Posted by: Dilipkrishnan
SOA, Web services
Pfizer first launched an SOA effort in 2001, but had to retrench its efforts when it didn’t provide access to stovepiped systems. “One of the things we learned is you can’t do SOA without data, and you can’t do it within silos,” Brodbeck said. “It’s more about farming than fishing.”
MDM and SOA have another thing in common — both require enterprise governance to succeed. Pfizer’s MDM governance structure strongly resembles one assembled for SOA, led by a business sponsor. “Master data management is much more about governance than it is about technology,” Brodbeck said.
While that works for enterprises like Pfizer, that have financial muscle and the ability to “govern” all of the IT assets, its impractical to expect at some level because getting consensus on what the “one-true” customer is can be a lot more expensive than having two systems integrate with each other. More importantly, IMHO, if the SOA is not able to bring together processes so as to alleviate the need for a formal MDM, then the business processes need to be re-engineered.
For an MDM implementation effort to succeed, it should be an outcome of business process (re)engineering. It needs to be grown organically while discovering needs to integrate business functions using SOA. After all, its better to engineer your business for efficiency than your data!