Enterprise applications have been the technical foundation for running businesses for decades now. They have been the top priority for most IT organizations and consume a huge percentage of resources and budget. While they undoubtedly are critical to the business, the fact that the business is dependent on them can bring huge risk if they aren’t managed correctly. (more…)
For many of us Informatica employees, Informatica World is a whirlwind, during which it can be difficult to process all the important things that we hear from all the customers attending. Now I’ve had a couple days to digest a few things. It’s clear a lot of things have changed since the last Informatica World in 2008 with how many of our customers are thinking about data integration and information management. Some of these I was expecting. Some were surprising—in a good way.
In part one of this two-part series, I wrote about how enterprise information management (EIM) helps CIOs deliver against their top five management priorities. Now, let’s turn to the top technology areas in which CIOs are investing for the future. CIO magazine recently did a survey on “Top Tech Priorities.” The top five items that were “on the radar” or being actively researched by IT organizations were:
1. Cloud computing
2. Business intelligence
3. Business process management
4. Enterprise architecture/SOA
5. Enterprise data management
EIM plays a big role in all of these. Some are self-evident—enterprise data management is often a synonym for EIM, and the link between EIM and BI is pretty clear. But the relationship to some of the other areas may need some connecting-of-the-dots. (more…)
I was cleaning up my office last week, and I started flipping through my rather large backlog of CIO magazines. I hadn’t touched the stack in months, since I usually read the online version. But luckily I took a moment to scan the headlines, as I came across a couple items I hadn’t spent enough time on earlier: their annual State of the CIO survey, as well as a January survey regarding their “top tech priorities”.
These two surveys provided some interesting insights into the top day-to-day priorities for CIOs, as well as the future things they are keeping their eyes on. In this posting, I’ll talk about the lynchpin role enterprise information management (EIM) plays in the day-to-day running of the ship. In my next post I’ll talk about how EIM interplays with the various technologies that are at the top of the list for future investment.
From the 2010 State of the CIO survey, the top five management priorities were:
1. Aligning IT and business goals
2. Controlling IT costs
3. IT governance and portfolio management
4. Business process redesign
5. Leadership development/staff training (more…)
At Informatica, we pride ourselves on the talent and creativity in our R&D groups, and their ability to innovate. The developers work hard to understand the data challenges our customers face, and then work even harder to create the solutions that have been proven over and over again in real-world situations.
But we also know that there is a ton of data integration and data management expertise out there, beyond the boundaries of our company. Experienced developers have their bag of tips and tricks, including utilities and templates. Consultants and system integrators have accelerators, starter kits and packaged services. Other software providers have developed their own solutions to solve common data problems in the enterprise. (more…)
In my last blog, I discussed how a leading life sciences firm was starting to roll out an enterprise data management (EDM) strategy, including a strong MDM foundation. They were creating the structure and processes to manage a small number of master data elements at a global corporate level, despite a strong culture of autonomously operating business units.
Because of the independent nature of the business units, it was clear that the operational applications, including ERP, were going to continue to be managed at a business unit and regional level. And the business units were in various stages of implementing their own MDM initiatives to suit their own purposes.
So what was the goal of enforcing enterprise level master data for a few dozen key data elements? To support enterprise business intelligence. In other words, they weren’t going to try to centralize business operations. That would never work in a company of their size and complexity. The goal of enterprise data management and MDM was to maintain global visibility into key business metrics like sales by customer and inventory by product. It was really analytical MDM, rather than operational MDM.
So now I wonder—if your company is large and complex, with several different operating business units that each runs things their own way, is any corporate-level MDM initiative going to be analytical by default? Is it possible to have enterprise-wide operational MDM in decentralized organizations? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Had a great meeting last week with the director of data management at a leading life sciences firm. The company has a long-standing culture of business units running on a very autonomous basis. But they are realizing that in order to have visibility into operations at a global enterprise level, and to run their business more effectively, they have to do things differently.
While a couple groups have implemented specific MDM initiatives, at a corporate level they are just embarking upon enterprise data management (EDM) and MDM. We discussed a lot of things in the meeting, including the technical foundation for EDM, and how the various capabilities of the Informatica Platform mapped to their requirements.
But one of the most interesting topics was how they were handling who owned what master data. In every company, different functions and different groups will argue about master data—what it is, how it is defined, and who “owns” it. In a company with a history of decentralized operations, the notion of imposing master data at a corporate level is particularly challenging. (more…)
I’m going to contradict myself. In the past, I’ve talked about various ways to document the business value of data and to justify investments in data integration through ROI analyses and other mechanisms.
But I had a minor epiphany while attending a CIO conference in Philadelphia last week. We talk about alignment with the business, and getting business sponsorship behind IT initiatives. After all, the business is the real stakeholder for the data, right? (more…)
Nicholas Carr infamously penned “Why IT Doesn’t Matter” back in 2003, and many in the IT world howled their indignity at the idea. Many proved over and over that IT did matter in many businesses. IT did provide competitive advantage.
But part of what he stated does resonate now. Business applications used to be the epitome of how IT helped differentiate an enterprise. American Airlines invented the yield management system for allocating and pricing airline seats, revolutionizing the industry and generating an estimated $1.4 billion in additional revenues over three years. MCI won five points of market share from AT&T in the 1990s with its Friends and Family plan, enabled by its uniquely flexible billing application. Bank of America cemented customer relationships and leapfrogged competitors by providing state-of-the-art electronic bill pay capabilities. (more…)
This week, I attended a CIO conference in Philadelphia, for the first time in a couple of years. It was really good to hear them talk about their experiences, goals and issues, and to talk with some of them one on one. It spurred a bunch of new thoughts, which I’ll be writing about in a series of upcoming blogs. This first posting is on CIOs playing offense.
In my last posting, I talked about the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde nature of data—data being both an asset and a liability. The CIOs talked about playing offense vs. defense. They really wanted to be engaged with business transformation and growth initiatives. But many were saddled with cumbersome, expensive IT environments that sucked up 90% of their IT spend and resources just to “keep the lights on”. In other words, they were spending almost all their time and energy playing defense. (more…)