Metadata Investments Are Difficult To Justify To The Business

Rob Karel and I (thanks to Rob) recently published the second document in a series on metadata, Best Practices: Establish Your Metadata Plan, after a document about metadata strategy. This document:

  • Broadens the definition of metadata beyond “data on data” to include business rules, process models, application parameters, application rights, and policies.
  • Provides guidance to help evangelize to the business the importance of metadata, not by talking about metadata but by pointing out the value it provides against risks.
  • Recommends demonstrating to IT the transversality of metadata to IT internal siloed systems.
  • Advocates extending data governance to include metadata. The main impact of data governance should be to build the life cycle for metadata, but data governance evangelists reserve little concern for metadata at this point.


I will co-author the next document on metadata with Gene Leganza; this document will develop the next practice metadata architecture based partially but not only on a metadata exchange infrastructure. For a lot of people, metadata architecture is a Holy Grail. The upcoming document will demonstrate that metadata architecture will become an important step to ease the trend called “industrialization of IT,” sometimes also called “ERP for IT” or “Lean IT.”

In preparation for this upcoming document, please share with us your own experiences in bringing more attention to metadata.



This is a really creative post, Nowadays, consumers know what they want and what they need so it’s in our best interest to give it to them in the simplest form possible.
Thanks and Regards/-
Jason Webb

Start with Basic BI Building Blocks

We've been working on "ERP for IT" for several years (thanks, Ralph, for getting us started on this). It took a while to start getting it right, but once we went back to the basics of BI, it started to fall into place for IT ERP. We identified the measures, dimension, etc. as well as the data sources (CMDB, asset management DB, application portfolio DB, Bill of IT/capability map DB, etc.) and built out a system using our convential BI toolset with cubes, reports/dashboards, etc.

BI building blocks for buidling "ERP forIT" is one angle

Thank you Doug for taking part of this discussion with an interesting angle. What you described using BI for IT is something Forrester talked about with Integrated IT Management (IIM). There are probably still some documents in our research.
But there are several angles by which an IT organization will attack that problem of industrialization of IT. Please find below a first list of my thinking but be free to complete it :
- through process optimization : ITIL, PPM or others
- through capability maps of IT
- through packaged apps adoption for IT like SAP for IT
- through automating interfaces between different existing packaged applications servicing IT
- through metadata exchange

If you have any experience in one or several of these approaches please feel free to share the results with us. Doug was your initiative useful to drive better optimisation in IT?