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Select the Right Data Integration Tools
Info-Tech Research Group, January 2011
You've got 99 problems; don't let data integration be one.
- Current integrations are a series of hand-coded, point-to-point integrations with little consistency on the tool or approach used.
- Multiple tools and approaches are costly in terms of licensing, skill development, maintenance, and longer project time lines, but it's difficult to justify the cost of a data integration tool.
- This solution set will help quantify the cost of internal development, costs of building vs. buying data integration tools, and help select the right tool.
- At some point data integration tools become required for business growth. They improve operations, marketing, and customer experience.
- Data integration tools typically reduce development times by 60-75% and improve efficiency and operational success. If a tool can take one developer off your payroll, it has probably paid for itself.
- Choose your solution very carefully as products evaluated offer a tremendous range of functionality and target vastly different needs. Tool effectiveness is highly vendor-dependent as many tools don’t actually reduce necessary hand-coding.
- Platform standardization doesn’t lock you in with that vendor for tools; looking elsewhere is often more cost-effective.
- Prioritize integration; start with the mission critical, especially legacy systems.
Impact and Result
- Data integration tools decimate workloads; thirty-day processes can be done in twenty minutes!
- On completion of the work outlined in this solution set, you will be able to make a rational and informed vendor selection for a data integration solution, and dramatically improve your integration process.
1. Understand the value of data integration and options available
Develop a data integration strategy.
- Investigate Data Integration Tools
2. Evaluate data integration needs and tools
Pick the best enterprise data integration solution.
- Storyboard: Select the Right Data Integration Tools
3. Determine if the organization can benefit from tools
Decide to continue the selection process or DIY.
- Data Integration Tool Readiness Assessment
4. Quantify the costs of data integration
Make the business case for adopting DI tools.
- Data Integration Build vs. Buy TCO Calculator
5. Identify solutions that match enterprise needs
Develop a shortlist to speed solution selection.
- Data Integration Tool Vendor Shortlist
6. Identify vendors and solicit information
Conduct apples-to-apples comparisons of tools.
- Data Integration Solution RFP Template
7. Evaluate RFP responses to establish a shortlist
Move forward with only applicable DI solutions.
- Data Integration Solution Evaluation & RFP Response Tool
8. Test potential solutions
Identify the DI solutions that best meet enterprise needs.
- Data Integration Vendor Demonstration Script
*This is a bundle package containg multiple reports
- Investigate Data Integration Tools (video)
- Storyboard: Select the Right Data Integration Tools (powerpoint)
- Data Integration Tool Readiness Assessment (excel)
- Data Integration Build vs. Buy TCO Calculator (excel)
- Data Integration Tool Vendor Shortlist (excel)
- Data Integration Solution RFP Template (word)
- Data Integration Solution Evaluation & RFP Response Tool (excel)
- Data Integration Vendor Demonstration Script (word)
What you receive:
*Investigate Data Integration Tools (video)
Data Integration tools can make your life a lot easier, but only if you pick the right solutions for the right problems. This video will help you:
- Understand what tools can do for you
- Compare product tiers
- Prepare a strategy before diving into selection
Start with the basics then use the tools and storyboard in the associated solution set to help you through the vendor selection and implementation process.
*Storyboard: Select the Right Data Integration Tools (powerpoint)
Data integration tools typically reduce development times by 60-75% and improve efficiency and operational success. If a tool can take one developer off your payroll, it has probably paid for itself.
Use this Solution Set to:
- Develop a data integration tool strategy.
- Make the business case for data integration tools.
- Compare and select data integration tool vendors.
Ensure that you make the correct data integration decisions for your enterprise needs; from strategy to selection to implementation.
*Data Integration Tool Readiness Assessment (excel)
Data integration (DI) tools provide a wide array of business and IT benefits, but they are not for everyone. Use Info-Tech’s DI tool readiness assessment to determine if you should:
- Continue hand-coding your integrations,
- Buy a DI as a service solution,
- Buy a DI from your platform vendor, and
- Buy a third-party data integration tool.
*Data Integration Build vs. Buy TCO Calculator (excel)
The Data Integration Build vs. Buy TCO calculator provides enterprises with a framework for comparing the cost of hand-coding to the cost of buying a new software package. The tool includes the following components:
- Explanation of the major cost categories that should be included in the TCO analysis.
- Spreadsheet that dynamically calculates total cost per category, total cost per year, and overall TCO for building and buying.
- Results chart comparing the TCO of build and buy over a five-year period.
The TCO calculator facilitates the decision-making process by automating the calculations and providing a visual representation for rapid analysis.
*Data Integration Tool Vendor Shortlist (excel)
Info-Tech conducted its own market evaluation of eight leading data integration solutions. Use this tool to:
- Profile your data integration requirements.
- Generate a rank-ordered vendor shortlist from a list of vendors to best fit the needs of the enterprise.
- Produce a custom Vendor Landscape diagram for your organization.
Before sending out RFPs and scheduling vendor demonstrations, create a vendor shortlist of solutions that best satisfy the organization’s requirements.
*Data Integration Solution RFP Template (word)
Issuing RFPs is a critical step in your vendor selection process. This RFP template comes populated with important elements that you don't want to forget. These include:
- The Statement of Work
- Proposal Preparation Instructions
- Scope of Work
- Specification & Requirements
- Vendor Qualifications & References
- Budget & Estimated Pricing
- Vendor Certification
A detailed RFP saves time in the selection process and ensures that you select a best-fit solution for the organization.
*Data Integration Solution Evaluation & RFP Response Tool (excel)
This tool is pre-built with the essential criteria that should be considered when evaluating RFP responses. Use this tool to:
- Employ an objective scoring mechanism for evaluation criteria.
- Normalize scores across vendors for an unbiased vendor assessment.
- Drive the selection meeting with the procurement department.
Put hard numbers behind vendor claims, and keep evaluations objective by scoring RFP responses.
*Data Integration Vendor Demonstration Script (word)
This template is designed to provide vendors with a consistent set of instructions, ensuring an objective comparison of product features – all while you can evaluate ease-of-use from the perspective of users and IT. The template is pre-built with five usage scenarios to leverage:
- Initial Setup & Configuration
- Building New Integration
- Modify Existing Integration
- Resolve Data Quality Issues
- MDM and Metadata Capture
Vendor demonstrations are essential in order to evaluate data integration user experiences for administrators, end users, and for compliance/security specialists. Allowing vendors to run the demonstration without your guidance will only highlight their strengths.