August 30, 2011 – The conversation on master data management is shifting from vendor names to implementation topics, pointing to a quick rise in maturity in just the last three years, according to a new Forrester analysis.

The report, “Master Data Management: Customer Maturity Takes a Great Leap Forward,” categorized the basis and depth of about 175 inquiries from enterprises and information managers to the analyst firm on MDM plans January 2010 to June 2011.

Forrester found the MDM focus for enterprises shifting to best practices (27 percent), governance and ownership (24 percent) and strategy (16 percent). Questions on vendor selection came in at 22 percent, about 20-percent less than MDM inquiries from three years ago, says Rob Karel, Forrester analyst and author of the report.

“Back then, most data management pros were still figuring out what MDM was and deciding if they should care, so it’s crazy that almost half were already talking vendors before they even built their business case or organizational strategy,” Karel says, later adding, “I’m confident that vendor conversations now taking place are a lot more productive and, from a vendor standpoint, qualified than two-to-three years ago.”

In all, MDM-related inquires have increased 90 percent since 2008, Forrester found. Forrester has estimated the MDM market to reach a new high of $2.2 billion in software sales for 2011.

Implementation is still somewhat in the early stages, as about one-third of requests on best practices related to getting started, and only 15 percent centered on improving existing programs. But as interest and planning mature, Karel anticipates implementation, strategy and fine-tuning of data oversight to develop along the same lines over the next few years.

“That’s certainly the next frontier, and many MDM software vendors, SI’s and consultancies are doubling down on their service practices to capitalize on this growing need,” he says.

To access the full report for a fee, click here.

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