Technology options including cloud solutions, managed services and data utilities can take enterprise data management (EDM) to the next level and deliver business benefits, but there are challenges along the way as firms contend with legacy systems, increasing regulation and the ongoing divide between business and IT.
The challenges and opportunities of emerging EDM solutions were discussed during a recent A-Team Group webinar entitled Enterprise Data Management – The Next Generation. A-Team editor Sarah Underwood moderated the webinar and was joined by expert speakers Darren Peirce, vice president of products and chief technology officer at Magnitude Software, and Brian Sentance, CEO at Xenomorph.
If you missed the webinar, you can hear a full recording here.
Underwood set the scene, noting the role of EDM in helping firms drive up efficiency, drive down cost and meet regulatory and changing business requirements, before asking the experts for their views on how best to develop and implement EDM.
Peirce started with a quick definition of EDM, saying: “EDM is about processes that identify, govern, retrieve and integrate data from internal and external applications that business depends on. Integration should bring internal and external data into a single system.” Sentance concurred, saying: “EDM should encompass all types of data and processes.”
Drivers for change
Considering the scope of EDM, Peirce and Sentance focused on the drivers behind next generation EDM and the benefits they can deliver. Peirce suggested the CEO acronym, but in this case standing for compliance, efficiency and opportunity. He explained: “Compliance is about regulation and fear is a great motivator. Efficiency is increasingly required in an era of digital banking that uses the cost to serve a customer as an essential metric in measuring the overall efficiency of an organisation. Opportunity is driven by organisations recognising they can use new technologies to get a single view of data and then access opportunities such as omni-channel marketing.”
Sentance identified the drivers he sees behind EDM as regulation, cost control and changing business models. He said: “Data management is important for all these drivers. The BCBS 239 regulation on risk data aggregation and reporting supports good data management to meet regulatory reporting mandates. Knowing what data you have and how it is used is a starting point towards efficiency and cost control, and data ownership supported by chief data officers is a requirement to meet changing business models.”
On the potential benefits of EDM, Sentance noted reduced risk and cost, including reduced regulatory capital requirements, and improved profitability. He went on to outline Xenomorph’s view of elements required for EDM including agility, in terms of ease of deployment, quick wins and being cloud ready; adaptability, to support different asset classes and data types; timeliness, and the need to move data management away from overnight batch processes towards intraday and real-time processing; variety, to support both structured and unstructured data; analytics, to ensure data lineage for audit and regulation; and governance and people supported by connectivity and tools including business intelligence and visualisation.
Tackling the challenges
Turning to the challenges of EDM, Peirce said legacy systems are the toughest challenge, but can be eliminated on an ongoing basis as investment in EDM is made. He also cited problems that arise from the gap between business and IT, and suggested a framework for communication and collaboration could ease this. On the challenge of a changing banking market and the expectation that the cost to serve customers can be reduced, he said: “This can be difficult to achieve in a traditional IT environment. What is needed here is automation and technology that can meet business requirements at a lower price point.”
Explaining Magnitude Software’s approach to EDM, Peirce described the company’s Kalido Business Information Modeller, which uses a graphic tool to show data that needs to be managed for specific application purposes. The tool is designed for both business and IT users, and provides a common understanding of data. When a model is complete, it can be used to automate and create a solution. It can also be applied to new classes of data, offering agility and relatively low-cost development.
Looking at generic technologies that are emerging to support EDM, Sentance noted cloud solutions, managed services, data utilities, semantic technology and noSQL. Peirce commented on the need for EDM solutions to focus on automation and governance with a view to accelerating value creation. He concluded: “We are on the journey with these technologies, but the journey is not yet complete.”