A couple of weeks back I posted on the shortcomings of the application approach to multidomain MDM, so this week let’s take a look at the many reasons why the platform approach is the superior alternative for effective multidomain MDM. The primary technological difference between the two approaches is that MDM “applications” typically employ a predefined data model, business logic, and a dedicated graphical user interface (GUI) tied to solving a single business problem, whereas platform-based MDM allow users to create and use flexible data models, configure it to suite any business logic, and provide visibility across any number of business processes via a single user interface.
The broader platform approach doesn’t just support multiple data domains, it also supports multiple architectural styles as well. The advantage here is that a company could start with a modest registry-style MDM implementation to, say, drive rapid improvements in marketing or customer service, then expand to more ambitious MDM initiatives over time using advanced architecture styles such as consolidated, coexistence, or centralized MDM—all using the same platform.
The competing application-based approach doesn’t offer this kind of flexibility or scalability. If you work with one of the big MDM application vendors and you want to expand your customer MDM implementation to a product-data domain, you’re going to have to purchase an entirely new system. Platform-based MDM avoids this kind of dead end. In fact, open integration with multiple applications and data sources—internal and external—means you can pursue any kind of MDM initiative with your existing platform MDM infrastructure. This is why the platform approach is more economical to begin with, and why it delivers better value over time.
Additionally, the platform approach to multidomain MDM lets you address all MDM processes and requirements. With that single, unified platform you can handle data integration, data profiling, data quality, identity resolution, and address validation. With application MDM you often have to stitch together several technology offerings from different vendors to get all of these capabilities; it’s not unusual to find application MDM offerings that lack capabilities such as profiling or data quality. When you can handle all your MDM tasks within a single platform, it’s easier for team members. They can be trained once on a single system, and implementation and maintenance costs are lower also. Read my whitepaper for more details on this topic.
What has been your experience with platform vs. application approach to multidomain MDM?