I attended an industry trade show last month and was pleasantly surprised by the stark contrast from the mood and attendance I'd witnessed at similar 2009 shows. Not only was attendance up, I heard countless stories of increased sales activity at the end of 2009 and encouraging sentiment for 2010.

It's not to say customers aren't still sorting out priorities for master data management, governance, BI and dashboards/visualization and analytics. As ever, the more you know, the more you need.

But we are seeing real progress among individuals and companies that are channeling the challenges of managing information. In this issue, we're pleased to present our first list of 25 top information managers, their programs and accomplishments (see page 10). We hope you'll see some parallels to your own work among these excellent leaders and find inspiration in their achievements.

As you work to push through your own next great project, have a look at some of the other work reflected in this issue. Not that we have all the answers, but here's what I recommend:

  • Do your research ahead and think outside the box. If you're thinking about software, consider open source alternatives that might be a fit for you. Steve Miller and Peter Vescuso highlight the advantages of open source and how OSS use is growing on the enterprise level (see pages 24 and 16, respectively).
  • Seek expert advice. On page 20, Dave Newmark shares his experience of trying to find a systems integrator that he could work with as a trusted partner. He didn't get it right the first time either.
  • Check out what people are saying in social media. A wealth of information is available on social networks, so why not brand yourself and get help from a variety of sources? Dan Power uses Twitter as almost a human Google when he wants to research something (see page 40).

And by all means, keep asking questions. That's what we're here for and looking to deliver in all the services we have to offer.
Enjoy the issue.

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