I recently read an article from Bob Violino about The Growing Complexity of Data Integration. The article is in regard to organization’s deprecating functionality traditionally supported by monolithic ERP systems in favor of best-of-breed, cloud and SaaS based applications. This fracturing of core ERP functionality will create an even more complicated IT landscape fraught with data integration challenges.
In the Gartner Report “2015 Strategic Road Map for Postmodern ERP,” they predict that “By 2020, less than 20% of multinational organizations will continue to plan and adopt an ERP strategy based on a single-instance megasuite.” This points the finger squarely at the need for increased data governance capabilities to ensure that shared data assets such as Master and Reference data are managed with the highest of quality standards.
Out of necessity, the same piece of data is going to have to reside in many different places – even more so than in today’s world. Therefore, to combat the fragmentation of data, Master Data Management needs to be institutionalized and baked into day-to-day business processes to serve as the authoritative source for your high-value data assets.
In addition to ongoing operational integration between core ERPs and other upstream and downstream applications, employing Master Data Management ahead of data migration into these newly adopted systems can provide enormous benefits by reducing the effort of data consolidation and harmonization and reducing the risk of poor quality data infecting your new cloud-based application right out of the gate.
I’ve worked with enough clients in my data management career and have collected enough anecdotal evidence to understand the benefits of implementing a Master Data Management solution and establishing a foundation for data governance ahead of a massive undertaking such as a CRM or ERP adoption. Data migration is a highly-complex and critical aspect to major system migrations and needs to be thoroughly accounted for in the planning process. Though most organizations do plan for it, nearly all underestimate the actual effort required leading to significant overruns or even failed projects.
Simplifying the data integration aspects of a major system implementation or migration by resolving data quality issues ahead of time through a fully governed MDM program will have a significant positive impact on your project timelines, and reduce the risk of project failures or the typical overruns that plague these sorts of projects. Addressing the quality issue via MDM instantiates a process-driven governance framework to ensure that data can be kept clean even after migration.