New technologies aren’t a shortcut for data integration. Whatever
application integration tool you use, you still need to integrate data
the old-fashioned way — by talking to business users, profiling data
sources, defining transformations, establishing data quality and
consolidation rules, and documenting everything. EAI and EII may be new
technologies that help you in a lot of ways, but they don’t address
basic data integration issues.
Data Integration Realities
Whether you like it or not, data integration has to happen. It’s your
choice to plan carefully and develop an architecture so it takes place
efficiently and effectively. Anything less will lead to higher costs
for your business – more data gathering, hunting, reconciliation and
analysis, as well as the cost of basing business decisions on
inconsistent, inaccurate, noncompliant information.
There is no
free lunch when it comes to data integration. Everyone hopes it can be
solved faster, cheaper and better. Silver bullets look great in demos
and proofs-of-concept, but enterprise solutions are not 30-day fixes.
The people promoting quick solutions are sincere, but most have never
dealt with real-world enterprise problems. Most implementations are for
stovepipes that don’t involve enterprise data integration.
The good news is that these tools may be part of your solution, but the reality is that they are not the solution.