The People Platform

Platforms are popular in enterprise data management.  Most of the time, the term is used to describe a technology platform, an integrated suite of tools that enables the organization to manage its data in support of its business processes.

Other times the term is used to describe a methodology platform, an integrated set of best practices that enables the organization to manage its data as a corporate asset in order to achieve superior business performance.

Data governance is an example of a methodology platform, where one of its central concepts is the definition, implementation, and enforcement of policies, which govern the interactions between business processes, data, technology, and people.

But many rightfully lament the misleading term “data governance” because it appears to put the emphasis on data, arguing that since business needs come first in every organization, data governance should be formalized as a business process, and therefore mature organizations should view data governance as business process management.

However, successful enterprise data management is about much more than data, business processes, or enabling technology.

Business process management, data quality management, and technology management are all people-driven activities because people empowered by high quality data, enabled by technology, optimize business processes for superior business performance.

Data governance policies illustrate the intersection of business, data, and technical knowledge, which is spread throughout the enterprise, transcending any artificial boundaries imposed by an organizational chart, where different departments or different business functions appear as if they were independent of the rest of the organization.

Data governance policies reveal how truly interconnected and interdependent the organization is, and how everything that happens within the organization happens as a result of the interactions occurring among its people.

Michael Fauscette defines people-centricity as “our current social and business progression past the industrial society’s focus on business, technology, and process.  Not that business or technology or process go away, but instead they become supporting structures that facilitate new ways of collaborating and interacting with customers, suppliers, partners, and employees.”

In short, Fauscette believes people are becoming the new enterprise platform—and not just for data management.

I agree, but I would argue that people have always been—and always will be—the only successful enterprise platform.


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