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Leveraging Information and Intelligence

David Linthicum

Gartner: Not Leveraging Data Integration Effectively is Expensive...No Kidding

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According to this article, by Antone Gonsalves, which reports on a recent Gartner Report, large global 2000 companies, using several data integration tools with overlapping features, can reduce costs by more than $500,000 annually by eliminating redundant software and leveraging a shared services model. In other words, "This just in, fire is hot."


"To correct the problem, Gartner recommends adopting a standard tool for each of the three main categories of data-integration tools: extraction, transformation and loading; data replication and data federation. Deciding on which tools to keep should be based on the business context and requirements, rather than purely on cost."

Gartner is talking about a dirty little secret in the world of data integration, the fact that the data integration technology in place is based on generations of data integration technology being layered in the enterprise over the years. Thus, technology that was purchased to solve data integration problems, and reduce costs, is actually making the data integration problem more complex and no longer cost efficient.

Thus, what Gartner is saying here is that you really need to take a hard look at the number and types of data integration solutions, and take steps to normalize those solutions around extraction, transformation, and loading, as well as replication and data federation. For each integration pattern, pick a tool and stick with it.

Of course, these days there is always an open source option:


"In addition, organizations should consider using open-source data-integration tools and those that are provided at no additional cost with database management systems, the analyst firm said."

However, they do point out that you need to consider the cost of migrating from one tool to another, which can be significant depending on the tool.


"Finally, Gartner recommends that organization centralize skills involved in data integration into a shared services team model to reduce staffing costs directly by 50% or more each year."

The point here is that typically there is one guy for one tool, and in most cases that guy is underutilized. Gartner is recommending that a shared services team be created, sort of a data integration center of excellence, allowing a team to address data integration enterprise wide, and better allocate resources within the group.

All good advice, but pretty obvious to me.

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Primary driver for organizations to look at integrating existing solution being the need to leverage information so as to improve business intelligence or efficiency, we sure can expect to see more customers opting for solutions which offer integration capabilities bundled with other richer feature set such as reporting/analytics, portal framework, rules infrastructure or even features which enable customers to extend beyond data integration to encompass security integration, behaviour, workflow, automation, etc…

Further, while newer business models such as SaaS based deployment add to the challenge associated with integration, maturity in standards (SOA, BPEL/BPMN, etc…) & simplified approach to embracing them significantly changes the integration landscape.

Industry expert Dave Linthicum tells you what you need to know about building efficiency into the information management infrastructure

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more

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