Why More Businesses are Switching from Legacy to Modern MDM

I’ve heard countless stories from IT and business leaders about the challenges with legacy master data management (MDM). A perception shared by many in the industry is that MDM is hard, especially when approached with legacy solutions. There is a better way. Modern, cloud-native SaaS simplifies MDM and accelerates the value of your data.

Most business leaders agree with our core belief that accelerating the power of data is table stakes for staying competitive in today’s rapidly changing and digital-first world, to drive growth efficiency and reduce risk. Getting it right is critical but challenging. That’s why I launched a different approach to MDM a decade ago. I realized that modern MDM could solve technology problems while fuelling business success. And it doesn’t need to be complicated.

Accelerating the value of data isn’t simply a problem for the IT department to solve. Getting high-quality data is essential for driving decisions and value for business across all teams. I’ve seen modern MDM fix organizational data problems and deliver tangible outcomes for their business and customers. Some of the world’s top enterprises now run on Reltio, including 14 of the Fortune 100, and 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies and several globally recognized customers, including AstraZeneca, Takeda, Empire Life Insurance, and Fulton Bank, switched from legacy to modern MDM solutions.


Legacy MDM – There’s a Better Answer

Legacy or “on-premises” MDM systems often fail to live up to expectations, giving the technology a poor reputation in the marketplace. There are often unforeseen costs as companies may need to buy more hardware to run a legacy MDM system. I refer to this as the “IT tax.” Installations can take a year or longer and often don’t work as advertised. They also don’t run in real-time in an API environment, failing to deliver a key value-driver required for businesses in today’s landscape.

Some additional challenges with legacy MDM are:

  • It doesn’t scale to billions of customer records or 1,000s of profile attributes making it difficult to manage big data volumes. This means more sources, more attributes, more relationships and a deeper/richer 360 degree view of the core data.
  • Poor customer experience from outdated data, slow business processes, potential downtime, and lack of real-time capabilities. Digital businesses need to be real-time and deliver data at the point of engagement.
  • Relational data models used by legacy products are rigid and cannot grow with your business.
  • It can’t unlock the value of relationships among customers, products, locations, and employees.
  • Can’t adequately support risk and compliance needs, which evolve daily and require an agile view of data to support regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy and data sovereignty regulations.

And these problems are not just in the past. In 2021, Gartner reported, “Through 2025, more than 75% of MDM programs will fail to meet business expectations because of a failure to connect MDM value to business value.”¹


Modern MDM Delivers on the Promise to Transform Your Business

When I launched Reltio, I saw an opportunity for Master Data Management to do more than produce accurate information. I extended it, made it simpler, and evolved it so that it isn’t just a part of a data governance story but also a solution that drives better business outcomes – faster and far cheaper than legacy MDM. While some of our competitors are transforming in the cloud, we were born in the cloud and we’ve been accelerating the value of data for our customers through modern MDM for a decade.

Companies need a modern MDM solution more than ever. Digital transformation requires it, not just for a first-rate customer experience but to manage the increasing number applications and of data siloes in large organizations. Leveraging the power of the cloud makes MDM easier, cheaper, more secure, more flexible and mobile, among other things. Click here for a deeper dive on the differences between legacy MDM and Reltio Connected Data platform.


How Empire Life Saved Money and Improved Customer Experience with Modern MDM

Empire Life, a top ten Canadian life insurer, replaced its legacy MDM system with the cloud-native Reltio platform during the COVID-19 pandemic. It reduced ongoing infrastructure costs, and the company also dramatically improved its customer service while increasing productivity and efficiency for both IT and its call center team. Here are just a few of the benefits that Empire experienced after switching to Reltio’s modern MDM system:

  • Improved customer experience and customer service productivity: Empire’s customer service representatives can be more responsive with customer data at their fingertips. They improved first-call resolution by 60% after implementation.
  • Increased data and data pipeline quality: Empire reduced its suspect match pool by 60% after implementation and experienced 10-30% faster data retrieval via API calls compared to the previous SQL statements from their legacy provider.
  • Higher IT team productivity: Minimized time IT spends supporting customer service representatives and other business users, allowing it to focus on more value-add activities.
  • Easier and broader access to trusted data: With a friendly user interface, Reltio has made Empire’s MDM easier and more available to business users.

During this process, I’ve witnessed Empire evolve its thinking about Reltio’s MDM as a solution to customer data problems instead of MDM being a purely IT-driven platform. Empire also recently joined the Reltio Community for a deep dive on the business benefits of the Reltio MDM platform, which can be watched here.


Modern MDM Accelerates the Value of Data

I spent many years working in the legacy space and experienced its limitations firsthand. I saw how customers grew tired of delays and spending more money on an MDM promise that often failed to deliver. That’s what sparked my idea for a modern MDM approach and the launch of Reltio, the industry’s first cloud-native, SaaS, modern MDM SaaS solution.

Data has become every company’s most valuable asset – it is no longer an IT problem to solve. Unlocking the value of data can be a tricky proposition, especially in large companies with large siloed, legacy systems and complex challenges. The data innovators I work with are rethinking their strategies to put the customer at the center of their universe. They create opportunities to delight customers with every interaction and drive profitable and sustainable growth. We have done it for more than 10 years and that’s why large enterprise brands have switched to our cloud-native answer to accelerate data value and drive business outcomes.


¹Gartner®, “Magic Quadrant™ for Master Data Management Solutions”, Sally Parker, at al, 6 December 2021. GARTNER and MAGIC QUADRANT are registered trademarks and service marks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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