Editorial: Loose Change

If you manage enterprise systems, change is nothing new to you. You hear it and see it every day, day after day, pinging you randomly from every direction. Maybe the market tanks, profit forecasts aren’t met, and IT budget cuts have to be made mid-year. Maybe the CEO has some free time and reads about a new technology your company has to have now. Maybe a hacker brings down your e-commerce site for hours and your division’s development team gets stuck with the blame – and the responsibility for the fix.

Face it – we’re comfortable where we are, doing what we think we do best. But sometimes a big upheaval in your life can actually be a good thing. In fact, if you don’t change, you often get left behind.

Say an opportunity for a lateral move within the company comes along. You know it will mean moving to another city, maybe working longer hours, and reporting directly to the CFO, who is rumored to be difficult on his best days. But you decide to go with it, because your gut tells you it’s the right thing to do, despite the challenge. And you end up learning all kinds of things you never knew you didn’t know.

Or say your company is looking for someone to oversee the company’s open source initiative, or recommend an enterprise content management system for the extranet or head up the security systems overhaul. Suddenly, you find yourself knocking at top management’s door, asking to be put on the A list. Who knows why? You saw the chance, mulled it over and decided to try it.

Unexpected change happened at Enterprise Systems this month. You’ll be sad to hear that after nearly 12 years with this magazine, Editorial Director Charlie Simpson is making a change and heading off in a new direction. Under Charlie’s editorial leadership, the magazine evolved from an IBM-centric publication (known for years as Enterprise Systems Journal, or more fondly, just "ESJ") into today’s Enterprise Systems, with its broader focus on all parts of enterprise systems management. ESJ won a number of American Society of Business Publication Editors awards over the years with Charlie at the helm, and grew and evolved along with the industry it covers.

And speaking of change, this magazine is no different from any successful company. The role of IT has changed drastically with the advent of e-business and the Internet, among other things, and so have your jobs and responsibilities in IT management. Enterprise Systems will continue to evolve as well. As its new editor, I’ll be putting the magazine through some changes as well: shaking up the starting lineup of columnists to add new voices, expanding the features, challenging you with a business angle on technology, bringing in additional product focus, and stretching the publication’s reach and coverage.

In any event, rest assured that Enterprise Systems will grow and change along with all of you – and will work to serve you the information you need to successfully manage the enterprise. Send me e-mail on what you want to see in these pages at lbriggs@esj.com.