For several years, organizations have been moving either some or all of their applications, infrastructure, and storage into the cloud for a variety of potential benefits and cost savings. The global pandemic only served to accelerate this trend, as more companies have shifted to the cloud to reinvent their products and services to become more agile and cost efficient.
For data-driven companies, the self-service and on-demand nature of the cloud is critical to navigate an unpredictable world and advance in digital maturity.
While a customer data platform (CDP) is not required for a company to migrate some or all of their data and applications into the cloud, it can be an invaluable resource for ensuring sensitive customer data is secure and compliant across systems. It can also be the glue that holds your entire data supply chain together once systems are based in the cloud.
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is a process where some–or all– of an organization’s digital assets, services, databases, resources, applications, infrastructure, and storage are moved into public, private or hybrid-cloud environments.
- Public cloud environments are the most common type of cloud computing. Public cloud resources are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider. In a public cloud, all hardware, software, and infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider.
- A private cloud is typically more for mid-to-large-size organizations that deploy cloud resources for a single business. A private cloud can be located at an on-site data center, or it can be hosted by a third-party service provider. In a private cloud, the services and infrastructure are always on a private network, and the hardware and software are dedicated solely to a single organization.
- A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines the on-premises infrastructure of a private cloud with a public cloud to get the advantages of both. Hybrid clouds allow data and applications to move between the two environments.
Why is Cloud Migration Necessary?
Over the last decade, larger companies have built up a litany of on-premises legacy software systems with aging infrastructure, disparate data silos, old servers, and out-of-date applications. These systems inhibit companies from becoming modern, agile, and data-driven because they are expensive to maintain, require a huge internal infrastructure to support, and are not synergistic with today’s workflows, like agile development or DevOps.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?
With the cloud, companies get the ability to do real-time management of computing performance for optimized resource efficiency. If the process is managed properly and planned well, cloud migration can lead to numerous benefits for an organization, including:
- Lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Lower resource, maintenance, and real estate costs with fewer physical servers. Companies only pay for the cloud resources that they use.
- Increased agility and flexibility. When demand spikes, organizations can change resources instantly.
- Improved resource management, with the ability to optimize workloads.
- Backup and recovery. Business continuity functionality allows organizations to recover from disasters.
- Enhanced data security. Many public clouds have built-in security features.
- Compliance: Some cloud platforms have compliance features built into the system.
The ability to adapt to changing consumer demands and market conditions is required to be competitive and successful. Moving to the cloud in some capacity should be top of every CIOs priority list.
Cloud Migration Challenges
While the benefits of cloud migration can be significant, the drawbacks, if not handled properly, can be impactful.
Depending on the scope of the effort, either some or all of a company’s applications, infrastructure, storage, and data is migrated to cloud-based solutions during the cloud migration process. This typically begins as companies deploy as-a-service solutions. Implementing these services allow brands to use best-of-breed software, and manage computing power as needed.
What happens in this process is data disunification. As data gets spread out across cloud-based apps, it risks vulnerability. If sensitive data is not unified, and resides in a variety of disparate silos, it cannot be properly protected in the cloud. This leaves companies at risk for data breaches that could expose customer data, and damage a company’s reputation.
How a CDP Helps with Cloud Migration
According to a recent study by Treasure Data and Advertiser Perceptions, 68 percent of decision makers say data security is very important when selecting a CDP. With advanced permission controls and consent management capabilities, CDPs are the perfect data management solution for companies transitioning to a cloud environment.
A CDP can serve as the customer data foundation for cloud migration by bringing data together into a single data repository, either in the cloud or on-premises, with the right controls for compliance, consent management, and data privacy.
Data Privacy and Security
One of the main areas of potential risk exposure for moving some or all of your software into the cloud is data privacy and security. Data governance, security, and data privacy management are central to building trust with your customers, while reducing risk and remaining compliant with global data privacy regulations.
Data Governance and Compliance
A CDP is designed to centrally manage customer data for compliance. Using a CDP, companies get better control over how data is accessed and activated across the enterprise. With AI-powered identity resolution, CDPs enable data consolidation across brands, eliminating the risk of duplicate profiles that would pose security risks when managing compliance across geographies.
An enterprise-grade CDP also gives brands the data infrastructure to ensure consent for every piece of customer data across channels, brands, and teams. With the right customer data platform, permissions can be granted, so that certain teams have access to data that’s relevant to their needs. Consent management functionality allows for customer data privacy preferences to be integrated directly into customer profiles.
Cloud Migration with a CDP
Customer data platforms make a lot of sense for companies who are either starting to, or are already in, the process of their cloud migration journey.
A CDP will provide centralized data management for all your structured and unstructured data, along with the kind of data privacy and security controls that allow brands to stay in compliance no matter where their data travels. Overall, a CDP gives your technology teams better control over how data is accessed and activated across the cloud, in any environment.