The Pros and Cons of SAP MDG


No matter if a business operates in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, finance or other, the chances are that it heavily relies on master data to support operations. Whereas the type of master data will vary from industry to industry, some of the key areas it underpins are decision-making, regulatory compliance and strategic initiatives. In the age of efficiency and analytics, the role of data driving businesses forward is only going to become more important.

However, ensuring its effectiveness requires effective master data management. This is why many CIO’s turn to master data management solutions like Maextro or SAP MDG. SAP’s home-grown solution and our focus for this blog. Make sure you read to the end as our very own SAP MDG expert- Ramesh Gubba breaks down the pros and cons of this solution.


What is SAP MDG? (Master Data Governance)

SAP Master Data Governance (SAP MDG) is SAP’s master data management solution for managing and governing master data across an organisation ensuring data accuracy, consistency, and compliance with business rules. When implementing an MDG strategy, it does all the leg work, separating various types of data and data objects and storing them in specific databases, resulting in a harmonised master data environment.


This sounds great. CIO’s questioning whether to invest in SAP MDG should just purchase it now right? No, definitely not. Just as with any MDG solution, it has its pros and its cons and is rarely perfect. SAP may have the name on it’s side, but this doesn’t guarantee a winner. With that in mind, lets explore the pros and cons of this specific MDG product, as compiled by our expert- Ramesh Gubba.



The Pros

  1. Out-of-the-box integrations with all SAP solutions
  2. Reuses SAP customisations, which makes the overall implementation fairly easy
  3. All standard domains are covered out of the box and customers can easily use the standard product without a great deal of effort or training.
  4. Built-in DQM can help companies with continuous data quality management
  5. It has good consolidation and mass data processing capabilities
  6. SAP MDG helps companies consolidate data for processing large sets of data in bulk.

The Cons

  1. Integration with non-SAP tools is difficult.
  2. Easy to use but proper training is needed.
  3. Costs – High for implementations and maintenance.
  4. Performance Optimization – Handling large data is difficult.
  5. No Self-service / Onboarding applications for the end user to directly onboard BP or Material Catalogue into MDG – Only customers with Ariba has this kind of onboarding platforms
  6. Integration Flexibility – Less integration flexibility with other business tools.
  7. No support for using follow-on functions like BOM, PIR & Sales pricing etc.
  8. Custom object development is complicated and requires more technical expertise than functional
  9. Lots of versions of MDG confuse SAP customers – MDG Cloud , MDG On-Premise, MDG Private Cloud
  10. Not all the Data domains have FIORI capability and not all domains are available on Cloud
  11. Rule maintenance is not end-user friendly and requires the technical expertise of the product
  12. Fiori platform flexibility is not there, needs high technical expertise and cost to build SAP Fiori apps, of course, standard Apps can be used with ease like plug and play.
  13. It is hard to build custom solutions of SAP MDG , but easy to use as a standard product.
  14. Availability of SAP MDG consultants is a major issue and requires a lot of technical skills to maintain product
  15. Customers do not have the option to upgrade only MDG Version’s MDG is part of S/4 Hana customers are required to upgrade the complete S/4 product to upgrade MDG if it is a co-deployment mode of MDG
  16. Often, Customers do manual customization synchronizations between MDG and the Transactional system as there are no out-of-the-box synchronizations.


In conclusion, SAP MDG stands as a testament to the growing importance of master data management in today’s businesses, as it reaches its 15-year milestone. Over the years, it has undoubtedly provided value, offering out-of-the-box integrations, built-in data quality management, and robust consolidation capabilities.


However, as with any long-standing solution, its limitations have become increasingly apparent, particularly in the realm of customisation. While SAP MDG excels in standardisation and integration with SAP solutions, its lack of flexibility hampers its ability to adapt to the unique needs of diverse businesses.


This is where MDG alternatives like Maextro shine, emphasising customisation to tailor solutions precisely to individual requirements. As the landscape of master data management evolves, the demand for tailored solutions continues to grow, and SAP MDG must address its limitations in customisation to remain competitive.


Despite its drawbacks, SAP MDG has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the industry, but its future relevance hinges on its ability to adapt to the changing needs of businesses worldwide. Whether through enhancements to customisation capabilities or strategic partnerships with complementary solutions, SAP MDG must evolve to continue providing value in the years to come.