My last column discussed the first six milestones addressed by The CDI Institute's research team in response to the question: What are the key differentiators of next-generation customer data integration (CDI) solutions for 2006-7? The first six milestones are market maturation, market momentum, market consolidation, budgets/skills, data governance and master data management (MDM) convergence. In this column I shall discuss the final six milestones:

7. Architecture. During 2006-07, Global 5000 enterprises will migrate en masse from custom-built customer data hubs onto commercial CDI/MDM solutions - primarily those of mega vendors IBM, Oracle/Siebel and SAP. Through 2007-08, systems performance will remain problematic as enterprise infrastructure teams hedge between virtual, persisted and composite/hybrid hubs; applying point solutions such as enterprise information integration (EII) middleware will help adjudicate both performance and political stalemates. By 2008-09, both market-leading enterprises and CDI/MDM vendors will have completed their transition from client/server to service-oriented architecture (SOA) by migrating from "data hubs" to "process/policy hubs"; concurrently, CDI/MDM requirements will drive vendors into fourth generation, full-spectrum hubs (support for structured and unstructured info with extreme scalability).

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