2021 Outlook: Mike Meriton, EDM Council

2021 Outlook: Mike Meriton, EDM Council

Mike Meriton is Co-Founder and COO of EDM Council, a data management trade association. 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in a year that has seen so many businesses having to shift or cut back on their annual projections?

Mike Meriton, EDM Council

Despite how difficult 2020 has been globally, it has created significant pressure on lingering data and infrastructure issues where many things have been forced into a remote work setting. We’ve been fortunate to see EDM Council’s membership rise this year, with firms in industries such as financial services, telecoms, life sciences, and others striving to improve their data management and infrastructure best practices.

Perhaps our biggest accomplishment was the launch of our Cloud Data Management Capabilities (CDMC) Best Practices Work Group that was launched in May 2020 to establish a best practice framework to accelerate cloud adoption. The group includes participation from the world’s four largest cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM Hybrid Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. More than 30+ top financial firms have joined the group, which is co-chaired by Morgan Stanley and Refinitiv with project management provided by Capco. With our focus initially on the financial services sector, we will be branching out to other key industries in 2021.

What has been the biggest data management challenge that firms have faced this year?

Firms have been forced to take a closer look at how they are approaching data management, how they are structuring their teams, and how they are transferring data to the cloud. Cloud implementations will normally encounter a number of complex controls, data, technology, operational and control challenges, many of which have been overlooked prior to this year. However, due to the remote circumstances we’ve had to work, ensuring that these processes are carried out in the most efficient and secure way has been not only the biggest priority but also the biggest challenge in most cases. This was the impetus behind our CDMC Best Practices Work Group. Up to that point, there had been no common end-to-end cloud data management best practice framework. We’re hoping that under the “new normal” we’ll play a central role in streamlining those efforts.

If you had to give one piece of advice to members heading into the New Year on how to enhance their business, what would it be?

Take a look at your entire business and establish your organizational best practices. The role of data management is becoming far more sophisticated and specialized, so roles within organizations are shifting. The role of the Chief Data Officer specifically is becoming more challenging. Among the organizations we spoke to for our biennial report, 80% of CDOs now have responsibility for the entire enterprise’s data functions and 52% are now responsible for the analytics tasks within their organization. Both are major increases from two years ago and we can expect those to increase moving forward. Our advice is to make sure you leverage best practice frameworks such as DCAM (Data Management Capability Assessment Model) and CDMC, have the best personnel in place, and ensure that your data teams work cohesively. If one piece of the best practice puzzle is missing, the rest of the organization will falter.

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