From the Editors: Database consolidation and standardization 101
If you’re thinking about embarking on a database consolidation or standardization project, make sure you know the technical, cultural and skill-set issues that can arise.
We recently posted two in-depth stories about consolidating corporate systems onto a single database standard – covering everything from the potential benefits and drawbacks of moving to a common database platform to the cultural issues and technical factors that are also involved in database standardization.
According to the experts, consolidating onto a database standard can reduce IT complexity and improve the quality of your data. Of course, as with all things in IT, there are some potential traps that companies need to keep in mind – one being that standardizing your databases could reduce the incentive for the chosen vendor to haggle on pricing. As a result, a standardization move might be a good idea only in theory, according to David Menninger, a VP and research director at Ventana Research. In one of our stories, Menninger explains why having at least "a two-horse race" is sometimes better than just riding one when it comes to using databases.
Businesses also need to keep an eye out for cultural and skill-set compatibility issues that can arise during a database standardization project. For example, interoffice political turmoil is common when debating over which database to standardize on, analysts say. There are technical considerations to take into account as well, such as differences in database semantics between the major SQL-based DBMS products.
So, has your company standardized on a single database yet or are you planning to do so? Let me know how it's going and about any other problems or bumps in the road that you've faced.
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