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02 Nov

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Are we, the Informatica community of Developers, Architects, Planners and Hub Administrators, ready to make the Factory model of Data Integration work?

November 2, 2011 | By | No Comments

John Schmidt and David Lyle have successfully made the case for the Factory method as the key Data Integration model for this decade in their book ‘Lean Integration: An Integrated Factory approach to Business Agility’ and it is clear that Informatica have firmly aligned their methodology with this approach. So what about the wider Informatica community? Are we ready to make the step to the Factory model? Well yes, I believe we are, but first we need to consider how our mindset and working practices need to change. Every one of the nine principles of Toyota’s Lean model, which lies behind the Factory model, challenges the working practices of the average Data Integration team and asks what they can change to make things better. Take #7, for example, the ‘Visual Management’ principle, which states that system operations should be transparent so that everyone can see and understand what is happening. Is this common practice in the average Data Integration environment? Sadly no. Until now much is left un-monitored until system failures or schedule overruns occur.  Lets consider Principle #6, ‘Go See’; this probably falls into the same category for the same underlying reason of poor information flow. Many of the other Principles, such as #3 ‘Value Streams’ demand a constant striving for improvement to existing information flow processes that would challenge any hard-pressed Data Integration team.

 

So how do we move forward? Well, thankfully the world hasn’t stood still. With these new challenges have come new enabling technologies. New tools have emerged that enable the Factory aims of continuous improvement. Informatica’s Application ILM Solution is a major step forward. So too are the new generation of Informatica-specific quality and performance visual monitoring tools that vitalise the publishing of real-time metrics to Informatica development teams, support staff and Hub administrators. By putting the tools and the targets together then we produce the kinds of automated feedback loops that enable information to be shared, problems to be anticipated and process improvements to be achieved.  Rather than wait for failure you can proactively seek the improvements and address the problem before it happens, just as Lean challenges you to.

 

HIPPO is the first tool of this new generation of applications to bring an Informatica focus to the monitoring of entire Data Integration processes, environments and resource usage using data visualisation techniques. More tools are emerging which focus on code quality and testing each sharing the same principle: unless we measure then we cannot improve and unless we measure constantly then continuous improvement is not possible. If you are considering implementing a Factory model then include HIPPO’s performance monitoring and trending strengths to reach your goals of controlling costs and gaining maximum value from your Data Integration environment.

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