Data integration has sometimes been portrayed as a necessary evil, a cost centre, a time sink, or in other unflattering terms. Conversely, some vendors, consultants, pundits and analysts have positioned various integration models and technologies aggressively as a miracle cure-all. However, there is a surprising lack of primary research to support any kind of claim with regards to the cost of, or cost-effectiveness of, data integration solutions. Even basic details on how data integration platforms are being used in organisations today are thinly supported by today’s research. Opinions are everywhere: facts are few and far between.
Bloor Research has set out to provide the marketplace with some of the most comprehensive information available as to the types of projects that data integration platforms are being used for, on what scale, and whether this differs by integration product. Our research was designed to capture detailed information on the costs involved with using different products, including both direct acquisition and recurring costs, ultimately arriving at a comparison by vendor of total cost of ownership (TCO) over a three year period. In addition, we wanted to go beyond traditional TCO formulations and estimate relative cost effectiveness based on costs per integration project and costs per source and target connection: which Bloor Research believes provide more useful and robust metrics for decision-making.
In order to gather the appropriate information to reach our conclusions Bloor Research conducted a survey, which produced 341 responses from companies using data integration tools (or, in some cases, using hand coding) for a variety of purposes. This report does not attempt to distinguish between products on the basis of their functionality and, in any case, that type of information is readily available elsewhere (not least from Bloor Research). One product may be more suitable for supporting complex transformations than another, for example. Similarly, another product may offer better performance or have more real-time capabilities or have features that are not present elsewhere. Cost is, and should be, only one of several determining factors when selecting data integration solutions.
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