Seven Data Integration Trends

Loraine Lawson

Hitachi Consulting took a look at recent trends in how companies approach business intelligence projects, including trends in data integration. It's published a summary of its findings this month in Information Management, which is now available online.


This trend piece revealed several changes since the last assessment in 2007. In fact, Hitachi found the recession is definitely affecting BI, process and integration efforts.


Here are seven integration trends the consultants identified:

  1. More data-integration code is being outsourced offshore, with seasoned architects located onshore shaping the integration framework and managing the offshore work.
  2. There's no shortage of data-integration standards, but they're not enforced. The authors cite a Garnter survey showing 33 percent of surveyed organizations indicated they have enterprise standards for data integration and effectively enforce them, while 67 percent "may or may not have standards and do not enforce those at a consistent level."
  3. Enterprise architecture is becoming more involved with external business partners and vendors, and therefore evolving toward "extra-enterprise architecture."
  4. Data integration is becoming a shared service, thanks in part to a need to cut the costs of data integration. To do this, companies are centralizing tools and skills.
  5. Data-latency issues are driving integration projects. This is because operational data is becoming more business critical and companies need more real-time information.
  6. Master data management, which should be an enterprisewide endeavor, is being deployed for tactical purposes. The result? MDM projects support specific business needs and aren't fully integrated across the enterprise.
  7. Companies are struggling to decide whether to federate or integrate data. It seems departments and divisions may want and need enterprise data, but they're still bogarting it. As a result, decisions about data integration tend to be based on politics and data ownership-and, surprise, surprise-that's leads to data-integration solutions that are "inefficient and ineffective," the article notes.


The article goes into more detail about each of these trends, as well as detailing how the recession is affecting BI projects and process trends. It's well worth a read, particularly for those involved with business intelligence.

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