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Cloud Migration and the Importance of Data Governance

Tackling data-related challenges to keep cloud migration projects on track and optimized

By Wendy Petty 

The cloud has many operational and competitive advantages, so cloud-first and other cloud transformation initiatives continue to be among the top data projects organizations are pursuing.

For many of those yet to adopt and adapt, it is a case of “when” not “if” the enterprise will undergo a form of digital transformation requiring data migration to the cloud.

Due to today’s prevalence of internal and external market disruptors, many organizations are aligning their digital transformation and cloud migration efforts with other strategic requirements (e.g., compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation).

And now organizations also must navigate a post-COVID world, which is forcing organizations to fast track their cloud migrations to become more agile, lean and focused on business outcomes that will enable the business to survive and then thrive new market dynamics.

However, cloud migration is not just a lift and shift, a one-off or a silver bullet. Usually when organizations go from an on-premises environment to a cloud environment, they are actually converting two different technologies. And as you migrate to the cloud, you need to keep in mind some data-related challenges.

cloud migration data governance

Dollars and Cents

For 47 percent of enterprise companies, cost optimization is the main reason they migrate to the cloud. However, cloud migrations can be expensive, with costs piling up the longer a migration takes to complete.

Not only are cloud migrations generally expensive, but many companies don’t budget for them appropriately. In 2020, companies went over their public cloud spend budget by an average of 23 percent. Most likely, this comes down to a lack of planning, leading to long, drawn-out migrations and ill-informed product decisions. Additionally, completely manual migrations generally take longer and cost more than those that employ automation.

In terms of budget and cost, automated tools that scan repositories in your environment help by adding structure and business context (where it is, who can access it, etc.) in the transformation of legacy structures. New structures will enable new capabilities for your data and business processes.

Automated tools can help you lower risks and costs and reduce the time it takes to realize value. Automated software handles data cataloging and locates, models and governs cloud data assets.

Tools that help IT organizations plan and execute their cloud migrations aren’t difficult to find. Many large cloud providers offer tools to help ease the migration to their platform. But a technology-agnostic approach to such tools adds value to cloud migration projects.

Proprietary tools from cloud vendors funnel clients into a single preferred environment. Agnostic tools, on the other hand, help organizations understand which cloud environment is best for them. Their goal is to identify the cloud platform and strategy that will deliver the most value after taking budget and feature requirements into account.

Institutional Knowledge

Institutional knowledge is another obstacle many companies face when exploring cloud migrations. People leave the organization and take with them an understanding of how and why things are done. Because of this, you may not know what data you have or how you should be using it.

The challenge comes when it’s time to migrate; you need to understand what you have, how it’s used, what its value is, and what should be migrated. Otherwise, you may spend time and money migrating data, only to discover that no one has touched it in several years and it wasn’t necessary for you to retain it.

In addition, if you’re planning to use a multi-cloud approach, you need to ensure that the clouds you work with are compatible. Only 24 percent of IT organizations have a high degree of interoperability between their cloud environments. This means that more than three-quarters suffer from inefficient cloud setups and can’t readily combine or analyze data from multiple cloud environments.

Data Governance

Migrating enterprise data to the cloud is only half the story – once there, it has to be governed. That means your cloud data assets must be available for use by the right people for the right purposes to maximize their security, quality and value.

Around 60 percent of enterprises worry about regulatory issues, governance and compliance with cloud services. The difficulty comes with creating good governance around data while avoiding risk and getting more out of that data. More than three-quarters (79 percent) of businesses are looking for better integrated security and governance for the data they put in the cloud.

Cloud migration provides a unique opportunity not simply to move things as they are to the cloud but also to make strategic changes. Companies are using the move to the cloud to make data governance a priority and show their customers they are good data stewards.

Unfortunately, 72 percent of companies state that deciding which workloads they should migrate to the cloud is one of their top four hurdles to cloud implementation. However, cloud migration is not an endpoint; it’s just the next step in making your business flexible and agile for the long term.

Determining which data sets need to be migrated can help you prepare for growth in the long run. The degree of governance each set of data needs will help determine what you should migrate and what you should keep in place.

Automated Cloud Migration and Data Governance

The preceding list of cloud migration challenges might seem daunting, especially for an organization that collects and manages a great deal of data. When enterprises face the prospect of manual, cumbersome work related to their business processes, IT infrastructure, and more, they often turn to automation.

You can apply the same idea to your cloud migration strategy because automated software tools can aid in the planning and heavy lifting of cloud migrations. As such, they should be considered when it comes to choosing platforms, forecasting costs, and understanding the value of the data being considered for migration.

erwin Cloud Catalyst is a suite of automated cloud migration and data governance software and services to simplify and accelerate the move to cloud platforms and govern those data assets throughout their lifecycle. Automation is a critical differentiator for erwin’s cloud migration and data governance tools.

Key Benefits of erwin Cloud Catalyst:

  • Cost Mitigation: Automated tools scan repositories in your environment and add structure and business context (where it is, who can access it, etc.) in the transformation of legacy structures.
  • Reduced Risk and Faster Time to Value: Automated tools can help you reduce risks, costs and the time it takes to realize value.
  • Tech-Agnostic: Technology-agnostic approach adds value to cloud migration projects.
  • Any Cloud to Any Cloud: Automatically gathering the abstracted essence of the data will make it easier to point that information at another cloud platform or technology if, or likely when, you migrate again.
  • Institutional Knowledge Retention: Collect and retain institutional knowledge around data and enable transparency.
  • Continuous Data Governance: Automation helps IT organizations address data governance during cloud migrations and then for the rest of the cloud data lifecycle and minimizes human intervention.

Every customer’s environment and data is unique. That’s why the first step is working with you to assess your cloud migration strategy. Then we deliver an automation roadmap and design the appropriate smart data connectors to help your IT services team achieve your future-state architecture, including accelerating data ingestion and ETL conversion.

To get started, request your cloud-readiness assessment.

And here’s a video with some more information about our approach to cloud migration and data governance.

Gartner Magic Quadrant

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erwin Expert Blog Data Governance Data Intelligence

Doing Cloud Migration and Data Governance Right the First Time

More and more companies are looking at cloud migration.

Migrating legacy data to public, private or hybrid clouds provide creative and sustainable ways for organizations to increase their speed to insights for digital transformation, modernize and scale their processing and storage capabilities, better manage and reduce costs, encourage remote collaboration, and enhance security, support and disaster recovery.

But let’s be honest – no one likes to move. So if you’re going to move from your data from on-premise legacy data stores and warehouse systems to the cloud, you should do it right the first time. And as you make this transition, you need to understand what data you have, know where it is located, and govern it along the way.

cloud migration

Automated Cloud Migration

Historically, moving legacy data to the cloud hasn’t been easy or fast.

As organizations look to migrate their data from legacy on-prem systems to cloud platforms, they want to do so quickly and precisely while ensuring the quality and overall governance of that data.

The first step in this process is converting the physical table structures themselves. Then you must bulk load the legacy data. No less daunting, your next step is to re-point or even re-platform your data movement processes.

Without automation, this is a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. And you can’t risk false starts or delayed ROI that reduces the confidence of the business and taint this transformational initiative.

By using automated and repeatable capabilities, you can quickly and safely migrate data to the cloud and govern it along the way.

But transforming and migrating enterprise data to the cloud is only half the story – once there, it needs to be governed for completeness and compliance. That means your cloud data assets must be available for use by the right people for the right purposes to maximize their security, quality and value.

Why You Need Cloud Data Governance

Companies everywhere are building innovative business applications to support their customers, partners and employees and are increasingly migrating from legacy to cloud environments. But even with the “need for speed” to market, new applications must be modeled and documented for compliance, transparency and stakeholder literacy.

The desire to modernize technology, over time, leads to acquiring many different systems with various data entry points and transformation rules for data as it moves into and across the organization.

These tools range from enterprise service bus (ESB) products, data integration tools; extract, transform and load (ETL) tools, procedural code, application program interfaces (APIs), file transfer protocol (FTP) processes, and even business intelligence (BI) reports that further aggregate and transform data.

With all these diverse metadata sources, it is difficult to understand the complicated web they form much less get a simple visual flow of data lineage and impact analysis.

Regulatory compliance is also a major driver of data governance (e.g., GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, SOX, PIC DSS). While progress has been made, enterprises are still grappling with the challenges of deploying comprehensive and sustainable data governance, including reliance on mostly manual processes for data mapping, data cataloging and data lineage.

Introducing erwin Cloud Catalyst

erwin just announced the release of erwin Cloud Catalyst, a suite of automated cloud migration and data governance software and services. It helps organizations quickly and precisely migrate their data from legacy, on-premise databases to the cloud and then govern those data assets throughout their lifecycle.

Only erwin provides software and services that automate the complete cloud migration and data governance lifecycle – from the reverse-engineering and transformation of legacy systems and ETL/ELT code to moving bulk data to cataloging and auto generating lineage. The metadata-driven suite automatically finds, models, ingests, catalogs and governs cloud data assets.

erwin Cloud Catalyst is comprised of erwin Data Modeler (erwin DM), erwin Data Intelligence (erwin DI) and erwin Smart Data Connectors, working together to simplify and accelerate cloud migration by removing barriers, reducing risks and decreasing time to value for your investments in these modern systems, such Snowflake, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

We start with an assessment of your cloud migration strategy to determine what automation and optimization opportunities exist. Then we deliver an automation roadmap and design the appropriate smart data connectors to help your IT services team achieve your future-state cloud architecture, including accelerating data ingestion and ETL conversion.

Once your data reaches the cloud, you’ll have deep and detailed metadata management with full data governance, data lineage and impact analysis. With erwin Cloud Catalyst, you automate these data governance steps:

  • Harvest and catalog cloud data: erwin DM and erwin DI’s Metadata Manager natively scans RDBMS sources to catalog/document data assets.
  • Model cloud data structures: erwin DM converts, modifies and models the new cloud data structures.
  • Map data movement: erwin DI’s Mapping Manager defines data movement and transformation requirements via drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Generate source code: erwin DI’s automation framework generates data migration source code for any ETL/ELT SDK.
  • Test migrated data: erwin DI’s automation framework generates test cases and validation source code to test migrated data.
  • Govern cloud data: erwin DI gives cloud data assets business context and meaning through the Business Glossary Manager, as well as policies and rules for use.
  • Distribute cloud data: erwin DI’s Business User Portal provides self-service access to cloud data asset discovery and reporting tools.

Request an erwin Cloud Catalyst assessment.

And don’t forget to register for erwin Insights 2020 on October 13-14, with sessions on Snowflake, Microsoft and data lake initiatives powered by erwin Cloud Catalyst.

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Enterprise Architecture for the Cloud – Get Ahead in the Cloud

It’s almost 2018, so there’s a good chance a portion of your business relies on the cloud. You’ve either moved some legacy systems there already, or you’re adopting entirely new, cloud-based systems – or both. But what about enterprise architecture for the cloud? After all, it’s the glue that helps tie all your disparate IT threads together.

The transition to the cloud is owed heavily to improvements in its technology foundation, especially increased security and safeguards. For the likes of governments, banks and defense organizations, these enhancements have been paramount.

Additionally, organizations across industry increasingly turn to the cloud to keep costs low and maximize profits. These options are usually easier and cheaper to install than their on-premise counterparts.

A 2016 RightScale study found that 31 percent of the 1,060 IT professionals surveyed said their companies run more than 1,000 virtual machines. This demonstrates a sizeable uptick compared to 2015, when only 22 percent of participants answered the same.

The rate of adoption is even more impressive when you consider how forecasts have been outpaced. In 2014, Forrester predicted the cloud market would be worth $191 billion by 2020. In 2016, this estimate was revised to $236 billion.

The cloud is big business.

Enterprise architecture for the cloud

Why Enterprise Architecture for the Cloud?

We’ve established the case for the growing cloud market. So why is enterprise architecture for the cloud so important? To answer that question, you have to consider why the cloud market is so expansive.

In short, the answer is competition. Although there are some colossal, main players in the cloud market – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM make up more than an estimated 60% – they act as hosts to smaller cloud businesses spanning copious industries.

Unlike the hosts, this layer of the cloud market is incredibly and increasingly saturated. Such saturation is due to an even more complex web of disparate systems for which a business must account.

And said business ­must account for these systems to establish what it has right now, what it needs to reach the organization’s future state objectives, and what systems can be integrated for the sake of efficiency.

If enterprise architecture (EA) isn’t actioned in bridging the gap between an organization’s current state and its desired future state, then it’s fundamentally underperforming.

Enterprise Architecture for Introducing Cloud Systems

The above details how EA benefits a business in managing its current cloud-based systems. The primary benefit being the ability to see how and where the newer, disparate cloud systems fit with legacy systems.

But EA’s usefulness doesn’t start once cloud systems are already in place. As established, a key objective of EA is to bridge an organization’s current and future state objectives.

Another key objective is to better align an organization with IT for better preparation in the face of change. In this way, EA enables organizations to make or face enterprise changes with minimal disruptions and costs.

Cloud systems have disrupted how businesses operate already.

And with competition in the cloud space as populated as it is today, more disruption is coming. Therefore, having well-executed EA will make it easier for businesses to manage such inevitable disruption. It will also enable organizations undergoing digital transformation to implement new cloud systems with less friction.

Data-Driven Business Transformation

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erwin Expert Blog

Data Modeling in a Jargon-filled World – The Cloud

There’s no escaping data’s role in the cloud, and so it’s crucial that we analyze the cloud’s impact on data modeling. 

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erwin Expert Blog

erwin Brings NoSQL into the Enterprise Data Modeling and Governance Fold

“NoSQL is not an option — it has become a necessity to support next-generation applications.”