EA Forum 2011: Key Tech Trends That Will Change Your Business

Only a few weeks to go before Forrester’s US EA Forum 2011 in San Francisco in February! I’ll be presenting a number of sessions, including the opening kickoff, where I’ll paint a picture of where I see EA going in the next decade. As Alex Cullen mentioned, I’ll examine three distinct scenarios where EA rises in importance, EA crashes and burns, or EA becomes marginalized.

But the most fun I’ve had preparing for this year’s event is putting together a new track: “Key Technology Trends That Will Change Your Business.” In the past, we’ve focused this conference on the practice of EA and used our big IT Forum conference in the spring to talk about technology strategies, but this year I’ve had the opportunity to put together five sessions that drill down into the technology trends that we think will have significant impact in your environment, with a particular focus on impacting business outcomes. Herewith is a quick summary of the sessions in this track:

I’ll start things off with a discussion of “The Top 15 Technology Trends That EAs Should Watch.” This relates to my recent Forrester research on that topic, which is seeing a lot of hits on our website; I expect everyone in attendance will have seen it, so rather than bore everyone with a quick summary of all the trends, I’ll talk about how a few very high-impact business scenarios will use combinations of technologies to really change how people work. I’ll also take the pulse of the audience regarding which scenarios they see as particularly exciting for their enterprises.

In another session, entitled “Say Goodbye To Information Silos And Hello To Information Agility With Information-As-A-Service,” I’ll be moderating a panel of user case studies in deployments of information-as-a-service. Speakers from Pfizer and Freescale in our US forum and Pfizer and Deutsche Bank in our London forum will talk about how their implementations have enabled significantly more-agile information strategies. I really think this is an under-hyped technology area that has a lot more usage scenarios than originally envisioned, and this session should be illuminating.

In “The Next Big Architecture Movement: Business Events,” Forrester’s VP and Principal Analyst John Rymer and Senior Analyst Mike Gualtieri will talk about business event architecture (BEA). Enterprise architects can use BEA to make business capabilities much more responsive to change. BEA is not just about event processing platforms — it’s a larger architecture paradigm that unifies SOA with other flexible platforms such as business rules management systems and business process management. Where rules can automate responses to individual occurrences, BEA can enable awareness of and consistent responses to patterns of events for much more complex scenarios. Just when you thought it was safe, another architecture movement arrives to rock your world!

Could we talk about high-impact technologies and not include a session on cloud? VP and Principal Analyst James Staten, who just won Forrester’s highest internal research award for his ground-breaking coverage of cloud computing, will present a must-see session on “How Application Design Can Power Cloud Economics.” His premise is that cloud computing platforms that provide pay-per-use pricing introduce a new type of economics for IT, but business-as-usual application designs and architectures can’t fully take advantage of these gains. Mastery of these economics can transform business values and enable new capabilities – even new means of profitability for your business. If you’d like to learn more about how to make the business rich using somebody else’s money and how everything you thought you knew about designing for scale may be completely wrong, this session is for you.

Finally, analyst Galen Schreck will present “System Management For Private And Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure.” Galen sees infrastructure architects facing pressure to accommodate sophisticated scenarios for access to virtualized infrastructure resources — not only do architects need to meet demand for cloud-like ease of deployment for internal resources, but they also need to develop the capability to seamlessly expand their processing to external cloud resources when workload volumes exceed internal capacity. These needs significantly raise the bar for system management, and architects must put management and automation tools high on their list of must-have, high-impact technologies. If you want to learn about what tools and techniques are available for managing private and hybrid cloud configurations and what you have to have in place as a minimum to manage a private cloud, this session is another must-see.

I hope you can join us in San Francisco in February or in London in March!