The question? What does the new business initiative really need to focus on?
Today's business initiatives seem to be headed in many different directions, from SOA to MDM to registries, and business processes. The issue is that when different initiatives take on different directions (rather than a consolidated view and set of drivers) they all end up at different destinations. The cost is heart-ache, silo'd solutions, and a maintenance nightmare. The bottom line is that there is convergence afoot. I've written about this over the past 5 years in my convergence articles on TDAN, B-Eye Network, and Teradata Magazine. In this entry we'll explore what business should do, and how they should approach these very different initiatives (all with a common goal).
MDM - Master Data Management
MMDM - Master Metadata Management
SOA - Service Oriented Architectures
Registries - well, registries of web-services, taxonomies and hierarchies of access points, names, and security access restrictions, I guess one could say more metadata...
BPEL - Business Process Execution Language
BPM - Business Process Management
And of course the tools of the trade:
EAI - Enterprise Application Integration
EII - Enterprise Information Integration
ETL/ELT - Extract Transform / Load
RDBMS - Relational Database Management System
Ok now that we got that out of the way... Businesses have been divesting their interests for years (at least when it comes to I.T. projects). It's time to get a little convergence back into the mix. Businesses who start separate initiatives for each of the categories above will quickly find that they end up with one or more of the following:
* Silo'd answer sets
* Silo'd information assets
* Argumentative Fiefdoms within the kingdom (arguing over who's right and who's wrong and who has the best answers).
* IT Constrained Business - disparate projects, tons of sunk cost, high maintenance overhead
* Inconsistent standards
* Missing best practices
* Holes in the I.T. security wall (all over the place)
* Lack of IT business initiative
* Poorly motivated IT employees
And so on... Executive staff should realize that the good things in life don't come cheap, or easy. After all, they've worked extremely hard to get where they are. IT is no different, and should be treated as a single operational business unit. IT's initiatives should be aligned, but in a way that allows IT to work together rather than against each other.
So you've heard this all before have you?
I'm sure you have - it's been printed in the magazines for years, lately it was called IT alignment. Let's get back to the issues shall we?
What does this have to do with lining up: MDM, MMDM, SOA, and Registries?
Everything. Businesses today should establish an overriding IT umbrella, that umbrella is in fact, an SOA initiative. One way to think about it is: IT is a service based organization, SOA is a service based architecture from which automated services make business information, processes and descriptions available (on-demand) to the business. Let's just say SOA does for IT what JIT does for manufacturing and supply chains.
Underneath the SOA are Master Data, Master Metadata, Web Services, Registries, Auditability, EDW, OLTP, data marts, and Information Integration. All of these are the components necessary to make SOA a success. But remember, SOA is a journey not a destination - just like alignment of IT is a continuous process (it never ends).
So what do all of these have in common?
* Shared business insight
* Shared executive level sponsorship
* Shared information and data sets
* Shared asset base
* Shared security model
* Shared business processes
* Shared Metadata
* Common information dissemination model
From a project standpoint:
* Shared milestones
* Shared Risks
* Shared training
* Shared knowledge
There is also a certain dependency (order) in which these items must be executed. If one is left out of the process chain, then the business stands to suffer at the end of the day. Convergence is upon us, and real-time (active), metadata (descriptive), data sets (asset base), registries (organization of all data and metadata underneath), security and services (access layers) are all a part of the enterprise initiative to bring IT in to focus.
More to come on this topic - if you have questions, I'd like to try to answer them. Feel free to ask publicly or privately.
CTO, Myers-Holum, Inc
Posted May 15, 2006 5:26 AM
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