I was listening to a seminar at HP’s community site for information management last week when someone asked, “What would Microsoft Outlook look like if it were developed today?” The panel was talking compliance, and this person was thinking of e-discovery and audits, but he made a good point. It made me think of our history of retrofits and upgrades and the point at which we revisit our approaches to information needs.

In information management we’re nearing an integration confluence of back-office rationalization/flexibility and front office, end user composition in mashups and other devices right on the desktop. In the former case it’s federalized data sources, service-based integrations, outsourcing and new vendors with useful industry and department-specific applications/services. In the latter case it’s about a personal means to an end through feeds, widgets and the like. It’s pretty clear we’ll soon visit many more enterprise components assembled at or near the desktop. What everyone is striving for is rapid development and the use/reuse of lightweight, loosely coupled objects.

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