For the longest time, operational business applications ran with embedded functionality for managing master data. It was the right strategy if deployed under the assumption that companies eventually would consolidate and support all business processes on one platform, a single enterprise resource planning system. Very few organizations ever got close to realizing this vision due to continuous M&A activities and the lack of a compelling case to fully harmonize business processes and decommission all systems but one. Hence the idea of master data management focusing on only one system proved to be a mistaken and inflexible idea. That is why over the past five to eight years we have seen master data repositories emerging as distinct applications and related governance and methods acknowledged as a discipline, MDM.
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