NoSQL is lurking in the shadows

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Integration remains a key reason for IT's being, and the greatest integration challenges these days might be found in NoSQL, writes Bob Lewis at InfoWorld. If IT departments don't get ahead of the business units when it comes to NoSQL, they may find themselves forced to integrate it while simultaneously being blamed for deployment delays.

When relational database management technologies--an integral part of the IT culture, Lewis notes--don't make the grade, data designers have come up with ways to finesse them. While workable, these finesses are not elegant, and that's where NoSQL comes in.

NoSQL technologies, which Lewis calls a "hugely counter cultural family of technologies," present a variety of data design challenges. There is a considerable lack of clarity around these technologies, including the business challenges they are optimized for. It's not necessarily easy to explain how a business can make good use of NoSQL, which datastore would be helpful and what is needed to integrate the technology into the enterprise architecture.

Lewis suggests that IT make an investment in thoroughly researching NoSQL and understanding how the technologies might be leveraged for particular business challenges. If IT isn't pro-active about this, he warns, a "business executive--the CMO, perhaps--will get a sales pitch from a company that `does NoSQL' or hear a speech from one at a conference. He'll sign a contract with them to bring it in and make it happen."

If that happens, ultimately IT will get left with a truckload of integration requests and then the blame for project delays.

For more:
- see Bob Lewis' post at InfoWorld

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