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Data Intelligence Expert Gives Advice on How to Avoid Costly Cloud Migration Problems

Cloud solutions offer businesses reduction in time, money and effort, as well as increased cyber security. In 2019 companies plan to spend 24 percent more money on public cloud over 2018. Thirteen percent of those enterprises spend more than $12 million a year on public cloud, while 50 percent spend more than $1.2 million annually. But are companies prepared for the challenges encountered with migration of unified communications (UC) environments and data processes to cloud solutions? Sky Cassidy, CEO of MountainTop Data, a leader in data intelligence and data services says, "Cloud providers will tell businesses how easy integration will be in moving to their system, but after the sale those businesses are often besieged with problems they didn't see coming when trying to migrate their data."

Integration capability is one of the biggest areas for potential problems regarding cloud computing. An IT professional could do a great deal of upfront investigation into integration between a cloud and an in-house CRM system, for example. They could get assurance from both providers that the systems will integrate. However, when the providers and clients dig in after the sale, they can discover unanticipated snags, making integration difficult.

Cloud provider representatives will often promise implementation support to guide a company through the integration process. However, in day-to-day operation, set against deadlines and workloads, emails and scheduled calls from the cloud provider trying to connect with the client can become burdensome for the client. IT teams are often left to untangle details on their own. The lost money and time trying to integrate cloud solutions may be difficult to measure, but according to one survey users estimate 27 percent waste with their cloud solutions in 2019, while Flexera (computer company) has measured actual waste at 35 percent.

Email, still the number one source for online sales, is an example of the importance that cloud email migrations go smoothly and efficiently. It is estimated that 87% of online marketers use email, this is more than any other form of lead generation. Security of the cloud system is a key component in email migration. For business teams that need deep analytics regarding email behaviors, key indicators of malicious activity or compromised email headers, and attachments as part of malware reverse-engineering, the important step they must recognize is the need to compare security software with dedicated service providers with expertise in mitigation of email threats. 

As an expert in the field of data intelligence for almost two decades, Sky Cassidy of Mountain Top Data offers these tips to be followed by both on-premises and cloud providers to offset problems and create a smooth integration of data into the cloud.

  1. Know exactly what each system will be able to see within the other. You don't want to unwittingly connect your data to a company that will use it in nefarious ways. This concern doesn't only apply to small vendors, the big players may be a bigger risk to your data security than anyone else.
  2. If you're integrating raw data make sure you know exactly what fields are required/available, and the necessary formatting to seamlessly integrate. One frequently overlooked issue is how each system handles blank data fields and fields with fixed formatting. You don't want to lose phone numbers when switching to a VoIP system because they weren't properly formatted ahead of time.
  3. Once data has been integrated spot check it for issues. There's always something unexpected. You don't want to discover that a special character in a contact name caused half of the client records in your new CRM to not import properly.
Cassidy adds, "As your company prepares to integrate data into the cloud, insist on reviewing the migration process with the providers before agreeing to any terms. The details are critical to a successful migration."
Published Monday, April 01, 2019 8:58 AM by David Marshall
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