Perchance to Dream

Strategic, tactical, or both? Data warehouses must answer.

To be strategic or to be tactical: That is the question. Both are quite noble. As we move into 2004, organizations are finding that they must achieve the right balance — and deploy IT shrewdly so that efforts to meet one do not make it harder to meet objectives of the other. The rub lies therein: Ambitious goals such as real-time enterprise, real-time data warehouse, performance management, and process management all depend on understanding what's truly at stake and tuning efforts appropriately.

The topic themes Intelligent Enterprise has lined up for 2004 will address all of these goals for strategic business applications — and I have a feeling that we will be returning to the issue of balancing strategic and tactical requirements many times as we go along. Two of our features in this edition focus on the buzz about real-time business intelligence and data warehousing. The BI industry's recent consolidation is motivated in part by rising interest in establishing an infrastructure that supports the whole gamut of information access and analysis needs. And as David Linthicum discussed in his recent article ("Smart Synergy," December 10, 2003), "real time" is driving technology fusion between the worlds of BI and application integration.

Did I say David Linthicum? We are very happy to announce David as contributing editor for a new column, "Intelligent Integration," debuting in this issue. Integration middleware is often (I guess by definition) central to how organizations apply technology to balance strategic and tactical requirements. It is also the seat of innovation. David, most recently as CTO of Mercator Software and before that SAGA Software, has been a key contributor. We are very pleased to welcome him "back" into the magazine; long-time readers likely remember him as a popular columnist with one of Intelligent Enterprise's ancestor publications, DBMS.

New Beginnings

I'd like to close by first bidding a fond farewell to David Kalman, who led the launch of Intelligent Enterprise in 1998 and since served as our group publisher. By any measure, he did an extraordinary job and we will miss him. As an editor, writer, and publisher, Dave has had an important impact on this industry going back something like 20 years. We will all be watching with excitement to see how his next adventure develops.

Next, I'd like to welcome and introduce two new chiefs on our publication, Fritz Nelson and Rob Preston. Fritz is VP and group publisher of CMP Media LLC's newly formed Enterprise Architecture Group, and also serves as publisher of Network Computing. Rob is editorial director of the Group's publications, which beyond Network Computing includes Network Magazine, Secure Enterprise, Storage Enterprise, Transform Magazine — and now Intelligent Enterprise. We are all very excited about being part of this new family of publications within CMP. Our collaborative strength and resources will greatly help this publication achieve its mission. We look forward to tapping the expertise and focus of our sister publications to bring to the fore creative new ways of serving your information and education needs.