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Enterprise Data Management Function Ownership - Business Or Technology?

The importance of Enterprise Data Management organization alignment

26Sep

There is no question that Enterprise Data Management is currently one of the fastest growing functions, enabling a data-driven culture in many large, mid, and small organizations. Organizational alignment for enterprise data management function is a much-discussed topic, and there are a number of blogs, articles, white papers, discussions, and debates that have appeared since we started to recognize the importance of the function. However, I believe that we are still dealing with enormous challenges with aligning the function within the organization, and also trying to implement the function on trial and error basis. Meanwhile, misalignment negatively impacts delivery value for the investment, losing confidence among key stakeholders, and forcing companies to push frequent “RESET” buttons.

It is imperative to align the data management function under business leadership to own and run as an independent corporate function - in a similar way to how it has been done with compliance, finance, regulatory or attaching to corporate risk management. Well defined, and qualitative data is critical to the success of business processes, and the consequences for breakdowns due to lack of proper data management may have a significant impact on the customers, revenue, and decision-making process. It is critical for businesses to take control and ownership of data assets, and drive vision and strategy to manage data as a valuable business asset for successful business outcomes.

On the other hand, there is the potential  to align this function with the technology organization. This solves the challenge of running and delivering successful outcomes including engagement of stakeholders, and enforcing discipline of data management. I believe that technology teams provide stable data platform capabilities so that business can make well-informed decisions. it is very important for technology groups to define reference data architecture to host data, reference data models to represent data, well-defined integration patterns to distribute data, security solutions to protect data, and innovate new technologies to improve data capabilities and platform solutions. Lastly, it may become another IT driven program without business sponsorship.

As I discussed earlier, pushing frequent “RESET” buttons can be highly expensive, and is likely to cause a loss confidence within the organization, creating major challenges that time must be then spent resolving. Aligning the enterprise data management function is a vital first step in delivering business value effectively, and creating a data-driven culture for better future.

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