In my ongoing sessions with enterprise architects and CTOs, I have found that many are concerned about the amount of flux in the nascent customer data integration (CDI) and master data management (MDM) markets. In my May column, I provided insight into the first six of 12 CDI-MDM milestones as a series of strategic planning assumptions to assist IT organizations and vendors in coping with the churn of the CDI-MDM vendor landscape. In this column, I wrap up my overview of these planning assumptions with the remaining six milestones.

7. Architecture and data models. During 2007, the market will further evolve as vendors specialize in analytical and operational MDM. During 2008-2009, megavendors (IBM, Oracle, SAP, Teradata) will continue to focus significant R&D and marketing resources on industry content of data models, which will force specialist vendors to remain "data model lite" via specialization in business-to-business/business-to-business-to-consumer hierarchy management and distributed CDI-MDM. Not until 2009-2010 will the CDI-MDM megavendors have rewired their foundational software to fully support their strategic application infrastructure (Oracle Fusion, SAP NetWeaver, et al) and completed transitioning from client/server to service-oriented architecture (SOA); concurrently, Global 5000 business requirements will drive vendors into fourth generation, full-spectrum hubs that support both structured and unstructured info.

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