Editorial: The Devil's in the Data

Imagine an auto assembly line busily buzzing, strikes aside, of course. Mechanical arms moving motors, chassis cruising down the line, while skilled workers carefully complete intricate assembly. Now imagine these craftsmen and women with no inventory of parts, or worse, imagine a Ford F250 plant in Ohio with a warehouse full of Mitsubishi Talon parts, while the needed truck parts are on a train in Kansas. Or worse yet, an F250 plant with unlabeled Chevy brake assemblies.

You can imagine the fiasco. No parts with which to build. The existing parts won't fit or the wrong parts are being unknowingly installed into the truck - a disaster waiting to happen.

Now think of your organization and its IT infrastructure. Sure, networks are neat and fiber is fun, and laptops and mobile computing are cool, but, while "centralized distributed" computing is the way of the future, the real value of computers remains in the data itself. For without the proper access to and use of the millions of gig of data, knowledge workers are as productive as a truck manufacturer with sports car parts.

The data warehouse, a term which has since been used to represent or misrepresent everything from storage hardware to software spreadsheets, first coined over 8 years ago by William Inmon, can and should be your most valued and protected advantage in today's highly competitive information age.

The Power of Print

Speaking of competitive advantages, I'm proud to report that Enterprise Systems Journal was rated number one among all IT publications measured for median planned IT expenditures in the recently released Simmons CompPro VI survey of computer professionals.

Simmons CompPro VI measures 48 publications for readership and audience spending characteristics across a projected 794,000 IS professionals in the United States. Among all publications measured, Enterprise Systems Journal was the clear leader for "Median Total Dollar Amount Planned to Spend Next Twelve Months" at $1,424,964. This was more than 66 percent ahead of the second-place IS publication in spending power, and was one of 30 spending categories in which Enterprise Systems Journal led the field of measured publications.

These dramatic results underscore the continuing strength of the mainframe market and its desirability for running enterprise-class applications based on cost of operations, security, the ability to support a large number of users, and significantly lower system downtime. These numbers also indicate that you, our readers, hold a powerful position as users of computer systems.

At the same time, sister BCI (Boucher Communications, Inc.) publication ENT was ranked number two. The emergence of Microsoft's Windows NT as an increasingly competitive platform resulted in ENT's emergence as the number two publication in median planned spending in its very first CompPro appearance, and also as the leading NT publication in a total of 24 median spending categories. With "Median Total Dollar Amount Planned to Spend Next Twelve Months" at $870,252, ENT outdistanced every other publication in the study, including its direct competition in the NT space - more than doubling the same spending figure. ENT has rapidly emerged as the most cost-effective marketing solution for reaching the highest-volume spenders in the booming NT marketplace. Like ESJ readers, ENT readers are a force to be reckoned with.

So start flexing that muscle. Let us know what you'd like to see in ESJ that will help give you an even further advantage out there in the world of high-tech business.

[Results from Simmons CompPro VI are available from all Enterprise Systems Journal and ENT regional sales representatives, or its publishers. In addition, Enterprise Systems Journal has just released the first broad survey of mainframe buyers - Purchasing Dynamics in the Mainframe Computing Market: 1998, which is also available at no charge.]