One of my colleagues shared a short note published by a vendor on LinkedIn that commented on how Gartner’s views the current MDM market. Of course I had to read it and in reading it I saw an opportunity. Firstly all vendors have a unique view of the market. That is useful and important – but it is only one view. I myself worked for a vendor for 9 years before joining Gartner so I was very familiar with this idea. But once I joined Gartner, and now after 16 years, I appreciate more fully that what we see is different. Our lens tends to be much broader and much wider since we touch to many more organizations, more regions, more users, than many vendors added together. So i comment on this vendor’s point of view not from any negative criticism but from an alternative perspective.
Ramon Chen (Chief Product Officer) of Reltio noted in his post (https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6320852223970537473/) that MDM is positioned in our recent Information Governance and MDM Hype Cycle in the “trough of disillusionment”. If you read the note you will note however that technically MDM is out of the trough and just nudging up the first parts of the ramp up to the “plateau of productivity”. But let’s not quibble about that. What was interesting were Ramon’s observations on the MDM market. Here are his comments and my initial thoughts on his comments
- The landscape is littered w/failed projects that use legacy on-premises MDM tools that are 12+ yrs old
Partially true. There are many failed and struggling MDM implementations. The part that is not totally true is the age of the technology. This is because the main reasons for the failures have little to do with technology. They range from:
- Tackling too much data at the same time. There is huge confusion in the market about what is master data and what is not (e.g. application data)
- Assuming MDM was a ‘data’ program whereas those that know how to ‘do” MDM learn quick that it is about business process/outcome improvement, much less about data per se.
- Not aligning to an (business) outcome – which is most easily noted when IT says it is “doing MDM” and business leaders are not even involved
- Not establishing effective (as in right-sized) governance (too many folks, too big a program, not designed to operate at the speed of business)
- Not even attempting operational governance (i.e. information stewardship)
- Conflating MDM with a data quality tool or project or an entity resolution workload or a data matching effort or relationship discovery. All are are useful. None ‘are’ MDM; they may contribute to it.
- Gartner continues to ignore successful Cloud MDM deployments happening today
Not at all. There are just few of them. Also be clear about the last response to the first question. Just doing entity resolution or graphing or discovering some relationship concerning customer data is not MDM but helpful to those implementing it.
- Coincidentally the companies they recognize as MDM leaders w/12 year old tech aren’t truly multi-tenant cloud enabled
What has that got to do with a business outcome? Multi-tenant is an important architectural aspect for vendors only. It actually removes one of the cost-penalties that vendors incur in the cloud. Single tenant SaaS leads to higher costs to vendors and they would then pass this on to clients. With multi-tenant, costs are lower to the vendor and so costs to clients can be lower. This has no impact on the quality of your MDM program. In fact, there is a small argument that multi-tenant apps would lead to a standardization of the business processes the apps would support. Thus the value of MDM might be more easily achieved by your competitors using hte same MDM solution. But that’s a nit.
So there you have it. What do you see “out there”?