Business modernization programs typically focus on process standardization to gain the benefits of efficient repeatable, measurable processes. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) technologies fulfill the process standardization requirements and have now become a central point for management of business processes. However, ERP systems do not prevent low quality data from entering the systems nor do they measure its impact on the efficiency of a business process. Most organizations today are using the same ERP systems (SAP or Oracle) that were configured by the same consultancies. Therefore, the uniqueness and the scope for competitive advantage of any organization are defined by the people and the data.
Master data management (MDM) may be part of the longer term solution; however, MDM will not deliver short-term value. The challenge is in the time paradox where the priority of the business is to run operations and address the critical business issues to deliver immediate value, while an MDM project, in contrast, is a strategic initiative focused on delivering longer-term value.
How can we combine the near and far?
Only an economically focused, non-invasive and progressive approach, taking the short and long term business objectives into consideration, will be accepted and executed by the business.
Only those organizations with an effective data strategy embedded within the business strategy will be able to turn data into a real competitive advantage, deliver short and longer term value and ensure business success and sustainability.
Dr. Walid el Abed is the founder and CEO of Global Data Excellence.