In times of uncertainty, people find security in having an established course of direction. Additional comfort is gained from having the know-how to proceed. If you don't believe this to be true, consider your dependence on your GPS (or your Rand McNally map, if you're a little old-school). On any trip, my confidence is certainly bolstered by the presence of a map to help plan - and if necessary readjust - my route.

A theme throughout this issue is how economic volatility has changed the business landscape, what those changes mean for a strategic course of action and how to creatively adapt for agility and success.

In our cover story, authors Patrick McCollum and Craig Izydor state that business intelligence has enabled organizations to more quickly and decisively adapt and react to global market changes. And while BI may necessary to help you succeed, the authors admit that the future of BI, integration and process management are not certain due to the economic instability and changing business climate. Instead of sweeping predictions, they point to some near-term trends for proactive, insightful decision-making.

We do know that there is now widespread recognition of the need for BI in all industries, especially health care. In a special supplement to this issue, the editorial teams from Information Management and Health Data Management collaborated to explore BI's march to health care and the use of analytics in a clinical setting. But an interview with Carol Newcomb of Baseline Consulting stresses that BI and integration without an ongoing governance program will not solve the data challenges in the health care industry. Carol provides some tips for a governance program to gain momentum.

Across business and IT, executives have prepared for changes they might have resisted before, as if to say what worked before may no longer be suitable to reach the other side. Greg Todd and Shari Rogalski write about this challenge and stress that the capabilities of technology must be wisely matched with innovative thinking.

It will take some heavy lifting and creativity, but our destination of success in brighter times is ahead.

Enjoy the issue,

Julie Langenkamp

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