Master data management (MDM) might be seen as a disruptive technology in the integration space, in that it is an attempt to replace less accommodating approaches to sharing a single source of enterprise information. A naïve view of MDM might indicate significant drawbacks – challenges in application integration or change management, for example – to the point that a senior manager with some degree of trepidation for his own welfare might not just hesitate, but also actively lobby against deploying an MDM solution. So how can you justify the investment in a CDI or MDM initiative, let alone gain executive support for one?
While one must consider the longer-term, strategic value of a single source of truth, a tactical approach that I have seen used with some success is the premise of embedding the MDM or CDI program within a higher-profile new application. For example, a company clearly needs a cleansed customer data set when implementing a global sales application – and in fact I have seen an IT shop “sell” a CDI application purchase as part of a similarly characterized project. Eventually, most new applications rely on at least one, if not more than one set of master data – customers, supply chain, HR, products, etc.
So introducing an MDM component deployed as a service to the new application might provide a jumping-off point to demonstrate the value of the MDM program, as it could be integrated with either other new systems or even legacy applications.
I am interested in hearing reader experiences with selling MDM – what worked, what didn’t work? Post your stories here!