Data management discontent: Time for change

An unpublished study commissioned by SAP and completed in July by IDG found discontent with data management systems brewing among IT executives. The survey of Computerworld's Inner Circle Research Panel indicated a significant number are so dissatisfied with their current environment that they are considering migrating to a new platform to fix the problems they see.

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Changing data management environments is a serious IT endeavor, so the motivation must be compelling, particularly for large enterprises. The 200 respondents represented in the research cut across a broad range of industry segments and size, with an average of more than 15,000 employees. So, what would make these big companies consider such a migration?

No surprise here: money.

According to IDG's research, "Managing costs and efficiencies across a complex infrastructure" is the top data management problem to wrestle with in the next 12 months for 56% of those polled. It seems most organizations are not getting the value they expect from their current data management environment.

If it were solely a money problem, CIOs could go hat in hand to their CFOs and ask for bigger budgets. It's also possible CIOs could squeeze their vendors for better contracts to improve a system's total cost of ownership. Threatening to change platforms can often inspire a current vendor to bend a bit on its margins.

But there are other data management shortcomings revealed in the survey that money can't fix. For example, 46% of respondents say they need to improve real-time access and analysis of data; 41% need a better data management approach to support a growing mobile workforce; and 20 percent acknowledge that "delivering big data value to internal customers" will need a new solution. As a result of all these and other ongoing data management issues, 49% in the survey "report plans to evaluate new data management approaches and solutions" within the next 24 months.

That's an astonishing number. Think about it: half of those IT leaders surveyed are willing to spend the time and money needed to evaluate new data management environments because of the cost and shortcomings of their current system. While not all will migrate to a new platform, I suspect many will make the change. That promises tectonic change in the data management industry. Vendors beware!

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