Top seven data management stories of 2010

The top data management stories of 2010 include SaaS-based data integration, data warehouse appliances, the SAP-Sybase acquisition and more.

The end of 2010 is coming up fast, but before putting on party hats and stocking up on noisemakers, it’s time to look back at the hottest data management topics and trends of the year. Our esteemed panel of one judge scoured the archives and found seven stories from the past year that really stood out. Topics included Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based data integration, data warehouse appliances, the SAP-Sybase acquisition and more. Without further ado, here are the top seven data management stories of 2010:

7. Enterprise content management (ECM) technology trends driven by innovation, compliance
According to ECM expert Chris Riley, new trends are emerging in the ECM technology market. They’re being driven by innovation, compliance, market demands and new computing requirements like real-time monitoring, “green” goals and electronic medical records. Creating a business case for ECM projects, however, can be challenging for some companies since ECM systems tend to offer soft benefits as opposed to hard ROI. Quick-win ECM projects  can help businesses find success early and kick start their ECM strategy.

6. SaaS data integration small, but growing
Cloud-based data integration software offers companies a fast way to get data into the cloud, but it’s not an ideal fit in all situations, experts warn. Most businesses going for SaaS data integration typically don’t have the expertise, funds or desire to run software in-house, according to Gartner’s Ted Friedman. But cloud data integration still has its drawbacks. Some say it’s too “cookie-cutter” for some companies’ data integration needs. That’s why it’s important to conduct due diligence and decide if SaaS data integration software is truly a good fit for your business.

5. Master data management (MDM) comes under the spotlight
Although MDM software is still considered by many to be an immature technology, the market saw significant changes that placed MDM  technology in the limelight. In January, Informatica acquired MDM vendor Siperian  and a few weeks later IBM announced its plans to acquire Initiate Systems. Informatica’s move into MDM means potential MDM buyers have a fourth major vendor to choose from besides IBM, Oracle and SAP. But as MDM projects continue to grow more complex, the chances for “drama” grow with it. It’s important to gather the right business requirements for MDM and focus on business benefits when pitching a project to company executives.

4. Emerging DBMS technologies shake up the DBMS market
This year, the database management software (DBMS) market saw not-so-new technologies  gain a stronger foothold in the market. Database tools such as column-based database software, NoSQL databases and Database as a Service (DaaS) platforms started to make a splash in the IT market in 2010. Industry experts, including Mark Whitehorn of PenguinSoft Consulting, think NoSQL databases and massively parallel processing (MPP) platforms could become more widely adopted by businesses in the near future, and this emerging trend could have a big effect on DBMS strategies.

3. Companies clean up bad data, but data quality tools aren’t a magic bullet
More companies are putting an emphasis on cleaning up “dirty data”, a task that has cost businesses millions of dollars annually. However, data quality tools aren’t a magic bullet that will slay the metaphorical dirty-data werewolf. Data quality standards, management and processes are also important. Business users are typically the source of data quality problems, but they’re also the solution, said consultant Dannette McGilvray. According to McGilvray, one of the best ways to fight bad data is to utilize and mobilize key business personnel.

2. SAP-Sybase union could spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e for Oracle
SAP purchased mobile platform vendor Sybase last May. Shortly thereafter, SAP-Sybase announced that IT pros can expect SAP Business Suite and other SAP offerings to be fully ported, certified and optimized to run on Sybase DBMS software by the middle of 2011. With SAP-Sybase focusing on business analytics and in-memory database capabilities, the newly formed SAP-Sybase combo could mean trouble for the likes of Oracle. Also helping the SAP-Sybase cause is the new version of Sybase Replication Server which aims to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to move huge volumes of data between enterprise information stores.

1. Data warehouse appliance market continues to heat up
The data warehouse market continued to expand in 2010 while the data warehouse appliance market also surged forward. In July, EMC acquired Greenplum and in September, IBM announced plans to purchase data warehouse appliance vendor, Netezza. Some industry experts say that IBM-Netezza is poised for battle with Oracle in the data warehouse appliance market. Many companies are turning to data warehouse appliances to minimize the hardware they have to configure, but industry analysts warn that data warehouse appliances are no cure-all for poor performance.

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