IT organizations are increasingly living in two worlds. The first one is fairly well known in that it consists of all the applications that have historically run inside the enterprise. The second is a brave new world of cloud applications. According to Darren Cunningham, vice president of cloud marketing for Informatica, each of those scenarios requires distinctly different approaches to master data management (MDM).
To address MDM issues in the cloud, Informatica today released the Winter Edition of Informatica Cloud 2013, a cloud service for integrating data across cloud applications that now include MDM technologies that Informatica gained with its recent acquisition of Data Scout, a provider of a set of MDM services running on the Force.com cloud developed by Salesforce.com. At the same time, Informatica continues to sell Siperian MDM software that it acquired in 2010 for use on premise.
Cunningham says MDM ideally needs to be run and managed as close to the data source as possible. Rather than extending an on-premise MDM offering into the cloud, it’s better to make use of a cloud-native MDM set of technologies that are optimized to run in the cloud. Neither approach obviates the need for the other, but Cunningham says that as time goes on, it is becoming clearer that more federated approaches to managing data are going to be required. In fact, cloud computing, says Cunningham, serves to make the whole issue of data governance more relevant than ever.
How IT organizations will respond to that challenge remains to be seen. Many of them have not historically been successful at managing data on premise. The cloud simply adds another layer of complexity to a problem many of them already find vexing enough. At the same time, however, the cloud does serve to highlight an area that often doesn’t receive the amount of funding and attention it deserves. Of course, as integration issues become more pressing in the cloud, IT organizations are once again going to discover many of the same MDM issues that have plagued their internal operations for so many years — only this time it will involve a lot more applications that they have less control over than ever.
Ultimately, MDM comes down to making a concerted effort to controlling the amount of data that an organization can easily find itself chocking on. Whether that data is residing on premise or in the cloud is almost beside the point. What really matters is maximizing the value of the data in way that doesn’t eventually wind up making it more trouble than it’s actually worth to manage.