MDM is no longer a "fast follower" technology. It is now a mature solution providing tangible benefits for private and public sector organizations. The desired economic outcomes include new ways to drive down costs, enable better regulatory compliance, provide higher levels of customer satisfaction and to provide increased agility -- whether to add new channels or products or to prepare for and execute on mergers and acquisitions. Data governance is critical to achieving sustainable and effective MDM. Failure to execute data governance concurrently with an MDM program greatly decreases the probability of success and economic sustainability of MDM programs.
Why is 2012 a Pivotal Year for Your Career
Now is the time that "type A" IT professionals are plotting out their next career moves. MDM and data governance remain hot career areas during 2012, but what about the next 12 to 18 months? Many IT pros have been trained in the major MDM solutions, and some already have a year or more project experience. If you stake your two-to-three-year career plan to a specific MDM platform you should do fine. However, if you spice your resume up via reference data management, cloud-enablement and integration, and big data analytics (particularly for social CRM/MDM data), you may have enhanced your compensation potential by 30 percent or more. However, you will also be a "data integration pioneer," and we all know that pioneers are risk-takers and often suffer. But you can still be a "fast follower" IT pro by monitoring such MDM-related areas and adding them to your skills portfolio – rather than risking your near term sanity and job prospects exclusively in such new areas!
MDM is both pervasive and pandemic. Over the past seven years as conference chairman for the global event series MDM & Data Governance Summit, I have observed hundreds of MDM implementations in almost every industry around the world ranging from very large, highly heterogeneous distributed enterprises to midsize, mostly homogeneous centralized/local enterprises. In this same time frame, more than 6,000 IT professionals have attended our workshops and tutorials in London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.
During the first quarter of 2012, analysts at the MDM Institute reviewed more than 750 MDM and data governance case studies as part of the process to arrive at 10 strategic planning assumptions. This 2012-13 “MDM & Data Governance Roadmap” should serve as a guide to help focus efforts for MDM programs.
The bottom line is that MDM is quickly broadening its attractiveness both as a key enabler of strategic business initiatives as well as tactical P&L initiatives. More so than service-oriented architecture or business process management experience, a very large number of IT pros are riding the cresting wave of MDM and data governance. Just check your job sources for these keywords and browse the number of people (and positions offered) for these two key areas in LinkedIn groups and you will have confirmation. As of 2012, MDM is no longer fast-follower technology strategy but is clearly a business strategy for the masses.
What do you think are the most important aspects of a career in master data management? Vote and join the discussion here in our LinkedIn discussion group.
The following summary trends should you give you some insights into how MDM and data governance overlay other trending IT areas such as big data, reference data, social CRM/MDM, etc.
1. Pervasive MDM (MDM as a Service)
During 2012, the vast majority of application providers will deploy en masse their next generation of MDM-innate (as opposed to MDM-aware) applications as SAP delivers SAP Master Data Governance for ECC/BBD, Oracle delivers Fusion applications with Fusion MDM, and Teradata ships Aprimo database marketing apps with their embedded MDM. Concurrently, SaaS vendors such Salesforce will struggle to provide integrated/native MDM capabilities to repatriate cloud-based data and services. Also, a good deal of departments in large firms and frugal IT organizations (government sector) will pick up Microsoft Master Data Services, open source (from vendors such as Talend) and even hosted MDM capability (such as Orchestra Networks) to take a lower-cost entry point into MDM and data governance. By 2014, the market for MDM-enabled applications (such as Oracle, SAP) will exceed that for discrete MDM software. However, MDM-innate apps will overwhelm MDM-enabled apps as the vendors successfully roll out this current generation.
2. Business Process Hubs
As market observers, it is clear that the "20 years war" between business process management and master data management has kept its ideological fires brightly burning by these two diverse camps of competing vendor technologies. Both camps admit that "process needs data" and "data needs process." (How hard was that for their marketing execs to figure out?) During 2012, MDM solution providers and BPM solution providers will increasingly collide in the market as the former acquire or build out BPM-centric MDM. Yet both camps will be challenged to unify these domains, because different business processes for CDI and PIM exist.
Through 2012-13, however, BPM-centric MDM will suffer from BPM’s traditional focus on modeling and not executing MDM rules. By 2014-15, all mega MDM and BPM vendors will have overcome this dogmatic bias as enterprise BPM needs to execute within governance and vice versa be able to execute MDM workflows within BPM. From the enterprise perspective, a complete MDM solution requires both rules and reference data to be applied across domains. In short, MDM hubs have become "business process hubs." SAP Master Data Governance and IBM Master Data Policy Hub are leading market examples.