There are three reasons why we haven’t achieved 1-click data management in a corporate data marketplace. First, it wasn’t a problem until recently. The signs that we really needed to manage data as an asset across the enterprise only appeared about 20 years ago. Prior to that, data management occurred at the application system level and we didn’t need a separate focus on Information Asset Management (IAM) at the enterprise level. The past five years however have a seen a strong growing awareness of the challenges and need for IAM; to a large degree driven by big-data opportunities and data privacy and confidentiality concerns.
Second, some technical pieces of the puzzle were missing until recently. Amazon couldn’t achieve 1-click ordering without a) the internet, b) a ubiquitous user interface, and c) electronic payment systems. These three elements only achieved an adequate level of maturity about 20 years ago. On the data management and data integration front, only in the past five years or so have we started to see middleware technologies, architecture and metadata repositories, and data management practices stabilize to serve as a solid technical foundation for enterprise information asset management.
Third, we haven’t tried. Data management efforts to-date have been largely manual, piecemeal and tactical. Some organizations that have tried to take a comprehensive and holistic approach have become disillusioned by slow progress; years of effort to build enterprise models and data governance programs with little practical progress to maintain management support and funding. It’s time to treat Information Asset Management like a modern IT discipline. If we view Information Asset Management as a business process and not a technical activity, and we map out the end-to-end processes, standardize them, and begin automating them step-by-step, before long we will have a data marketplace with 1-click capability.
It’s not that we can’t do amazing things with IT; we have put men on the moon and have turned an order-to-cash cycle from 2 months or more to instantaneous with Amazon’s 1-click. If we apply the same focus on Information Asset Management, we can accomplish the same results.