Five Must-Have Features for Digital Transformation

By Kerry Young on Apr 5, 2019

Business leaders are challenged like never before to make digital transformation a reality. Driving the push for transformation are frictionless customer experiences, security and regulatory compliance, and data-driven sales and marketing efforts.

When it comes to digital transformation, there are two key points to consider:

  • Data is core to transformation: Although every company faces unique challenges and opportunities, each digital transformation journey moves along a similar path – and data is at the center of it. Data provides the common source of truth to drive your digital initiatives. But in order to find truth in data, you have to master its complexities. That’s why Master Data Management (MDM) is considered to be at the center of digital transformation strategies. In the past, the drivers for MDM were generally IT-led or regulatory. Now, MDM has become an indispensable solution that creates the necessary foundation for digital business.
  • Platforms must evolve: Gartner advises that a data and analytics platform is one of the five technology platforms that digital businesses will need to succeed. However, they also note that solutions must evolve to maximize the value of digital business. To enable digital transformation, there are several next-generation features that are essential to push digital initiatives forward. In this article, we’ll share five of the must-have MDM features to move you along your path to transformation.

Five Must-Have MDM Features for Digital Business Transformation

MDM represents a fairly broad market, and there are a few key features and differentiators to be aware of when it comes to digital transformation.

First and foremost, digital business transformation requires next-generation MDM. This is a concept that we recently discussed in our Forrester Wave for MDM recap, which you can read about here. Now, let’s get into the five must-have MDM features for digital transformation.

#1:  Ecosystem Capabilities:  As consumer habits and expectations evolve, B2B buyers are thinking and acting more like B2C buyers, with a similar desire for data that directly adds value to the end consumer. This creates a B2B2C model that requires data sharing and enriching in ecosystems. To support B2B2C, MDM must deliver the necessary capabilities for end-to-end collaboration across the value chain – whether a company is a producer, value-added provider, or end seller. B2B2C enablement and ecosystems are so vital that Forrester recognized EnterWorks as an MDM Wave Leader for providing this crucial capability of third-generation MDM.

#2:  Cloud Deployment: Cloud deployment for MDM helps aid digital transformation because it allows for greater flexibility, scalability, and security. MDM users often find the cloud easily handles the volume, variety, and velocity of data without the challenges of operating on the ground behind a firewall. And, in many cases, hosting on the cloud is a more secure option than hosting internally. That’s because the major cloud providers – including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud – have a significant investment in the system with layers of protection and back-ups to keep the system running and secure in the case of an attack or server issue. Virtual servers also offer simplified set-up and flexible options for bandwidth – all of which help companies more seamlessly scale digital initiatives.

#3:  Agile Architecture: In MDM, when a platform is “future-proofed,” that means the solution is designed to harness the advances in other technologies – such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning – and provide companies with the ability to swap out technology as innovation evolves. Such agility enables companies to focus on digital business innovation, knowing their data platform can always keep pace.  For EnterWorks, MDM has evolved from a back-office system that centralizes and cleanses data to one that enables exceptional demand-side differentiation. Our Agile Data Fabric™ provides a gateway to plug-in the latest scientific tools.

#4:  Compliance and Data Governance: Digital transformation exposes companies to an even higher risk when it comes to security gaps and data quality issues. In order to comply with regulations, like GDPR compliance, companies must have visibility into when, where, how, and by whom their data is accessed or altered. Security tools and processes must be firmly in place, supported by effective data governance and data stewardship. EnterWorks MDM helps companies by enforcing data quality, providing roles-based access to data, enacting data security tools like timestamps and access logs, tracking customer data preferences for privacy regulations, and much more.

#5:  Data Context: Data is often useless without the appropriate connections and relationships between domains. With MDM for data across domains, companies eliminate the uncertainty that results from data gaps and inconsistencies. In this way, MDM not only provides a platform to manage data but also extracts business intelligence. Companies can glean continuous insights into the contextual engagement of customers, suppliers, associates, locations, assets, and more.

From the EnterWorks solution view, the successful deployment of digital technologies, and the insights that derive from them, depends heavily on an enterprise’s ability to master content in context. The EnterWorks Multi-domain Experience Management (MxM) solution enables a foundation for personalized experiences that can be amplified by related assets and insights to help people and companies visualize products, materials, and assets across both physical and digital touchpoints.

What Are Your Data Transformation Challenges?

Using our “Five Must-Have MDM Features” checklist, you can better evaluate the capabilities of an MDM platform to help your business:

  • Leverage digital technologies
  • Become more agile
  • Gain productivity
  • Remain compliant
  • Provide connected, differentiated digital experiences for customers

What are the top challenges your business faces in regards to digital transformation? We’d love to hear from you and discuss how we can help.

Want to learn more about third-generation MDM that enables digital transformation? Click here to download The Forrester Wave™: Master Data Management, Q1 2019.

About the author

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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