The purpose of Information Technology is, duh, to inform. The value of IT should not depend on who you know — that is, on your ability to get your particular requests placed at the head of an application backlog queue — but on what your organization knows, with straightforward and productive tools for making that information available in useful ways.

That’s why it ought to be an enterprise management wakeup call when people are found to be "fending for themselves" in the critical area of business intelligence, according to research from the UK’s Freeform Dynamics. Only a quarter of surveyed organizations report that they "make sure users have the tools and data that match their business needs" — with self-assessments of that kind being generally optimistic, I believe we can agree.

Analysts in the report that’s hyperlinked above are correct, I believe, in calling attention to "the user community’s thirst for information and their expectations of IT to help quench it"; that requires a set of disciplines including creative design for findability, satisfaction of users’ quest for efficient task concurrency, and developer craftsmanship in combining rich client capability with the benefits of thin client manageability. The intuitive data access and convenient application customization of On Demand delivery may be useful accelerators on that journey — and if developers don’t act as competent guides, be assured that "power users" won’t hesitate to try to get there themselves.

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