Gartner EA Summit – Day 2

DSCN9100 As for the second day of coverage of the EA summit I attended less sessions and did more talking with other architects at the conference so I will not have a whole lot to say about most of the sessions.

I did observe that there was quite the drop-off between day 1 and day 2 for some reason. I am not sure if it was due to work pressures by their employers or if there were other reasons (economy?).

SOA and EA Lessons Learned

This was another good session from Nick Gall. There was a great deal of discussion around further definition of SOA and then led into a case study discussion of what others have done. For me this was the best part of the presentation. It was good to see what has and hasn’t worked for companies. What I didn’t see in the presentation was the alignment of SOA and EA. It through me off and was expecting something different. A rename of the session would of done the trick in my opinion.

The Best Enterprise Architects Don’t Work Too Hard

In my opinion this was one of the best sessions at the conference. Brian Burke really got to the heart of the matter with this one. He put some really grounding around building, maturing and sustaining an EA practice at all levels. This wasn’t the typical "Build it and they will come" type of pitch but a much more pragmatic approach. I agreed with 100% of what he had to say. I have some scares on my back from living trough some of the mistakes but I think we all have in some way…

I like that he is so candid in this presentation where he talks about not fighting battles you can’t win, don’t try to change an unchangeable organization. It’s was very good for folks in all different ranges between just starting an EA practice to being in the trenches dealing with adoption/political issues.

I’m not sure if Brian will be writing more on this topic but hopefully he will present and write more on this topic. If you have access to Gartner they are worth a look.

  • Organize Your Enterprise Architecture Effort: Tips for Game Planning and Launching the EA Program
  • Predicts 2008: Emerging Trends Force a Clearer and Deeper Focus on Enterprise Architecture
  • Architecting the Emergent Enterprise: New Game, New Rules

Cloud Computing – How Getting “Served” will Alter Your Architectural Plans

This was one of those really meaty sessions that I will not be able to give a whole lot of details on unfortunately. Darryl Plummer did a great job of articulating this space. He went into defining the cloud and demystifying it a bit. I thought this was a message that was very much needed. Here at Microsoft we have defined the cloud in a similar way but they take a more holistic industry approach which is good for architects that are looking at wiring up multiple clouds or trying to differentiate between different cloud platforms.

An area that is explored in some detail was how the architecting process and architecture decisions change when developing solutions for the cloud. This is an area in which I would like to talk more about as well. I think this is the higher order bit, more important than trying to create the all-up definition of the cloud. The reality is that there isn’t going to be one major cloud, there are going to be several major cloud vendors and most companies will leverage multiple clouds for various purposes.

I really liked his presentation and thought it was one of the top presentations at the conference. As a side note, I would really like to see a wiring up of this presentation and with a presentation that David Chappell presented on at an internal Microsoft conference called TechReady that was based on "a short introduction to cloud platforms" paper he had wrote. Blending the holistic space with architecture classifications and styles would be ideal.

Summary

So in summary, the conference was a bit different than others in the past. When looking at the agenda it was really obvious the lack of SOA and ESB tracks. It seems as if Gartner is backing away from SOA a bit. The SOA tracks were filled with relatively new concepts. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, it’s actually refreshing to see some diversification.  However, I wonder if there are other motivations such as a negative market trend towards SOA. I didn’t hear this from Gartner, but one has to wonder if there analysis is surfacing data like this. Time will tell…

As I have stated above and in other posts, I am happy to see a more pragmatic Gartner. A few years ago I remember have consults with them and hearing that tools such as Word and Visio should not be used in EA. Now the tone has changed a bit. I had counted five sessions where EVP Tools (i.e., Office Productivity tools such as Microsoft Office) should be leveraged at certain levels of maturity. I think this is spot on. Use a tool until you outgrow it. Just because you start out using Visio doesn’t mean that you will always be using it. I think this was driven home in the key note where they pulled some data from the April 2008 EA Market Survey that stated:

72% are interested in EA Tools – with 80% of you still using the "EVP tool suite" and an intranet site

My time in London was filled with great conversations with some really smart architects and I want to thank all the folks that I was able to connect with and gain new perspectives on this radically evolving space of enterprise architecture. See all of you at the next event!

 

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