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November 25, 2009

Application Consolidation to Simplify Data Integration: On Business Value

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Migration, Data Quality — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 7:37 am

In one of my previous posts, I’ve written about application consolidation as the way to simplify data integration and enhance data quality. However, to run consolidation successfully, there are efforts to be applied to define which applications should be consolidated, and to create the standards of dealing with company’s data.

Making these decisions is not an easy task, so here is some more practical advice on consolidation of company’s applications I’ve found at recently. They are not so much about data integration needs, but mostly about business and financial side of the issue.

Surely, there should be time for a planning phase to prepare every step.  Then comes the phase essential from the financial point of view. This is analyzing the cost of system support compared to business value of each system. Such analysis will help to make the right decision on what application to keep, and what to stop using. Moreover, the company will find out systems the business value of which was low, but support was too costly, and thus cut some costs.

Before removing any application, it’s wise to make sure nobody needs it; otherwise, provide for the needed functionality to replace the application. Moreover, the needed data should be backed up, for as soon as the application removed, all the data will be lost.

So, not only the needs of better data integration drive application consolidation initiatives. Gartner experts recommend that each consolidation initiative could define the sources of savings. And again, any consolidation activity should be the responsibility of both business and technical sides.

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