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2008 forecast: master data management "taking the MDM train.

Master Data Management (MDM) adoption is like a long freight train' forward-thinking companies (like the first car) have moved long-past their initial starting point into enterprise-level MDM solutions, while lagging companies (like the last car still at the station) are figuring out how to get started on their MDM journey. An MDM technology should be flexible enough to keep the first car moving forward and at the same time, continue the momentum of the middle and the last cars.

Leading MDM practitioners are those trendsetting companies who constantly push the envelope with state-of-the-art MDM functionality. These companies have already deployed multiple MDM solutions for sales and marketing operations, regulatory compliance, etc. and are now working on enterprise-level MDM in order to connect all functions across their enterprise. Typically, they have a complex MDM architecture that connects all the MDM solutions' keeping master data in sync across the entire enterprise. They demand superior solutions from their MDM vendor in order to support their company's specific technology and data governance requirements. These visionaries need a Federated MDM Hub (local MDM solutions rolling up to an enterprise MDM solution) to keep the enterprise master data in sync while maintaining high scalability and performance standards.

Companies in the middle of their MDM journey have deployed a single MDM solution, perhaps for new account openings within their brokerage division, and now are maybe looking to expand their MDM footprint for Basel II compliance to their investment banking division. Organizations at this stage need their existing MDM technology to help get the second MDM solution up and running quickly and at the same time, they must continue to manage cross-functional data governance across various divisions. To facilitate such a requirement, the MDM technology should support rapid migration of MDM objects from the deployed hub to the new hub along with distributed data governance thus enabling collaboration among divisions. It should also support integration with vertical-specific, preconfigured MDM solutions that can be rapidly deployed for a given business problem as needed.

The companies at the tail-end of the train are looking to begin their MDM journey in order to address a specific business problem such as real-time order-to-cash management or high-fidelity management reporting. Their needs include the development of real-time composite applications, reporting framework, and divisional data governance. For these types of projects, companies need an MDM technology with broad functionality and one that fits seamlessly within the existing IT landscape.

Technology must align with the needs of every company at various levels of their MDM journey. Without careful thought to the advantages of a flexible MDM solution that can support the solution evolution, companies might find themselves left at the station while their competitors speed steadily ahead. Only a flexible MDM technology can ensure that each car in the MDM train 'from the first to the last' reaches their desired destination in a quick and cost effective way.

Ravi Shankar is director of product marketing at Siperian, Inc. Contact the author at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

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Title Annotation:Siperian, Inc.
Author:Shankar, Ravi
Publication:Computer Technology Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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