I just got back from Liaison’s 2011 Convergence partner conference in Atlanta. Great time. Met some really interesting people and returned convinced Liaison is going in the right direction.
Yesterday we had two very interesting presentations, one by Brian Shield, CIO of the Weather Channel, and the other by Benoit L’Heureux from the Gartner Group. I have followed Benoit’s blog for the past two years so it was really cool to have the chance to sit down and talk one on one with him on Monday evening.
The key points that came out of the two presentations were that good data integration is key to successful data usage within organizations and that data integration needs are more pervasive and more complex than ever before. Whether it’s in the cloud or on premise, data integration doesn’t go away and it’s getting increasingly more sophisticated as companies deal with ever expanding sources and amounts of data.
The second point that data integration is becoming more pervasive within organizations was hit home with the Weather Channel presentation. At the Weather Channel data from disparate sources needs to be aggregated to be made useful for a complete customer experience; in the Weather Channel’s case over 1 terabyte (and growing) every month needs to be manipulated. Benoit thought that was bananas! The key take away however; having a good middle ware platform will make complex data integration not only feasible but also cost effective for SMB and SMEs as well as large organizations.
The other interesting point that was loud and clear was that data integration should no longer be looked at as a bunch of silos operating independently. In the old days you did EDI, you may have added an XML feed from a couple of sources, a spreadsheet from here and a currency rate feed from some where else. Each data flow an independent silo of technology. The convergence of data being handled by a common platform is key to being able to handle disparate data sources and that was the message from both presenters. If you are not doing data integration with a common platform then you are behind the curve, a technological dinosaur of sorts.
I was really pleased to hear what the two presenters were saying; as it’s been a message we have been telling our customers and prospective customers for the past two years. Those that have embraced this approach have realized data efficiencies that the independent silos of technology couldn’t achieve and those customers are better off for it.
You can read some of my thoughts on the subject in the following articles.
Anyone care to share any experiences and their integration challenges? The thing to remember is that all organizations big and small need a corporate level data integration strategy.