migrated data to ensure that no errors were introduced during the migration process. You want everything to be completely clean before you flip the switch and start using the cloud data. 

6. Keep an Audit Trail

It’s also important to keep an audit trail during the data migration process. An audit trail lets you precisely pinpoint when any problems appear so you can quickly identify the source and rectify the issue. 

That means tracking every data-related event during the migration, including:

  • Creating
  • Reading
  • Modifying
  • Deleting

7. Run Parallel Systems

As a safety net, consider running your new cloud database in parallel with your previous system for some period after the migration. This will help you identify anything different happening in the cloud and provide a real-time backup in case the new system has issues. 

8. Automate New Data Entry

Finally, now that you have high-quality data in the cloud, you want to keep the quality high. The best way to do this is to automate data entry. By doing away with manual entry, you reduce or eliminate human error and ensure that all new data meets your high standards. 

Let DataBuck Ensure Your Data Integrity

When you want to improve data integrity and ensure that all new data is high quality, turn to DataBuck from FirstEigen. DataBuck is an autonomous data quality management solution that can automatically validate thousands of data sets in just a few clicks and constantly monitor data fed into and through your data pipeline. 

When you’re ready to migrate your data to the cloud, turn to the data quality experts at FirstEigen and start improving your data integrity today. 

Contact FirstEigen today to learn how FirstEigen can help ensure your firm’s data integrity in the cloud!

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