|By Hollis Tibbetts||
|January 26, 2012 07:00 AM EST||
If you think your data is a mess now...just wait. It will get worse, if you're not careful. Maybe even if you ARE careful.
That loud rumbling sound you hear isn't thunder, or an earthquake - it's the noise from an avalanche of exploding volumes of data, in places and formats that never existed before.
This explosion is making a difficult situation even more challenging, and what's worse, it has a direct impact on business productivity.
Only 21% of CEOs have the comprehensive information they need about their customers to make strategic decisions, according to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers CEO report.
As with so many other data challenges (such as data quality), the best approach to managing exploding volumes of data - data in a multiplicity of new places and formats - is planning.
The avalanche of disparate data, formats and applications has exacerbated a classic organizational challenge: critical data about customers stored in a myriad of different places and formats inside the enterprise, ranging from spreadsheets to databases to various enterprise systems (such as CRM or ERP) as well as various types of structured and unstructured data files.
Now it's in all those same places AND in a host of other places outside the control of the enterprise. SaaS and cloud deployment models are here to stay, and enterprises are adopting SaaS applications - especially those for managing all the various aspects of customer relationships - at breakneck speed. And cloud computing platforms such as Amazon EC2 are increasingly being leveraged by organizations as well.
With data in all the traditional places, in a myriad of different SaaS applications as well as on various cloud platforms, your problem has grown by several dimensions. The explosion has fractured corporate information into a shrapnel of even more diverse, dispersed and complicated messiness.
What had been merely a difficult problem - for example, how to reconcile your customer data from your sales system with the billing information in your accounting system with the support data in your customer support system - now includes the added complexity of data hosted and managed in multiple places outside the corporate walls, as well as data located on-premises.
How can you cushion yourself and your organization from the impact of the explosion of data, applications, and associated headaches?
Advance planning will provide what's needed: a capable and flexible architecture for data integration in place beforeyou start deploying strategic assets in new and unfamiliar places.
You can survive the avalanche of exploding volumes and variety with architecture based on technology components that have leading-edge connectivity to all SaaS applications, Cloud platforms and to all of your key existing on-premises systems.
This architecture needs to simultaneously support data integration inside the firewall and among various SaaS and cloud systems. It also needs to bridge on-premises to the SaaS/cloud world. This will require a comprehensive connectivity architecture, and may demand the ability to deploy integration components on the cloud as well as on-premises.
As with so many other data challenges (such as data quality), the best approach to managing exploding volumes of data - data in a multiplicity of new places and formats - is planning. It will be a lot easier and a lot less expensive to contain the avalanche now than to be buried by it later.
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