Acquisitions of governance

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There have been a couple of interesting acquisitions in the governance space recently.

The most notable of these acquisitions is Diaku being acquired by Informatica. I have written about Diaku previously (see so I will not go into it in any more detail here. Nevertheless, it is worth commenting that I like its Axon product a lot.

However, it will be useful to recap where Diaku is coming from. It is (was) a pure-play data governance solution, capable of handling both structured and unstructured data as well as the processes of both governance and compliance. Contrast this with most data quality providers. These vendors may well provide data stewardship modules and capabilities, but they don’t typically go beyond this in terms of handling governance processes. In other words, they are effectively stuck in the technical aspects of governance and don’t encompass the business aspects of governance.

Informatica is suggesting that the marriage of its own capabilities for (metadata-driven) data quality, stewardship, governance, and compliance; with those of Diaku will provide the first genuine enterprise data governance solution. I don’t usually like these sorts of claims but in this case I can see that there is some significant truth behind it. Of course, the two product sets have not been fully integrated yet so there is still some work to do before the solution is fully fledged. On the other hand, the two companies have some joint customers and I understand that some initial integration (at the data quality level) has already been completed. There are also some synergies in underlying technology: for example, Diaku uses OrientDB as its engine and so do some of Informatica’s products.

So, I think this acquisition has got legs and it will be interesting to see how it develops.

The second acquisition in this space, is that Infogix has acquired Data3Sixty, where the former is a business intelligence vendor and the latter a cloud-based supplier of data governance solutions. I have to say that I have not been briefed on this acquisition and I am not familiar with either company. Indeed, while Data3Sixty has been on my list of vendors to arrange a briefing with, I have to admit (my bad) that I had never previously heard of Infogix. So, I cannot comment on this acquisition in particular.

However, what this second acquisition does call into question is whether this is the start of a trend: are we going to see all or most of the pure-play data governance solutions acquired by other companies looking to build out their portfolios? I think this is extremely likely. The acquisition of Diaku by Informatica, in particular, will put pressure on other major vendors who will need to be able to compete. Collibra, especially must be vulnerable. Given that Syncsort’s acquisition of Trillium completed last month, and that Collibra and Trillium were partners, then it wouldn’t surprise me if Syncsort were to make a move, but that is only one of many possibilities.

I would go further, I increasingly hear about companies looking to combine governance of structured and unstructured data (and about time too), which would suggest that Varonis, STEALTHbits and other vendors focusing on unstructured data are also targets.

The bottom line is that I think Informatica’s move on Diaku is extremely sensible, potentially market leading, and could lead to significant consolidation across the data governance space.