Make the switch to the cloud and get better data quality

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Joshua Evans
Joshua Evans

With widespread adoption of cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) for applications such as e-mail, customer relationship management and social media, now is a great time to consider how this approach can be leveraged in the area of data quality. As you evaluate data quality management options, whether acquiring one for the first time, migrating to a new solution, or simply deciding whether or not to renew an existing solution, consider how cloud computing and SaaS will likely reduce your costs over the purchase or renewal of on-premise software.


Cloud computing is well-established in the data quality space. Small and large companies around the world leverage cloud computing for data quality, using services that keep phone, e-mail, and address data up-to-date. Analytics, data enhancement and other services that leverage client contact data are also available in the cloud.


There are numerous benefits to a switch from on-premise software to the cloud. For many, an important factor to consider when deciding about a move to a cloud-based solution is the total cost of ownership (TCO). A simple calculation of TCO can be done with a three-column spreadsheet. 


In the first column, list attributes associated with an on-premise software solution. Items such as end-user support, software administration, software maintenance, training, hardware, license fees, integration and support fees may be included. You might also want to consider items associated with risk, flexibility, scalability, lost opportunity, security, lock-in and redundancy.


In the second column, place your dollar estimates associated with each item for on-premise software. Finally, the third column should contain the corresponding costs for cloud computing services under consideration. Totaling the costs in the second column and the costs in the third column will result in a quick apples-to-apples comparison. In most cases, you will see a clear advantage to moving away from on-premise software.


The next step in your analysis should include evaluating costs beyond one year. First-year software licensing costs are often dramatically more than subsequent years. A comparison that looks at the TCO across three to five years is likely to give a more complete picture.


Cloud computing has a proven track record of reducing costs while delivering top-notch solutions. Now is a great time to take a close look at moving your data quality needs to the cloud.

Joshua Evans is VP of product development at Lorton Data. Reach him at jevans@lortondata.com.

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