As software eats more and more of the world, and as we move beyond the basics — just being able to do things with digital systems — the structure of information environments becomes a competitive differentiator. This is already happening, and I’m starting to see signs of a renewed interest in information architecture.
The problem is that many people and organizations still don’t know a field exists that’s focused on making stuff easier to find and understand. In other words, folks are doing IA and talking about IA without referring to the discipline. Perhaps because of the constant drive for "innovation," those of use who work in digital seem bound to reinvent the wheel every generation or so.
I point the finger towards myself: Information architects still haven’t found how to communicate the value of what we do in ways that are understandable, memorable, and findable. (Yes, it's cobbler's children's syndrome.) Not for a lack of trying, I might add — giving IA more visibility is an ongoing challenge (and aspiration) for many of us.