Getting Down To Business with People and Policies

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May 11, 2011
Two Titanic Data Governance Mistakes
May 25, 2011
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Getting Down To Business with People and Policies

People_policies In the last several posts we discussed how people, policies and products are essential to successful Master Data Management (MDM) and Customer Data Integration (CDI) programs.

For those of us in high tech, it’s easy to fall into the trap of concentrating too hard on the products, technology and architectural aspects of solutions. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a nerd and many people in IT feel comfortable with technology too. It also goes beyond IT; in today’s society people often assume technology is going to solve their problems.

But the problem with our comfort level is that often the critical success factors of a solution lie with people and policies. And often there’s a little bit of politics thrown in to keep things interesting. Very interesting…

So, if you’re going to launch and sustain MDM or CDI programs, you’ve got to put the people and the policies on your front burner. Two things to focus on:

  1. On the business side a data governance program is essential
  2. And on the IT side, an integration competency center (ICC) helps to ensure successful implementation of the data governance program.

Let’s start with data governance.

I see it with my clients and you surely see it in your business: you’re striving to better use data to improve the top line by increasing revenues, and improve the bottom line by reducing costs. Add in compliance and privacy drivers and there is a compelling business case for enterprises to manage data as a corporate asset.

Many companies are motivated to initiate and fund programs to manage data, but is the commitment really there? And even if the companies have the commitment, do they know what it takes to succeed?

A Gartner study a few years ago  predicted that “…less than 10% of organizations will succeed in their first attempts at data governance.”

Why do so few succeed? Commitment. Not just to get the project off the ground, but more importantly, to sustain it on an ongoing basis.

The lack of commitment is highlighted by the fact that the following two bullets (which you’ve likely seen in white papers and marketing PowerPoint slides) are nearly always oversimplified:

  • Executive sponsorship
  • Business and IT involvement

In next week’s blog post, The Two Titanic Data Governance Mistakes, I’ll explain what I mean by this, and go into detail on these two bullets. In the meantime, feel free to comment to ask questions and share your experiences.

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