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Gartner AADI takeaway: Disruptive forces change IT game

This week in Las Vegas, over 1,000 IT professionals, analysts and practitioners gathered at Caesars Palace to discuss top trends at Gartner’s Application Architecture, Development & Integration (AADI) Summit. The theme of this year’s event is game-changing, an idea centered on what Gartner calls “the nexus of forces.” Gartner’s key point: social, mobile, cloud and information are converging to change technology at every level.

“I believe we all realize that we’re in a pivotal moment in the evolution of technology,” said Gartner group vice president and team manager Jeff Schulman during the summit’s keynote address. “The game is changing.”

Session topics at the event ranged from mobile application development and application integration strategy, to how master data management should drive application architecture. Attendees showed interest in Gartner’s industry perspective on the impact of trends like mobile and cloud at the enterprise level.

“I’m an enterprise architect and I’m here to learn how to prepare our company for the future,” said Dave Bradshaw, an enterprise architect at an insurance company. “I want to learn what Gartner has to say about mobile strategies, the cloud and a little bit about big data.”

Jon Ah You, an IT enterprise application manager at a large oil company, echoed that idea: “My interest is in better understanding mobile strategies, and getting in tune with what’s happening with them in application development,” he said.

Notably, the term ‘big data’ is hard to come by at this year’s AADI event. According to Schulman, that’s no accident. “A lot of the information professionals I’ve talked to don’t trust the term [big data] or don’t like it. The information piece is larger than big data, it’s really about ‘big context’—getting the right info to the right person at the right time.”

Mobile—once second to cloud— took the spotlight during the event’s keynote. When Schulman asked how many attendees had more than two wireless devices with them this week, nearly all hands in the room shot into the air.

Chris Howard, a Gartner chief of research, used this as an example of mobile’s tremendous impact on human behavior and, consequently, on IT.

“You have to create architectures that will deliver the experience to the user—to the device that makes them productive,” he said. “This is really consumerization plus democratization of technology. How prepared are you to deliver this in your environment?” – Stephanie Mann

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