Our New Brand

The magazine you are viewing is the result of a lot of thoughtful hard work from dedicated editors and other professionals across several parts of our parent company, SourceMedia. There are many changes and plenty of new content within, which I'll let you read about in our editor in chief Julie Langenkamp's letter or discover on your own.

But of all the changes you will find in the pages of this magazine, none is more striking than the one atop the cover. Why have we changed the title of DM Review to Information Management?

It is a decision we have contemplated for a long time. As a brand, DM Review is known for 20 years of valuable inside reading for IT and business decision-makers. The magazine that started in the data management field (hence the DM), at the dawning of the Internet and the Information Age has since chronicled innumerable changes in the way we value and work with information. Just as the industry has evolved, we know our business must evolve as well.

So here's the pitch: we believe Information Management has become the best overarching term to describe the gathering, managing, disseminating, leveraging and disposing of all types of information assets within an organization. We believe this term best sums up the very topics our readers are increasingly drawn to and aware of.

At the center of this is the reality that we are moving away from networks of applications and databases toward a model of overlapping networks of information within and outside the walls of the organization. Whether massive data warehouses, common documents or email, digital assets, records, warranties, contracts or Web pages, these networks are increasingly relevant to IT, executives and information workers as keys to success in the new world of business.

In short, our approach reflects the factual world of businesses confronting change. Quality information is now a requirement for optimizing our work and identifying new business paths. Careers are changing, new jobs are being created, roles are evolving, and outcomes in our working and private lives are being decided by our ability to meet information needs. Whether you are an IT manager or a C-level executive, a business analyst or sales rep, an accountant or HR manager, you are increasingly a part of the network and all its nuances.

Thankfully, the baby and the bathwater have each been attended to. Many of the topics and faces you are used to seeing in our magazine will remain. We've studied our industry and readers carefully and, gratefully, found that much of what we cover is already in tune with what you've requested. Data management and integration, data quality, business intelligence, data warehousing and other familiar topics remain underpenetrated and long-term problem areas of business. These are all key subsets of information management as we see it.

At the same time we more often confront operational data, documents and records as central to compliance and decision support. We see complex event processing, business rules and analytics gaining real-time meaning. We see captive and social media Web pages and Web analytics as the new high ground of marketing alongside traditional BI practices. We see new delivery models of hosted infrastructure and software as a service just beginning to tilt the corporate view of data centers and information technology generally.

Finally, while information management is a defined space, we do not consider it a unified practice, nor do we believe it will be unified anytime soon. Instead, we see our new title as a series of related undertakings: programs, strategies and tactics involving people, processes and technologies. As these undertakings spread to different challenges, we often find the very same people who led early data initiatives working in new areas of efficiency, compliance or decision support. Increasingly, these people have a foot in both IT and the business side of the organization. It means we need to take a new look at unique skill sets and what it means for recruitment, training, retention and compensation.

In information management, the greatest challenge lies not in technology - which performs largely as advertised - but in the underlying policies and business processes that have limited the success of projects and programs. To reach the alignment we hope for, we need IT, business and finance to take better collaborative roles that will help secure success but also ensure equal responsibility and accountability for all three parties.

Will the title of Information Management need to change again before another 20 years has passed? We'd say that is certainly possible. Will we still be covering the evolution of issues we have organized in new fashion here? We say that is pretty much a certainty.

As a community we have the ability to take advantage of our collective wisdom, and that is our goal. For it to be successful, we will surely need your insight and participation, which is why I'll be here and looking forward to hear from you.

Jim Ericson, editorial director

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