After almost 20 years of information management theory, movements and gurus, why isn't anything any better? Critical success factors continue to be elusive; perhaps the most frustrating has been meta data and information management. Corporations recognize information as an asset, but still can't treat information as an asset. The vendor community continues to provide lip service to standards while producing targeted, product-specific solutions. At the root of all of this seeming failure of information management is that many of our previous and treasured concepts of information management may not address the current reality of information technology. No one has done anything wrong. Technology, application taxonomies and the explosive increase in business user reliance on information and collaborative intelligence have modified the rules.1 In this environment, the current mind-sets of information management will never work. Corporations cannot exploit the information asset without new processes and perspectives on information.

There is tremendous emphasis placed on meta data standards, repositories, stewardship and alignment. Some of these are still good ideas. Others will be placed into a new perspective. The bottom line is simple - information as it is known is evolving outside of its traditional role, and the inadequate tools and philosophies of the past are even less adequate now. IT departments must overcome several barriers to effective use of information.

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