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I have just come back from this year’s annual DSAG conference in Bremen, and could experience that master data management continues to be a hot topic, even more so in the age of digitization. There has always been a need to get and keep master data clean as it is the driving force behind successful business processes across LoBs and reliable enterprise analytics. And when it comes to Big Data (e.g., IoT sensor data), it is indispensable that the underlying master data is of high quality.

I felt during the congress that people are really on their way to prepare their organizations and system landscapes for the digital future. There was a dedicated slot for master data management, data quality and governance which included breakout sessions from SAP and customers presenting their MDG implementation projects. One customer lecture was about an MDG implementation in the private cloud, where MDG was also used as a data bridge between a cloud application (Hybris Cloud for Customer) and on premise systems, similar to the picture below which is derived from another real-life customer example.

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This evolving use case where MDG (on premise, or in the private cloud) synchronizes master data in hybrid landscapes, or feeds cloud and on-premise applications with governed master data, turned out to be quite convincing, but also the question came up, whether a full-blown public cloud scenario for centrally governed master data would make sense for customers, too.

This question had already been raised repeatedy even before the congress, and the feedback gathered from our customers so far was that they did not see a public-cloud based (meaning highly standardized) approach that would fit their manifold needs in tackling the master data challenge for their entire enterprise system landscape.

To put it more precisely, the feedback revealed that today MDG users rather benefit from being able to customize and tailor the solution to their specific needs when it comes to central governance. This need for customization goes beyond what is (and should be) possible in a public cloud solution today. This is why at this point in time we do not see SAP MDG in the public cloud for central governance operations.

There is no doubt that specific master data management tasks make perfect sense in the public cloud today. For example, we already have specific micro services for address cleansing and geocoding in SAP Cloud Platform (see Data Quality Management, Microservices for Location Data (DQM Microservices), or re-use MDG capabilities for simplified local master data maintenance in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. In addition, we plan to enlarge the footprint in the public cloud, e.g., with master data enrichment services on SAP Cloud Platform, or simplified consolidation scenarios in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

In a nutshell, we see MDG as a cloud-enabling solution that is open to public cloud scenarios where highly standardized operation makes sense.

What are your thoughts on master data management in the cloud?

Best,

Markus

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