Gartner, the research and advisory firm, recently published their “Hype Cycle for Information Governance and Master Data Management, 2016.” In this report, they discuss the current landscape of various Information Governance and MDM technologies, as well as give timelines for the proliferation and expected value of these technologies.
Many assertions of the report are in line with what our customers are reporting, but we have observed that the time-frames for many of these technologies may arrive sooner than than predicted by Gartner. Specifically, the Situational MDM timeline is the most out of line with what we have seen.
As businesses continue to go completely digital, and their pool of data increases exponentially, the idea of a single ‘golden record’ of an object will indeed become outdated as they suggest. However, this future will be here much earlier than they predict, and the need for an MDM solution that will handle this ambiguity is a pressing concern. Why is this?
The driving factor is the proliferation of SaaS business applications, like your sales force management software, marketing automation, and customer support solutions. SaaS solutions are leading to hybrid architectures, and you will need a reconciliation between your SaaS ‘golden records’, and existing applications.
Modern MDM technologies are inherently multi-domain, covering customers, suppliers, products, hierarchies, and more. With more data being mastered and more information workers accessing with this data, it becomes increasingly likely that one user will need a composite view of data that differs from what another user needs. The concept of a traditional golden record isn't the right solution to meet everyone's needs. Compare this to David Loshin's discussion of composite views of master data to create value.
MDM is Growing Quickly
As the available data pool and the benefit of applied data both accelerate, there is a new generation of companies who are looking at IT to be the recommender of solutions – mostly cloud based. These companies are fast-moving, and often subscribe to the ‘outsource everything’ mindset.
Here, information is an asset, and time-to-value is critical. Agile and flexible technologies like cloud-based MDM hubs that are multi-domain are essential to generating maximum value from a company’s data. The need for an MDM product that can capably handle Situational MDM is apparent.
If you look at just the traditional MDM vendors, then Gartner’s timeframes make sense. Here, Gartner is right on with their predictions.
Our expectation, however, is that the market will move more quickly, and within the next 18-36 months cloud-based MDM solutions, overlapping significantly with Situational MDM requirements, will be far closer to the Plateau of Productivity.