What Does a Next-gen MDM Solution Look Like? Deployment Options for a Hybrid World (Part 2)

Master Data Management (MDM) solutions are entering a new stage of maturity. Driven by the rising demands of Cloud and big data, today’s MDM is drastically different, offering greater capabilities, hybrid deployment options, a variety of entry points, and more business user flexibility than ever before.

The market forces shaping the MDM evolution are complex and include:

  • The need for companies to differentiate on customer experience
  • Ever-increasing and changing regulations
  • Cloud economics impact on IT strategy
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Digital transformation strategies, and more 

These and other market realities have resulted in the evolution of a new generation of MDM solutions that must help organizations deliver new and improved business outcomes.

To help navigate this MDM evolution, I’m publishing a four-part blog series: “Understanding Next-Gen MDM.” This second series installment focuses on the importance of offering flexible, full-featured deployment options.

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the end-to-end capabilities that are required in new age MDM.

MDM meets Cloud

Chalk up the enduring allure of the cloud to a combination of rapid time-to-value and low capital expenditure. So both CIO’s and CFO’s are navigating how to best leverage that powerful one-two punch, leveraging low-cost, agile cloud computing—including everything from infrastructure to applications – while shifting more and more budget from CAPEX to OPEX. MDM investments are no exception.

MDM and the cloud were once a controversial pairing. After all, giving third parties beyond your IT firewall control over sensitive data can’t be done lightly. But the industry has changed and is adapting to the new world.  In fact, many industry analysts recommend cloud-based MDM for many situations. In a 2015 report, a major analyst firm describes a few business scenarios in which MDM hub services are recommended. This include supporting MDM implementations of modest scope, and supporting proof-of-concept, development and testing activities prior to placing an on premise MDM solution into production.

In short, the growing demand for flexible deployment options has spurred innovation and maturity in the MDM marketplace, making cloud cost-effective choice for many organizations.

Choice is king

Deployment flexibility is a tremendous selling point for today’s digital enterprises. With flexible deployment options, organizations can:

  • Allow legacy applications to support mission-critical need while they transition to updated technology choices
  • Leverage cloud agility where it’s needed most, without disrupting other business units
  • Bring new deployments online rapidly or create a proof of concept
  • Create a hierarchical protection mechanism for some data or applications
  • Shift capital expenditures to operational expenditures

From MDM point of view, there are a number of flexible deployment options exist. For example:

  • Hosting existing on premise MDM investments into low-cost hosted infrastructures like AWS and Azure to reduce hardware and maintenance
  • Leveraging MDM capabilities, like match, merge and persist golden profiles natively in Hadoop environments to optimize data lake and other big data investments
  • Using application data management MDM solutions to optimize major SaaS investments like Salesforce
  • Purchasing subscription prices and/or cloud-deployed fit for purpose MDM-fueled business and analytic applications targeting business users
  • Deploying native MDM Hub solutions as either single- or multi-tenant solutions

These are all good reasons to be looking for an MDM cloud solution. But more importantly, organizations want to choose what works best for them today without limiting their options for the future. They want to know that what they build in the cloud won’t be lost if they decide to choose another path later.

An evolving marketplace

Until recently, the MDM marketplace didn’t offer deployment flexibility. Organizations looking for a new deployment chose either a completely on-premise solution—and made the necessary accommodations in labor to get a more robust, but complex solution up and running—or a fully cloud-based solution, typically accepting significant trade-offs in functionality and scale. To get both, they’d have to use two different vendors; a situation that’s far from ideal considering that MDM is about repairing data fragmentation, not creating it.

Adding to the dilemma, Cloud-only MDM vendors tend to offer thinner capabilities and less maturity than more experienced vendors that grew from on-premise solutions. Many are new to the marketplace, with untested solutions and few, if any, customer proof points and documented ROI. This is of particular concern to organizations under regulations that want robust protections for sensitive data.  Also, some cloud-only MDM vendors only provide the basics, such as open source match-and-merge functionality. In these situations, customers often find they outgrow the solution quickly. Or they may fail to get sufficient business value because the solution can’t enhance the quality of the source data. After a few months or years of weak ROI, their customers are forced to pull the plug and start again.

On the other hand, many of the legacy on-premise MDM solution providers have not adjusted to these market shifts and are not offering modular, agile and flexible deployment options that make these cloud solutions so attractive in the first place.  It’s a real dilemma for organizations requiring both enterprise-class capabilities along with the deployment flexibility.

Flexibility without compromise

From this disarray, organizations are learning that piecemeal data management from an untrusted vendor is probably not worth the short-term cost savings. In the end, as with any software investments, it still must come down to TCO. Unfortunately, some organizations are being sold a lie from some aggressive new entrants.  They’re either told that to get MDM in the cloud they must compromise on features or reliability or worse – they’re tricked during the demo or proof of concept into believing a certain level of functionality exists only to discover vapor-ware when it comes time to deploy or scale the solution.

Understanding the vital importance of deployment flexibility, Informatica has led the innovation to fill the gap between cloud demand and end-to-end MDM capabilities. Informatica MDM customers can have complete end-to-end solution that help them realize the benefits from cloud data management and agility.


Next-gen MDM
Complete end-to-end MDM with flexibility to deploy on-premise, in the cloud and ability to switch when you need it


Today, Informatica equips you with the only full-featured next-generation MDM solution, available on-premise or in the cloud—with no lock-in. Our customers experience unrivaled smooth transitions from one deployment to another—whether it’s next month or five years down the road—as well as versatile hybridization for those that want to combine cloud and on-premise now.

Going beyond just match-and-merge—to include a complete range of data management tools from discovery to delivery—Informatica’s end-to-end capabilities give our customers, across every industry, a strong foundation for data-driven decision-making and business empowerment.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series, where I’ll discuss NextGen MDM’s big data capabilities and how that’s enabling the digital enterprise.

Miss the Part 1 of this series? Catch up and read it now!