I saw an interesting post by Thomas Wailgum the other day called “MDM: Buzz-Worthy Since 2000, But Still a Back-Breaker”.
While I don’t agree that “there’s ongoing uncertainty as to when to take [MDM] seriously”, he does make some good points. The software vendors who’ve flocked to MDM and put the MDM label on everything under the sun have certainly confused the market.
Even so, the MDM software market grew 24% from 2007 to 2008. In spite of the tough economic times we’re currently in, that rapid growth rate should continue for the next several years.
One area I don’t agree with is the statement “it’s just plain hard to do … and even harder to do well”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Master Data Management is easy. But I think it’s eminently “doable” if you:
- get yourself and your team educated on what MDM is all about and what it can do for your company
- develop a compelling MDM strategy that aligns well with your organization’s long term strategy
- get folks from the business and management on board through education, communication and evangelization
- create a strong business case and use it to manage expectations throughout the lifecycle of the project
- thoughtfully select the essential components (hub, integration, data quality, external content) and plan for data governance
- after starting your data governance program and selecting the technology components, follow some best practices for MDM implementation
Of course, there are going to be some failures along the way. But I come from the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) world, where a typical project was 1-2 years in length and cost in the tens of millions of dollars. To me, MDM doesn’t seem like a back-breaker. It seems like a great way of breaking down the walls of the typical corporate silos, complying more easily with ever-growing government regulations, increasing revenue by becoming more customer-centric (which in a recession, can make a big difference), and saving money through more efficient processes and consolidating out-dated systems.
What do you think? Please let us know via a comment here.