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Poor Use Of Data Integration Tools Can Waste $500,000 Annually: Gartner

The analyst firm recommends adopting a standard tool for each of the three main categories of data-integration tools and using open-source software and tools that are provided at no additional cost with database management systems.
Large companies using multiple and functionally overlapping data-integration tools can reduce costs by more than $500,000 annually by getting rid of duplicating software and adopting a shared-services model,Gartner says.

"Organizations often purchase and implement new data integration tools in a fragmented way without considering extending investments already made in other parts of the business, resulting in multiple tools from various vendors,” Gartner analyst Ted Friedman said in a statement.

To correct the problem, Gartner recommends adopting a standard tool for each of the three main categories of data-integration tools: extraction, transformation and loading; data replication and data federation. Deciding on which tools to keep should be based on the business context and requirements, rather than purely on cost.

In addition, organizations should consider using open-source data-integration tools and those that are provided at no additional cost with database management systems, the analyst firm said. However, before taking such approaches, organizations must also consider the investment required in re-design, re-development and testing to migrate existing data-integration processes from onetool set to another, as well as the relative immaturity of many of these lower-cost alternatives in comparison to incumbent products.

Organization with multiple data-integration tools typically deploy each tool on separate hardware, resulting in redundant servers and storage that range from a total of $50,000 and upward for each tool. Therefore, substantial savings is possible by implementing shared computing infrastructure for data-integration workload,Gartner says. In addition, there's substantial savings in productivity and time to delivery, because each new project team in need of infrastructure for data-integration workloads can leverage, or pay to expand, the shared hardware.

Finally, Gartner recommends that organization centralize skills involved in data integration into a shared services team model to reduce staffing costs directly by 50% or more each year.

"Rationalization limited to one business unit may not optimise cost savings," Friedman said. "For organizations to achieve savings of more than $500,000 per year, CIOs and data integration teams should work together to lead the rationalization and shared-services program."

Gartner's full report entitled "Reduce Costs of Data Integration by Rationalizing Tools and Infrastructure, and Centralizing Skills" is available on the firm's Web site.