Today's customers want better service, higher-quality goods and lower prices. With so many competing for the same customers in a time of volatile markets, businesses must proactively evolve or fall victim to their competitors. It's little wonder companies are rethinking how they do business. For years, companies have accumulated valuable information as a byproduct of production while failing to recognize its strategic value. Knowing the buying patterns, interests and demographics of customers provides companies with an advantage over competitors. This knowledge is so crucial to success that the process of managing information has become an industry of its own.

How does a company manage its strategic information assets in today's rapidly changing business environment? What challenges arise out of that task? Are there any preventive measures that can ease the "growing pains" associated with moving from one information paradigm to the next? Regardless of how simple or convoluted the current information architecture is, evolving companies' effective use of information can help them achieve a level of sustainable competitive advantage that can be measured on the bottom line.

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