When I play cards with my Dad, he makes two columns to keep score. They are labeled "we" and "they." The first time I saw this as a young boy (mind you, I have played a lot of cards with my Dad), I was amused at the simple, diplomatic but adversarial implication in this. There was "we" – our side, the good guys, and "they" – the other team, the competition.

Sadly, the same mind-set has existed in information technology (IT) for quite a while. From Grace Hopper’s time until today, there seems to be the innate need to separate business functions and technology functions. There are "users," usually the "they" team. There are the IT people – the "we" team. We have mountains of methodologies designed to make sure what one is saying, the other understands. Certainly some of this is necessary. We can’t understand everyone else’s professions in detail. However, the implication of two opposing sides has resulted in an adversarial mind-set. Moving beyond the data warehouse and into information asset management will require setting this mind-set aside.

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