Dear Readers,

It’s another election year in the U.S., and news of the races, the candidates, the issues - politics blow by blow - cannot be avoided. Everywhere you turn, there’s talk of competing interests, and the desire for power and leadership is plain on every candidate’s face. For others, though, the mere mention of politics can cause blood pressure to rise; these people would as soon avoid discussion of or involvement in any politically charged situation.

It is no secret that managing an IT project comes with its own share of political challenges and vested interests for the IT and business sides of the house and that different groups will seek control. Sometimes the imperative (and the most responsible) option is to “get your hands dirty” and face those issues head on. In our cover story this month, “The Politics of Master Data Management and Data Governance,” Dan Power suggests a direct approach and offers tips to manage the political landscape, even if it is not within your comfort zone to do so. Separately, Rick Sherman discusses the key role of open communication and relationship building between IT and businesspeople to help handle the politics that come up while managing expectations during major IT projects.

Though the New Year already falls well behind us, much of what happened in 2007 - especially in finance and those large high-tech acquisitions - are still talked about around and beyond the water cooler. Many are wondering about the short- and long-term effects of those events; fewer are making bets on the outcome. Luckily for us, Lou Agosta shares his opinions and predictions for the next year and beyond in his article, “Look Ahead.”

Also in this issue, we welcome Greg Todd from Accenture as our newest columnist. Greg will be offering his perspective in the column, “Dealing with Data” each month. In this issue you’ll find his work at this link in which he shares how deregulation in the oil and gas industries has been a catalyst for companies to become more agile.

As you watch the political handiwork and hatchet jobs in the race for the President play out, think about the tactics of the competing interests and those that would foster constructive and collaborative working relationships within your organization. I’m interested to hear any tips you are willing to share; email me at julie.langenkamp@sourcemedia.com

Enjoy the issue,

Julie Langenkamp
Editor in Chief

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