The Gartner Market Guide for MDM External Service Providers is out, providing fresh insight into the role External Services Providers (ESPs) play in the master data management journey.
Comma is proud to be included for the fourth year running, and for the first time under the banner of our parent company Amplifi.
The key takeaways from the report are:
- Almost 90% of master data management (MDM) programs rely upon the services of third parties
- Data and analytics leaders responsible for MDM should fast-track the success of MDM programs by leveraging external service providers (ESPs) for strategy, implementation and/or managed services
The guide is packed with lots of other great tips for evaluating and partnering with an external service provider to get the most value from your MDM initiatives.
New Urgency Around MDM
In 2020, companies across industries saw the value of a strong data management program — and what they risk by not having one.
According to the Market Guide, “the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how reliant organizations are on data — more specifically, trusted master data — to enable them not only to meet existing risk, revenue and cost objectives, but also to steer the business during tumultuous periods.”
Although MDM transitioned from “reluctant to indispensable spend,” Gartner predicts that 75% of MDM programs will fail to meet their desired business outcomes through 2025.
Because MDM is high risk, high reward, Gartner notes that it’s a “natural trigger” to seek third-party expertise
ESPs Help Steer the Ship
Organisations often veer off course when they approach MDM as purely a technology project.
At Comma, we have always recognised the fundamental role that people and processes play in data projects, with change management being a core focus of our services. Gartner recognises that too and notes that some companies lack “sufficient focus on the people and process dependencies of MDM.”
To tackle people, process, and technology, companies should look for a solution partner that covers MDM strategy, implementation, and ongoing support.
This breadth of expertise is an area where Comma stands out.
In referencing the Amplifi group, Gartner notes, “Strategy, implementation and managed services are offered to clients across one of the broadest range of industries covered by a vendor in this guide — led by a continued focus on retail, manufacturing and distribution.”
Whilst urgency is driving the need for MDM, modernisation and accessibility is also enabling more organisations to implement MDM solutions. As Gartner notes, “transitions to cloud-based offerings and modernization of legacy MDM platforms are contributing to demand for external services.”
Companies that were previously priced out of MDM now see the opportunity to take advantage of more flexible options. Multi-domain MDM is also accelerating, as companies seek better business intelligence by connecting data across products, customers, suppliers, and beyond.
Gartner illustrated the Amplifi group’s strength in this area, saying, “Cloud migrations, managed services uptake, multidomain expansions and peaked interest in PIM (courtesy of the pandemic) provided growth opportunities for Amplifi in 2020.”
A Challenging Market
Even when organizations realize their need for an ESP, finding one that truly delivers value can be difficult. Gartner notes the challenge of finding a vendor that’s skilled and suited for your business or industry.
Look for a provider with platform expertise, a proven implementation and optimization strategy, and specialists who can guide you through the process.
And for international companies, an ESP with a global presence can help you bridge the geographical (and often cultural) gap between your teams to ensure a smooth MDM implementation and ongoing service.
The Right ESP Makes All the Difference
As Gartner states, “strategy services can mean the difference between the success and failure of an MDM program.”
With Comma’s MDM expertise, breadth of capabilities, and global presence (courtesy of our recent acquisition by Amplifi), we’re uniquely positioned to deliver crucial MDM implementation and consulting to companies across a wide range of industries.
To learn more about how Comma can add value to your data management project, contact us here.
 All Gartner quotes in this article are referenced to: Parker, Sally and Radhakrishnan, Divya, Market Guide for MDM External Service Providers, Gartner, July 13, 2021.
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