Big data, the Cloud and Mobility – how will these affect data management in 2013


Most analysts predict that Big Data, Cloud and mobility will be the key focus for IT through 2013 – driven primarily by business’ desire to improve the customer experience  while continuing to improve operating effectiveness. 

The cloud is a disruptive technology that is enabling business users to bypass archaic IT provided solutions and bring new, unsanctioned technologies into the organisation.

Mobility has shifted the goal posts for infrastructure management – client server architectures based on the Wintel platform are giving way to mobile architectures dominated by Apple, Google and Samsung

The real impact of these trends is thattraditional large IT vendors cannot adapt quickly enough to solve the integration and data management challenges that these disruptions are bringing to the market. Start-up vendors and specialists are proliferating in the enterprise at a startling rate, solving problems the incumbents can’t.

According to Box CEO, Aaron Levie, the emerging paradigm is the rise of the cloud stack.  In the previous paradigm big vendors built their strategy around providing entire application suites. A single provider strategy allowed enterprises the theoretical benefit of reduced integration complexity. The cost – a stack solution may do everything, but does nothing really well.

This approach is no longer good enough.  

With stack based solutions employee records from Workday can be seamlessly loaded in to Salesforce.com, cleansed and standardised in Trillium Software on Demand, or analysed using GoodData.

Cloud based solutions are driving a new level of openness, allowing better results to be driven from all applications. Unlike hard to implement, slow moving incumbent stacks, these solutions can be deployed quickly and cheaply, to support organisations of different sizes and to bolster weaknesses in existing enterprise architectures.

From a data quality perspective, there is a continuing drive to more effectively leverage existing systems to improve the customer experience. The tight economy means that hundred million rand projects to rip and replace existing systems are not viable,

 Rather organisations need to look at adding core components, such as a data quality stack that will quickly and easily integrate into multiple existing systems. It is also important to leverage vendor expertise and apply prebuilt data quality rules in order to maximise ROI.

For many companies, tight market conditions are driving expansion into multiple geographies. Africa is a key market for many of our South African enterprise clients, while other emerging markets such as Russia, India, Poland and South America are also seeing significant investment.  Globalisation brings unique data quality challenges as each country and geography brings new languages, new business practises and new legislative barriers to data management.  Specialist, global, data quality companies can share their insight and knowledge of these conditions, using local resources where necessary, to ensure that your data meets your needs.

Data quality makes or breaks every data intensive initiative – whether a new ERP or CRM application, improving business process efficiency, or ensuring regulatory compliance.

The consolidation of the data management market has seen the mega vendors swallow up numerous specialist MDM, data integration and data quality vendors – in most cases losing the key passionate, data management specialists that made the technology work. A technology solution, deployed by an inexperienced team, is unlikely to bring value.

At the end of the day, bigger is not better. Better is better.

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