I received some feedback from last month's column and decided that I need to elaborate on the concept of data management's (DM) expanding scope. Last month I described how:
I neglected to address two of the greatest challenges: management by magazine and perception by management. Vendors who believe that they have the solutions to our problems constantly bombard our organizations. Technologies ranging from modeling (late 1980s), CASE tools (early '90s), object oriented (late '90s) to XML (from 2000 on) have been proposed as solutions to organizational challenges. Of course, we are all aware that the "only silver bullet is to recognize that there are no silver bullets." (Thanks to Clive Finkelstein for the best articulation of that concept.) The bad news is that no individual approach can or should be counted on to resolve difficult DM challenges. Einstein said, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." This holds true for today's increasingly difficult and organization-specific technology challenges. The good news is that data managers can more easily combine various types of technologies in manners that can diagnose and correct difficult problems. The solutions for today's DM challenges often involve determining the best ways that various technologies fit together to solve a particular problem and then reconfiguring them to address the next challenge.
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