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Buy vs Build MDM (Master Data Management) Solution

I believe this is an interesting topic to debate. During most of my pre-sales engagements, we touched upon this point as well. I was part of developments based on ABAP and also part of configurations/implementations projects. However I was never had an opportunity to work on any development project which built a complete solution from scratch and hence like to clear my understanding for the same.


In my earlier blogs also I mentioned that the problems with data existed for long term and there was many solutions catering to those challenges and requirements. However for the master data challenges and requirements; the MDM solutions which are currently available in market didn’t exist a decade ago. Definitely to cater and solve master data problems, organizations had to take lead to develop in-house solutions. When the MDM solutions were created, many organizations were already maintaining their own MDM solutions. We will be able to discuss some of the issues organizations had to face in maintaining such solutions. Moreover Master data solutions were more on the business requirement and decisions than the IT requirement as Gartner identifies MDM as a ‘technology-enabled business discipline’. Hence many organizations still believe that it is better to build their own MDM solutions since they know their master data and issues related to it better than the solution providers and also they have to invest considerable time and effort in configuration of MDM solutions as per their requirements. I definitely agree that nobody understands the master data and issues related to it better than any their own organizations. However it takes considerable efforts, directions and knowledge to develop their own MDM solutions. Also unfortunately many organizations over run the budget and timelines in developing the MDM solutions. This is largely because of the fact that a MDM solution is not only data quality issue but it’s a quite complex solution relating data quality, governance, management, process workflows and integration of the solution across the landscape catering to all the different systems. Moreover once the solution has been built, it requires resources to maintain such system. This might be more costly and requires more efforts to have exclusive resources than existing MDM solutions where the experienced resources are readily available.


Below are some key considerations are important to be considered while making a decision:

  • Web Services, SOA enabled and EIM
  • Data volumes
  • Hierarchies in master Data
  • Dimensional and Domains of Master Data
  • Duration
  • Budget
  • and Resources (Build and Maintain)


It makes sense that the organizations which already have their own MDM solutions and as long as it is supporting all the requirements and issues then there is no specific need to migrate to other solutions. However if the organization is not happy or looking to enhance their own solution or still don’t have a solution in place then it might be better to explore the various MDM Solutions and implement it as per the requirement.


Moreover it’s important to take note that many MDM solutions are currently existed in market for more than 5 years and quite improved a lot. Definitely they are on right track to provide an integrated solution.

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