Jul 8 2010   3:39PM GMT

Bumpy patch ahead for MDM software

Linda Tucci Linda Tucci Profile: Linda Tucci

Master data management software is about to enter a rough patch, according to analyst Andrew White, agenda manager for MDM and analytics at Gartner Inc. White explained to me in an email recently what the near future for MDM adoption looks like, and it is not necessarily pretty. The large software vendors, such as SAP, Oracle and IBM, are just now incorporating MDM into their product lines. They are doing this because the “early adopter” market is beginning to transition to the “fast followers.” That means that pretty soon MDM, in White’s words, will be “crossing the chasm” to become mainstream.

But White sees a big problem: Many IT shops will assume that MDM software is mature and ready for easy adoption — “and yet it is not,” he said. Because of this disconnect between the robutsness of the MDM software and the expectations of CIO adopters, “failure rates will increase,” giving MDM a black eye. Moreover, true MDM will not occur for most users, who instead will end up with just another half-baked “data integration effort.”

“As such, MDM will get a bad rap and name in the coming year — perhaps because the big vendors have invested in it,” White wrote. Or, to put it another way, because they are selling it to you before its time.

CIOs who just must have MDM now, be forewarned, White said: you will need to do a lot of the work on your own.

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