Australian enterprises are being urged to deploy data integration tools to bring together customer data held in multiple applications – following a survey that suggests few have such tools and that many have duplicate or disparate data.
Eighty five percent of respondents to the survey, undertaken by software company Tibco, said they used multiple systems internally – including CRM, invoicing and supply chain management – to capture data. Only 35 percent of these systems were fully integrated, and 48 percent partially integrated. Seventeen percent were not integrated at all and 62.5 percent of respondents said they had duplicate or disparate customer information in their systems.
According to Mark Fahmy, Tibco’s senior vice president, Asia Pacific, companies must be able to trust their data so that they can make fast business decisions, adapting and responding to market conditions as they change. “Australian organisations need to better understand the significant improvements that data integration can bring and start using it to their advantage,” he said.
Gartner defines data integration as “the practices, architectural techniques and tools for achieving consistent access to, and delivery of, data across the spectrum of data subject areas and data structure types in the enterprise — to meet the data consumption requirements of all applications and business processes.”
It says that extracting data from operational systems, transforming and merging that data and delivering it to integrated data structures for analytics purposes remain the mainstays of the demand for data integration tools. However the need to synchronise data between cloud and on premises applications is also driving uptake as are emerging repositories such as Hadoop distributions for supporting big data, in-memory database management systems (DBMSs), and logical data warehouse architectures.
Gartner estimates the global market for data integration tools to have been worth about $US2.2 billion in 2013 and to be growing at about 9.4 percent annually, above the average for the enterprise software market as a whole, because “data integration capability continues to be considered of critical importance in addressing the diversity of problems and emerging requirements.”
It lists several “major themes” of the market. Not surprisingly, cloud computing features prominently. “The need to acquire data from the cloud is driving more data integration initiatives than before,” Gartner says. “The architectural approach of the logical data warehouse optimises the repository styles that employ data federation/virtualisation capabilities to enable data services and assimilate data involving a variety of integrated datasets.”
Also, cloud computing is being used increasingly to support data integration. “Organisations have become more interested in using integration platform as a service (iPaaS) for data integration capabilities,” Gartner says. “While adoption of on-premises data integration tools remains predominant, diversification of deployment models in organisations is spurring interest in the data integration capabilities available in iPaaS.”