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Enterprise data management trends 2007: Predictions from different perspectives

We asked three experts on enterprise data management trends to give us their predictions for 2007. Each has a different perspectives on the industry.

The world of enterprise data management can look very different, depending on your perspective. For our enterprise data management trend predictions for 2007, we talked to three experts with different roles in the industry. Learn which technologies they think will converge, which vendors will be acquired, and why one of them thinks enterprise resource planning (ERP) is dead.

The financial analyst, Jereme LeBlanc
Vice president with Westwood, Mass.-based-Boston Corporate Finance Inc.


  • There will be an accelerated convergence of structured and unstructured data management software tools into more flexible, service-oriented environments.
  • Look for consolidation of business intelligence (BI), enterprise content management, and business process management vendors as demand for end-to-end data and process management becomes ubiquitous.
  • Watch out for acquisition of one of the "big 4" BI players (Business Objects, Cognos, Hyperion, SAS) by a platform software vendor, as well as the acquisition of Open Text by SAP, CA or HP as a response to the IBM/FileNet and Oracle/Stellent deals.

  • There will be accelerated cross-border merger and acquisition activity as the more formidable U.S. data management vendors are consolidated or fall victim to the attrition that characterizes all super-competitive software industries.
  • Market attrition in data management software will continue as industry bellwethers use marketing hyperbole to drive commoditization and as the consolidation of formidable "tier 2" players continues.
  • SAP will continue to steal share from Oracle in the core data management space.
  • "Repeatable compliance" will continue to drive market demand for robust data management solutions.

The technology analyst, James Kobielus
Principal analyst, data management, with Sterling, Va.-based Current Analysis Inc.


  • Data management vendors will continue to consolidate (via mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, cross-licensing, etc.) to field more comprehensive master data management (MDM)-enabling product portfolios.
  • Every leading MDM vendor will acquire and/or continue to enhance its own comprehensive set of data quality offerings to support policy-driven profiling, cleansing and enrichment of master data sets in both batch and real-time environments prior to loading in data warehouses, data marts and other master data repositories.
  • All of the leading data-quality tool vendors will focus on expanding their support for profiling, cleansing and enriching non-name or address data, especially diverse product data taxonomies, in support of product information management (PIM), which is one of the principal enterprise use cases of MDM.
  • Vendors will signal their commitment to the MDM market through their ongoing attempts to package diverse data integration, data quality, data warehouse, data modeling, data stewardship, metadata management, data monitoring, and other tools into templates/suites that address customer data integration, PIM and the other principal MDM use cases.
  • Every MDM vendor will service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enable all data integration, data quality, data warehouse, and other product portfolio components (via Web services, SOAP, etc.) in order to enable maximum reuse of integrated, cleansed and consolidated corporate reference data throughout the enterprise service bus.

The vendor, Bill Hewitt
Chief executive officer of Burlington, Mass.-based Kalido Inc.

  • Governance will continue to take center stage as business users, pressured by rising compliance and transparency requirements, demand better management of information, including tracking history of information so they can reproduce the information they used to make strategic business decisions. In addition, IT and business lines will finally come together to get the most out of IT efficiency (transaction systems and core data management) and business effectiveness (master data management and active information management). Hamstrung by their current hodgepodge of disparate data systems, business users and IT departments alike will search for enforceable ways -- including new processes, organizational structures and technologies -- to ensure real-time, no-holds-barred visibility into the business.
  • Mobility and real time will become 'real' requirements and change the way many industries work. The rise of the mobile workforce, reliance on laptops and personal digital assistants, and the demand for real-time information will finally reach critical mass. This will force heavily regulated industries such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, supply-chain-dependent industries, consumer packaged goods, and manufacturing to re-evaluate the way they do business and overhaul their current processes to meet evolving demands without sacrificing data integrity or compliance.
  • More and more business drivers will depend on accurate, consistent and accessible information -- the days of static information are over.To compete effectively in a rapidly changing regulatory, competitive and internal business landscape, management will increasingly demand near real-time views of their organization, no longer willing to rely on inflexible reports that force them to view their business in the context of their data rather than in the context of their business. Companies that rely on rigid information infrastructures will need to develop a more active information environment, or they will find themselves quickly overtaken by competitors.
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) = dead on arrival (DOA), not SOA. As companies look to a service-oriented future, they are beginning to consider how to integrate and migrate their current architecture. ERP vendors have stepped up their marketing on "SOA-enablement" but have done little to separate the five key layers of IT flexibility: infrastructure, information, security, applications, and the user experience. These layers evolve at different speeds, both in market development and customer deployment, and should be able to be managed independently. Systems integrators will continue to drive up billable hours by hard-wiring existing systems and calling them SOA-enabled. Until ERP vendors truly embrace the reality of a multi-platform world, organizations relying on ERP for SOA will find it impossible to take the next step.

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