For a few years now, IT organizations have geared their optimization efforts toward infrastructure, process logic, and user interfaces. But focusing on data is the only way to achieve services-oriented IT. Here are four steps to determine if your company will benefit from a master data management initiative.
1. Rate yourself on the five attributes that predict your ability to profit from MDM:
>> Compliance and privacy obligations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and meaningful use.
>> Portfolios of broad, retail-oriented offerings that can benefit from cross- and up-selling.
>> Complex supplier network that can benefit from a consolidated view of transactions.
>> Multiple data entry and data transfer channels that require a centralized data quality and governance process, including activities related to data cleansing and authorization and validation.
>> A federated business services strategy based on service-oriented architecture that demands a complementary data services strategy.
2. Your principal business drivers dictate one of three main methods of use:
>> Collaborative MDM is aligned with the business process layer. It's used to manage entities whose attributes are owned and maintained by a diverse, yet interlinked, group of users.
>> Operational MDM is aligned with the services layer and works closely with the SOA stack.
>> Analytical MDM works on the side, with business intelligence applications to push out changes related to master data integrity.
3. Your data volatility determines the implementation style:
>> Registry style is a rudimentary implementation that provides read-only access to master data.
>> Coexistence style, where master data is refreshed periodically, works best in a nonvolatile environment.
>> Transaction style, where master data is always in sync with transactional systems, requires robust support for SOA, messaging, and transactional monitoring.
4. Your scope determines the number of domains needed:
>> Most initiatives include customer and product data domains, but businesses have been feeling the data pinch in other critical areas, including partners and suppliers, contracts, and locations and shipping.
>> MDM's scope is expanding to incorporate additional services, such as identity analytics and event management, and products that specialize in newer domains and niche verticals. Watch developments there.
--Sreedhar Kajeepeta ([email protected])
Read the full analysis at informationweek.com/1286/mdmguide.