Friday, March 20, 2009

The Down Economy and Data Integration

Vendors, writers and analysts are generating a lot of buzz about the poor economic growth conditions in the world. It’s true that in tough times, large, well-managed companies tend to put off IT purchases until the picture gets a bit rosier. Some speculate that the poor economy will affect data integration vendors and their ability to advance big projects with customers. Yet, I don’t think it will have a deep or lasting impact. Here are just some of the signs still seem to point to a strong data integration economy.

Stephen Swoyer at TDWI wrote a very interesting article that attempts to prove that data integration and BI projects are going full-steam ahead, despite a lock-down on spending in other areas.

Research from Forrester seems to suggest that IT job cuts in 2009 won’t be as steep as they were in the 2001/2002 dot com bubble burst. Forrester says that the US market for jobs in information technology will not escape the recession, with total jobs in IT occupations down by 1.2% in 2009, but the pain will be relatively mild compared with past recessions. (You have to be a Forrester customer to get this report.)

You can read the article by Doug Henschen from Intelligent Enterprise for further proof on the impact of BI and real time analytics. The article contains success stories from Wal-Mart, Kimberly-Clark and Goodyear, too.

On this topic, SAP BusinessObjects recently asked me if I’d blog about their upcoming webinar on this topic entitled: Defy the Times: Business Growth in a Weak Economy. The concept of the webinar being that you can use business intelligence and analytics to cut operating expenses and discretionary spending and improve efficiencies. It might be a helpful webinar if you’re on a data warehouse team and trying to prove your importance to management during this economic down-turn. Use vendors to help you provide third-party confirmation of your value.

So, is the poor economy threatening the data integration economy? I don’t think so. When you look at the problems of growing data volumes and the value of data integration, I don’t see how these positive stories can change any time soon. You can run out of money, but the world will never run out of data.


Anonymous said...

The DI and BI vendors have dropped prices and that means some companies are going for premium tools where before they would have been too expensive.

I've seen companies shift focus from grand projects like a new CRM to numerous smaller projects such as putting an interface between applications that need it or drawing a new data source into a data warehouse. DIY MDM seems to be very popular. Re doing or replacing existing DI and BI with an approach around a centre of excellence. DI and BI offer the type of building blocks that give you lots of quick wins without spending too much.

Steve Sarsfield said...

Interesting Vince. I'd say that's a scale-back rather than a cut-back. We've run some surveys at Trillium and they seem to support that line of thought. Scaling back while keeping a vision toward a enterprise-wide future.

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