How Does SharePoint Assist Businesses in Cloud Collaboration and Data Quality?

SharePoint — launched in 2001 by Microsoft, now boasting over 190 million users across 200,000 customer organisations — is an online collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. It is primarily sold as a document management and storage system, but the product is highly configurable. Its implementation and usage varies substantially among organisations. It comes in many different editions, including: SharePoint Server, SharePoint Standard. SharePoint Enterprise, and SharePoint Online.

SharePoint servers are integral to business processes today. Any business that operates in an employee collaboration and interaction mode naturally turns to SharePoint servers for the capabilities it provides. So, SharePoint servers have to be considered along with email, database, ERP and CRM when cloud based migrations are being contemplated.

Organisations that have spent several years perfecting their SharePoint deployment may hesitate about cloud migration for fear that their efforts would be wasted and discarded!  But, it must be remembered that SharePoint deployments do not start from ground zero in the cloud.  The fear is groundless as the cloud allows organisations replicate the entire SharePoint deployment and run it from the cloud! The applications do not have to be changed or modified. Additionally, the cloud enhances the experience by providing encryption and other kinds of security protocols for the security of the content migrated to the cloud.  Agentless cloud systems even allow customers to continue using their Active Directory installations for data centre control and authentication/authorisation for data access.

Cloud backup service providers, like Backup Everything, support distributed server protection and ensure that their Managed Service Providers have a comprehensive backup and storage solution to offer to their customers.

SharePoint scalability can be exploited by cloud vendors for scaling up using an MS SQL database server and Web Front end.  A n-scaled disaster recovery plan can confer on the cloud service an ability to recover any SharePoint member server as a running server in minutes—wherever the server may be located, i.e., in your local network; a local cloud appliance; or a remote server in the cloud.

Cloud software that is SharePoint supportive allows snapshot technology use along with other granular level data capture technologies. The entire server can be captured as a single snapshot using synchronous snapshot technology and can be restored to same, similar or entirely new hardware as a snapshot. However, Cloud backup and storage service provider software, like Backup Everything, ensure that granular level message captures and restores from SharePoint is enabled.  Object level restore capabilities can be used for whole sites or individual files and folders in the database. The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for snapshots and granular recoveries are significantly reduced.

Cloud based SharePoint technology allows users build, test and deploy critical SharePoint solutions instantly using SharePoint tools on new or pre-configured templates. SharePoint also allows you to manage and process data with much better quality and helps the management of the data to be more intuitive, and easy for the users without having to learn new functionalities and interfaces. As most users have gained some kind of experience on SharePoint, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) could be pressed to work into the system, allowing additional features.

Business users manage the data that feeds their datacentre. Quality of data is paramount that the decision of how to fix data quality issue becomes the responsibility of the business. Granted, business users utilise their data on a daily basis, and therefore, as users, they must have a say in making decisions on how the data should be handled and fixed in case of a need.

Data Quality: A Peek into cloud data quality metrics for the cloud

There can be no two views on the need for data quality. Yet data quality itself is a qualitative term. Organisations do not have a clear view on what they consider quality data.  The cloud draws attention to this fact and helps enterprises develop strategies that measure and report on quality of data that is used for decision making.  It puts in place processes that drive data quality initiatives and defines the metrics that scrutinise and measure the qualitative aspects of data. Here are a few ways in which the cloud helps streamline data quality:

Cloud software based data quality validation solutions constantly use business rules and business processes to define the quality of data.  Does the data expose the business rule? Is it relevant to the business process? The relationship between the data, the rule and the process must be well established. The core KPIs (Key Process Indicators) must be segregated and the metrics that drive them must isolated for underpinning the kind of data quality that is desired. However, the quality definition should not be tied to a specific application or process, but reverberate through all downstream applications and processes.  Data that is copied, re-used and re-purposed across applications must be checked and repeatedly validated against the rules to prevent data errors and anomalies that can be propagated as the data is requisitioned by one application and then another.

Data e-discovery and profiling are automatic in the cloud. Data profiling at granular levels helps organisations understand the current state of the data and course corrections that may be required for ensuring quality data and reducing business risk. Data discovery tools in the cloud are optimised for business collaboration, so that businesses can easily understand and handle data anomalies.  These tools also help evaluate the differences between data sets that have been created over time.

Multiple data-quality-process mappings will ultimately yield a holistic view of the data impact on the business. Poor data quality efforts in the cloud or otherwise can produce drastic business effects. While the task of identifying quality data for a task on hand can be daunting, the identification will yield extremely satisfying and dramatic results.  When time frames for the metrics are computed and implemented, cost savings can be traced back to data-quality-process mappings.  Interpretation of trends and metrics will be facilitated. Risks and issues will be quickly visible as manifestations of poor data quality levels.

Backup Everything is a UK based cloud backup and storage service provider that is always ready to assist businesses in their efforts to implement the best backup strategies. Backup Everything is also ready to assist you in using your data to make the right business decisions, by implementing simple and easy processes. Backup Everything provides services to thousands of clients globally, bringing the latest technologies in the industry. Backup Everything is one of the few companies that provide cloud-to-cloud backup services. Feel free to contact us at any time.

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